“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
I Peter 2:9-12 NKJV
There is always a deep desire in the human soul to fit in. I remember being one who did not, who stood apart from his peers and bore the consequences daily. I tried all that I could to blend into the group, to fit in with my neighborhood kids, but there as something different about me, and my peers made sure I knew it.
Years of bullying resulted in an autonomous personality, self defined, and motivated. I cared little about the status quo, for I was my own standard unto myself. I need no one.
When one follows Christ, there is a similar realty, as we are separated from the world by virtue of the presence of God in us. We have been saved by Jesus, who went to the cross for our sins. Upon salvation there is a divine transaction, as our dead spirit is replaced by the Holy Spirit, and the old sinful man replaced by the new creation.
Reading in I Peter this morning, I was encouraged as God brought back to my mind the reality that we are a chosen generation, a holy priesthood, a holy nation, called to go and proclaim the Gospel to a lost world. We are set apart from the world, and the contrast between believer and non believer has never been more clear.
We stand out in attitude and behavior from those who have not gotten a taste of such a great salvation. It is more clear than ever in these last days.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Colossians 3:12-15 NKJV
We have a new nature, one in opposition to what is fast becoming the nature of the world. Because we are different, we are being marginalized, facing hostility, because we do not fit in. There is great temptation to make efforts to be more like the world, to soften our stances to reduce the ridicule that receive, but in doing so we turn against the mission the the Lord Jesus has given us: to go into all the world with the message of the Gospel.
In this season of foreboding and radical change, we must not turn from the mission. Souls are on the line. The very world that has rejected us, is careening toward a judgement in which the world has never seen before. In their godless minds, they see all that is happening as “climate change, social change, etc” In reality it is the softening of the soil of the world, as God prepares all for judgement to come.
We must not give into the temptations and lusts of the world, remembering that we are but sojourners and pilgrims, in the world, but not of it. We are called to higher things, better things, as we represent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We have been bathed in the marvelous light of Jesus, let us not walk in darkness as the world walks.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.”
Ephesians 5:8-13 NKJV
In the perilous days to come, we will be accused of many things, and indeed, many of those accusations are being leveled even now. May it be because we are righteous and earnest in presenting the Good News, and not for any evil we have done.
Let us be steadfast in bringing the message of Jesus to this lost world. Let us stand in contrast to the world. There are many hurting people looking for true answers. It is a time to stand on the word as it is, and not seek to make it more palatable to those who do not know the Lord.
May our presentation of what is truly pure, be truly pure, and may we stand as ambassadors of a most holy God, righteous against the corruption of this present age.
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