Living in a Hostile World
Jesus,in John 17:14, in His final message to His disciples, warns that because of their belief in Him and in His word, the world will hate them and seek to destroy them. Why is it that those who have faith in Jesus are treated so harshly? It’s because they have what the world wants and that’s a life that is complete. How does a believer know they have eternal life?
Proof of Life Eternal
Jesus gives us the answer in John 17:3. When we have an intimate knowledge of God and acknowledge Jesus as His Son, we receive the gift of everlasting life. This knowledge came when Jesus gave to his people (who were called by God) His eternal word and when they accepted His word and decided to live by it, they were given an abundant life in Him. This abundance becomes even stronger when a Christian draws closer to the Lord through His word and applies the word in their everyday life.
The World’s Jealousy
It is this intimacy with Jesus that has made every Christian an enemy in the world’s eyes. The world does not understand Jesus because He does not fit into its standard of things. Yet they see the abundance of life which is in each every believer and is jealous for that blessing but refuse to accept the eternal word of Christ and live by it. Out of its frustration and stubbornness, the world responds with treating those of the faith with contempt.
Dealing With a Hostile World
What is the faith follower to do, now that they are rejected by the world? Now that we one with Jesus, we are set apart from this evil of the world. In His prayer to God, Jesus asks in John 17:20-22 that those who believe in Him would be of one mind, one heart, and one soul.
Community of Light
We are called to be a community that is set apart from the world. A city on a hill shining the light of God in this world. Therefore, since we are to be one as Christ and the Father are one, we should not worry what the world thinks but only care about what God desires.
The Desires of God
So what is it that God wants us to do? As long as we are in this world, we have a job to do. There are many others that God has called to be with Him but they still have not heard.
In John 17:18, Jesus gave us the honor of bringing these people into His fellowship. The greatest joy for a Jesus follower is to bring others into the fold and be united with them as the Divine Family. Those who are in Christ are united in Him and are therefore a part of each other. So if a believer stumbles, the rest of fellowship should feel it and strive to encourage the stumbler to get back on the path. Likewise, the heart of everyone who is of the faith should yearn for those who still have not heard.
With that in mind, those of us who believe, have a big challenge ahead of us. We face a world that is hostile to our Lord and Savior; and will afflict us for our faith. Yet within this world are those whom God has called to be with us. It is time to get out of our comfort zone and bring our brothers and sisters home. Just as Jesus brought us home to Him.