The Christian and the World

How should the Christian interact with the world? How will the world respond? I can tell you this, don’t expect a celebration and a parade through town. Either loved, hated, or ambivalent, this is what we’ll see.

Jesus, in sending out the twelve disciples in Matthew 10:17-33, had these instructions for them.

The Christian and the Authorities

Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Do not be naive, and use every opportunity to preach the Gospel. Peter, John, the rest of the Apostles, and Paul are great examples in Acts 4, 5, 24, and 26.

The Holy Spirit will give us the words in high-pressure times. The rest of the time we have to think and choose our words as instructed in Colossians 4:6, ‘Let your conversation always be pleasant and cheerful, flavorful, and enhanced so that you can always know how to answer someone.’

That means preparation.

The Christian and Family

Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

Even family will turn against each other, which is more common in honor/shame cultures all over the world. At the least, they won’t understand their relative’s new life. I run into this one. These days I would rather be home studying and writing or at church serving in a multiple of ministries.

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

Perseverance is a by-product of your faith, Don’t renounce Christ.

Jesus doesn’t demand we die for our faith–though it’s a very real possibility–but to run away and preach another day. We’re not above or better than Jesus; it is enough to be the same as him in dealing with people and life. He’s our perfect example.

The Christian and Truth

So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One (It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31) who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Right will win in the end and the truth will be known. Remember, Jesus is the judge we all face in the end; either as one of his or having rejected him.

Don’t hide what Jesus tells you, has done on the cross, or what he’s done in your life.

The Christian and Death

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

If you kill a Christian, they don’t die, they change locations. Either they’re with Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:6-8) or Jesus is with them (Matthew 28:20).

Have you noticed how many sparrows you see flitting around? Yet God is involved in their lives. He is much more involved in mine and your lives. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and we’re valuable to him. John 3:16 and the 139th Psalm tells us how valuable.

The Christian’s Mission

Whoever acknowledges me before others (But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.Romans 10:8-10), I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

It is that cut and dried. Acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, your Lord, before other people, and Jesus tells God that you’re one of his. Then you follow him the rest of your days, free from condemnation (Romans 8:1) and no longer an enemy of God.

Have you experienced any of these verses in action?

A Biblical Answer to Racism

Racism is weird to me, along with the idea of an overwhelming pride in your race. Since Charlottesville, it’s been in the news again. It’s not even an issue the majority is supporting, just a very vocal minority.

I considered defining it, discussing the difference in race and ethnicity, but that would be majoring in the minors. Let’s play in the big leagues.

What Does God Say?

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:26-27

No indication of skin color, and since they were naked I’m sure they had an impressive tan, to say the least. Since God created all people in His image, they all have value. Because He created us, it means He chose the time, place, and ethnicity we would be.

Then, God the Son came as the Son of God, and Jesus, the Middle-Eastern Jewish rabbi told another Jew this, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Every soul matters to God. To hate a person because of their race goes against the love of God. He didn’t keep salvation for the Jews alone, though he could. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus told his disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

The Foot Of The Cross Is Level Ground.

A thief was the first person saved while beside Jesus on his own cross. A Roman Centurion was probably next when he said ‘surely this was the Son of God’. Jesus sent Peter to Cornelius who wasn’t a Jew either and saved his entire household. Paul specialized in going to other races and ethnic groups. Philip spoke to an Ethiopian eunuch and he was saved.

If You Hate Other Races, You’re Not Going To Like Heaven.

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:9-10

No Christian can be racist. It’s an oxymoron. Hate has no place in the equation.

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
1 John 3:15

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 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.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:15-21

If you hate, turn away from it and go to Christ for forgiveness. The foot of the cross is level, come as you are, but you won’t remain the same. You’ll be like the Apostle Paul who said this:

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Philippians 3:4-9

Race, intelligence, status, even his own righteousness meant nothing in comparison. It’s that good.