Friday, February 08, 2008

Not My Home

The follower of Jesus Christ is being led through a rough and dangerous land to home. I wonder if we, as the Church, have missed this point. Our sermons, lessons, and books deal with having our best life now and living life on purpose, but we seldom hear that we strangers in a strange land. Our teachings help us blend into the world rather than helping us stand out.

An alien in a foreign land stands out because they are different. They speak a different language (or at least with an accent), they dress differently, celebrate different holidays, and have different values. According to the New Testament a Christian is to be different, like a stranger in a strange land. I have used this verse time and time again in my ponderings, but here it is one more time:
11 Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and exiles to keep on abstaining from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. 12 Continue to live such upright lives among the Gentiles that, when they slander you as evildoers, they may see your good works and glorify God when he visits them in judgment. (1 Peter 2:11-12; ISV)

How does the apostle Peter want us to live? As aliens and exiles! We are displaced. We are not at home. I want you to catch this: when we live no differently than the world we are no better off than the world. God isn’t interested in people who will merely confess Him and believe in Him, everyone is going to do that anyway. What God wants is a people who will live by faith. People who will be motivated by a different set of desires. People who live by a different set of standards. People who love people no one else will love. People who will remember they are on a journey to get home. What is the value of believing in Jesus if that belief doesn’t change your life? Is such a belief really faith?

Read what Erwin McManus wrote in The Barbarian Way:
“From the moment we become citizens of the kingdom of God, we become aliens and strangers in a world that chooses to live absent of God. From the first step taken to follow Jesus, we are out of step with the rest of the world. Once your life is in sync with the story of God, you become out of sync with any story that attempts to ignore or eliminate God. You are a stranger to them, an alien among them, a nomadic wanderer who, while refusing to be rooted in this life, seems to somehow enjoy this life most.” (p. 93)

Are you walking out of step with the world? I am afraid that most of us aren’t. Sure we may have morality issues with how the sinners live, but our hopes and dreams are wrapped up in the very same things the world hopes and dreams for. Success, money, happiness, and love. The list could go on, but the point is that while we are morally different from the world we are not spiritually different from them. That my friends was one of the problems Jesus had with the Pharisees. They looked good on the outside, but the inside they were filled with dead men’s bones. White washed tombs. We need to quite fooling ourselves that be different from the world is just about morals. Being different from the world primarily has to do with our desires, dreams, attitudes, and thoughts.

I am coming to believe that one of the ways we truly begin to live differently than the rest of the world is to begin to desire heaven. An exile doesn’t put down roots in the land he is living. Instead he hopes and dreams for his home and thinks of ways to one day return. How can we think about settling for the things of this world when God is offering us so much more? How can we think about being like the citizens of the world when God is calling us to be citizens of heaven? This world is not our home so let us not act like it is.

  • Point to Ponder: When we live no differently than the world we are no better off than the world.
  • Passage to Remember: 1 Peter 2:11-12
  • Question to Consider: Are you living out of step with the world?


Paul said...

Sorry shatteredsoul but I deleted your comment because clicking on your name directed me to a porn site. I don't need to see that nor does anybody else that reads my blog. If you want to comment don't link to porn.

Paul said...

Here is what shatteredsoul wrote, but one has to wonder about its authenticity since he (perhaps she) connected himself to porn.

I believe much of what you are saying and asking here is true, and much of it is flawed truth.

First of all, is to believe in Christ enough? The answer is simple, yes it is. Why? Because the only way to speak to god is through Christ and all who believe in him shall have eternal life.

HOWEVER..., this means exactly what it says, all who believe in Christ shall have eternal life. This DOES NOT mean all who believe in him shall go to heaven, nor does it mean they shall see god.

Only those who lived by the words of God shall make it to heaven and only those who are pure of heart shall get to see God.

It is a deep sadness I endure for mankind because of this. This is what most people don't understand. This is what most churches don't understand. Ultimately, this is also the reason the world is in the shape its in.

I can honestly say I do stand out and look strange in our world today. I am a drifter and often ridiculed for it. I own no property. Why? Because god owns the property that is here for us on earth. I own no possessions. When I come across money that would be used for some personal self satisfying item, instead I give it to someone who is more in need of it then myself.

Where do I live? I live off the kindness of strangers and I give them all I have in return. I judge no one on this earth for it is not my place to judge (although I am frequently told that is not humanly possible). I have not walked so perfectly in the ways of God that I believe anyone could rightfully judge me without having lived my life, so why should I judge others.

The only way to walk in the light of God is to do everything you can to become favorable in the eyes of God. I do not believe I can do this however I try my hardest. I spread the word of God to everyone. I try to teach everyone the only true perfect message given to man was delivered by God in the bible.

However I am but a rare soul in the world, and I am no better then any other man on this earth. It is for that reason that when I pray, I do not ask for forgiveness of my sins. I refuse to do this. I do not want to be forgiven. Rather I pray to God (and frequently cry to God) for all of mankind. I ask that God forgives us all of our sins. For perhaps in doing so I may save the soul who has hardened their hearts to God.

In the end, all shall know that God is real. There shall be no more doubt. And when that time comes, all man shall fall to his knees and cry for he shall know that judgment is upon him.

I wrote this comment in hopes that someone else may read it and understand what is expected and where they will stand when Christ takes his throne at the head of the church and reigns over all mankind here on Earth.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Paul!

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