Not One with the World
Category : General
St. John 17:15 (KJV)
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Every Christian faces a difficult task. How do we live in the world but not like the world? Our task is to not allow the world to trick us into valuing things of the world over things of God.
A young lawyer, going to the West to settle for life, made it his boast that he “would locate in some place where there were no churches, Sunday schools, or Bibles.” He found a place which substantially met his conditions. But before the year was out he wrote to a former classmate, a young minister, begging him to come out and bring plenty of Bibles, and begin preaching, and start a Sunday school; for, he said, he had “become convinced that a place without Christians, and Sabbaths, and churches, and Bibles was too much like hell for any living man to stay in.”
The writer writes that though they were going into trials and persecutions, yet Jesus did not pray that they might be removed soon from them. It was better that they should endure them, and thus spread abroad the knowledge of his name. It would be easy for God to remove his people at once to heaven, but it is better for them to remain, and show the power of religion in supporting the soul in the midst of trial, and to spread his gospel among men.
It is important for the believer in Jesus Christ to know that He does not desire that His faithful apostles should soon die, and be taken to God. No: but that they may live long, labor long, and bring forth much fruit. He does not intimate that they should seclude themselves from the world by going to the desert, or to the cloisters; but that they should continue in and among the world, that they may have the opportunity of recommending the salvation of God. Christ only prays that while they are in the world, employed in the work of the ministry, they may be preserved from the influence, of the evil one, the devil, who had lately entered into Judas, John 13:27, and who would endeavor to enter into them, ruin their souls, and destroy their work. A devil without can do no harm; but a devil within ruins all.
He shows in what the safety of believers consists; not that they are free from every annoyance, and live in luxury and at their ease, but that, in the midst of dangers, they continue to be safe through the assistance of God. In short, He promises to His disciples the grace of the Father; not to relieve them from all anxiety and toil, but to furnish them with invincible strength against their enemies, and not to suffer them to be overwhelmed by the heavy burden of contests which they will have to endure. Friends, we wish to be kept according to the rule which Christ has laid down, we must not desire exemption from evils, or pray to God to convey us immediately into a state of blessed rest, but must rest satisfied with the certain assurance of victory, and, in the meantime, resist courageously all the evils, from which Christ prayed to his Father that we might have a happy issue. We may be in this world but by the grace of God we must live distinct from it.
Have a great and God filled day!