Not of this World

Summary John 17:1-13

Jesus Christ, God the Son, was praying to God the Father. This is while Jesus was still on the earth. But he was getting ready to go to his death on a cross for the salvation of human souls in order that he might deliver us from our slavery to sin and grant us eternal life with him in glory.

In his prayer he described those who the Father had given to him. They were given to Jesus out of the world, for they were called of God to come out of the world. They kept (obeyed) the word of the Lord. And they understood and believed who Jesus was in relation to the Father.

Jesus was praying for those who were GIVEN TO HIM by the Father. And we must remember here that none of us can come to faith in Jesus Christ unless the Father first draws us to Christ. Even the faith to believe comes from God and is divinely persuaded. And we are even granted repentance by God.

Jesus prayed for them. They were still in the world, but Jesus was getting ready to return to the Father, so he considered himself no longer in the world. Yet, while he was in the world he spoke God’s words to them that they might have his joy fulfilled in themselves.

Hated as Followers of Christ
John 17:14 ESV

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

Jesus is not of this world. His word is not of this world. His gospel is not of this world. And we who follow him and serve him with our lives are also not of this world. We are of the kingdom of God. And we serve Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master.

To be not of this world means that we don’t think like and act like the world in sin, which is opposed to God and to the gospel of Christ. We don’t walk in sin. Sin is not what we practice. It has no more dominion over us. For Jesus set us free from our slavery (addiction) to sin.

Now we serve Jesus Christ with our lives. Now we walk in obedience to his commands. We go where he sends us, we do what he calls us to do, and we say what he commands us to say, even if we are hated, rejected, and persecuted in return.

And why do they hate and persecute us? Because we are not like them, and because our lives are an offense to them, and because we are sharing the truth of the gospel as Jesus taught it. For, this gospel of Christ confronts people in their sin, and it calls for repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).

So, how do they persecute us? In what ways do they express their hate? And who and/or what is the hate really directed towards?

Truly this hate and persecution comes from Satan who wants to get rid of Jesus Christ and his gospel of salvation. Since we follow Jesus Christ with our lives, and since we are spreading his gospel to the people of the world, then the hate and persecution are directed towards us.

So, how is it expressed? In many ways, I am certain, but most offensively, I believe, via the spreading of a false gospel which is a half-truth cheapened form of the true gospel, which is deceiving people across the globe by the thousands, and which is leading them away from Christ.

For, those who are the initiators of this cheap grace gospel are those who are intoxicated with self-indulgence (sin). So, they are taking a stand against the Lord and his righteousness and holiness. Thus, they stand opposed to the gospel as Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught it.

Most of them are not those who are proponents of the true gospel of grace while they hypocritically live sinful lifestyles behind closed doors. But most of them boldly declare that God’s grace gives them free license to continue living in sin without guilt.

They falsely declare openly that God does not require repentance, obedience, or submission to him as Lord. For, they counter such teaching by calling it “works-based salvation,” although they have no biblical support for such a claim. And this is so they can continue on in their sin without guilt.

But their purpose is also to destroy the gospel of Christ so that no one will follow it, but so all who falsely “believe” in Jesus will feel at liberty to live in sin while claiming Jesus as their Savior, while declaring they have salvation from their sin, and while professing eternal life with God as their hope.

But what they are teaching is false, it is opposed to God/Christ and to the gospel of Christ, it will save no one from sin, it will leave its adherents still in slavery to sin, and thus it will send them to hell on the promise of heaven.

And the result is a massive amount of false “followers of Jesus” who are still walking in their flesh (the old nature), in lawlessness, hating others, committing adultery, abusing spouse and children, and cheating, lying and stealing as a matter of deliberate choice of their free will.

Kept from the Evil One
John 17:15-16 ESV

“I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

Many Christians, at least in America, are hoping to be raptured out of this world before things get really bad. I don’t believe that theology is biblically accurate, but I will not debate it with anyone, either. So, please don’t go there.

I see much support Scripturally that we will continue into the tribulation and that we will be persecuted by the beast (the antichrist) and that many of us will be martyred for our walks of faith and for our stand on the word of God, in truth (in context).

If you disagree, that is your choice. But I believe it wise to not lock yourself into a pre-tribulation rapture theology in case you are wrong, for then your faith will really be shaken when things get really bad, and you are severely persecuted for your faith, and you can’t buy or sell because you have not taken the mark of the beast. Best to be ready for any scenario.

Sent into the World
John 17:17-19 ESV

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”

We are in the world, but not of it, for we are called out of the world. Yet, we are sent into the world with the gospel. So, we are to live in the world, among the people of the world, but we are not to take on the nature or the character of the world and its sinful attitudes and behaviors.

Instead, we are to be those called of God to take the truth of the gospel to the ends of the earth so that many will be saved from their sins, have eternal life with God, and grow in their walks of faith as disciples of Christ.

But we need to be prepared to be hated and persecuted for our walks of faith and for our testimonies for Christ and for his gospel.

When in The Stillness

An Original Work / September 26, 2011

When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.

While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.

Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.

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