Pretend It’s The End Part Four: “New, Not Old” –

A Bible Study for the New and Growing Follower of Jesus

By Timothy Smith, Posted in 2022

“Pretend It’s The End” Part Four:

New, Not Old

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TruthTexts presents a 6-part Bible study about living every day as though our time here on Earth is short.  We know civilizations, nations, and our own lives will not last forever. But believers in Jesus know that  “the end” is really the beginning of Eternity. So we will examine the Bible’s TruthTexts on how to behave, how to think, what to say, and what to do, in order to share the love of Jesus with the whole world. There are no “End Times” speculations in this study, no rash predictions. There’s just a serious look at some practical TruthTexts about living radically different lives by following God’s Word through the power of the Holy Spirit in these perilous times.


“...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” – Jesus, in Luke 18:8

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 NIV

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7 KJV)

“Though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ!” – Paul (2 Cor. 10:3-5 RSV)

Leaving the World’s Methods and Mentality Behind

Today’s study will end with the Holy Spirit’s marching orders (of real love, joy, and peace). But first, we need to be reminded of how not to act in these times. We are all flawed, sometimes weak people who will always need the Spirit’s help to live as believers. And if we try to do battle for God against the evils around us, but we are using the world’s methods, we actually hurt the work of the Kingdom. I pray that I am “speaking the truth in love,” as it says in Ephesians 4:15. What follows is a list of the typical attitudes and actions of people in our world today, followed by TruthTexts that give us a roadmap for thinking and behaving like believers. In the list below, “the world” is the entire group of people who do not know Jesus. We could also call it “society” or “popular culture.”

A. The world lives in fear, which motivates all kinds of destructive actions. There’s fear of losing power, of those who think differently, of civil authority, and even of our own history. Paul writes:

“The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of

power and love and self-control.” (2 Tim. 1:7, ERV)

Some believers today seem angry and fearful, afraid of the changing political landscape and worried about our familiar way of life. But we have the Spirit’s “power and love,” and the peace of Jesus that the world can’t give.

B. The world judges, attacks, and tries to silence anyone who seems to oppose or offend. We know what the world does. But sometimes believers attack other believers without attempting to make peace with them first. Verses from Romans 14 (NIV) give us guidance about disagreements among believers:

“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants

stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” (verse 4)

“You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with

contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” (verse 10)

We can follow Peter’s advice,

“ your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to

everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this

with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

C. The world lives in envy, both of property and of power in the hands of anyone they oppose. We have a big reason not to wish for other people’s money or property: our trust in God. Hebrews 13:5 (NLT) states:

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,

‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’”

And in Matthew 20:25-26, Jesus reminded his followers not to envy others’ power:

“You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials

flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you, it will be different.

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant!” (from NLT)

D. The world has a twisted view of truth, acting as though it is only a changeable tool to further its own purposes. This includes outright lying, making up stories, and purposely telling only the parts of the story that fit the agenda of the moment. No believer who honors God’s Word should do any of that! But if we pass on as fact some unverified information, rumors, and data that “seems true,” without trying to check it out, aren’t we forgetting some of our marching orders? I’ve done it and so have you. But we are to

“...examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good.

Avoid every kind of evil.” (I Thess. 5:21-22, CEB)

And we are told,

“Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature

and all its wicked deeds.” (Col. 3:9 NLT)

And of course, the Bible says that we must never “bear false witness against our neighbor.” Sometimes these bits of information contain a lot of verifiable truth, but “mostly true” is not God’s standard for us.

Being “mostly true” reminds me of the (sorry, it’s a little gross) story of the person who made “doggie doo brownies.” The baker told everyone, “I only put a couple of tablespoons of doggie doo in them, and I mixed it in really well!” Do you get the picture? Nobody in their right mind would take a bite! It’s our job to check and recheck what we receive from others before we share anything, because God’s Truth is our only weapon. (Eph. 6 - the “Whole Armor of God”) And of course, we have the best good news of all, from Jesus, who is “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6) And when we find ourselves acting like the world in any area of our lives, we must run back to God’s path. This will be a daily struggle for us, but (see Phil. 4:9) “The God of Peace will be with us!”

E. The world hates and despises unchangeable truth, and the very thought of God’s laws. The world seeks to discredit and even silence anyone who believes in such things. When Jesus was on trial before Pilate, the Roman Procurator in Jerusalem, He answered the Roman with unchangeable truth. “My kingdom is not of this world...” “So you really are a king, then!” answered Pilate. Jesus responded, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. (from John 18:37-38 NIV).

According to one of my favorite TruthTexts, we must live what Proverbs 30: 5-6 declares:

“Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him

for protection. Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and

expose you as a liar” (NLT).

Once again I remind all of us, using Paul’s words:

“No more lying! ‘Each of you must tell the truth to your neighbor,’

because as members together in the body of Christ, we represent Him.”

(My paraphrase of Eph. 4:25, quoting Zechariah 8)

Think of all the verses that tell us to love one another, love our enemies, and love God with everything we’ve got. And our behavior decisions will become easier.

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Paul’s Conclusion: “There’s No Law Against That!”

In Galatians 5:19-23, Paul sums up this lesson’s main point, that we are “New, Not Old”:

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Take Action!

First: Check my work! Be sure to look up the verses in this study in whatever translation of the Bible is the easiest for you to understand.* Read the whole section that each verse came from, and make sure that the words I have said about them are true. Once you are sure that I have given you accurate information, ask yourself the questions. Finally, ask God to show you what you should do next.

Look at A through E in the study.

Which one is the hardest for you?  Can you think of verses to help you?

What should we as believers do when we find ourselves ‘eating the wrong brownies’

as the study described?

Why does “the world” (our society, our culture) seem to hate God’s truth?

(See John 8:44 and 18:37)

How can we, as believers, make a stronger stand for the truth?

(And how do we know it’s the truth?)

What are the actions that will never be illegal?  

What would happen in our world if we actively did those things?

* I use many translations of the Bible in these articles. Any of them would serve to support the points made in the chapter. All verses with no listed translations are my own paraphrase; please check with your own favorite Bible to be sure I got the right idea.