We live in a world that hates Jesus.
By proxy, if you are a faithful follower of Jesus, the world hates you, too. In a bout of self-examination, I think that’s the measure of one’s relationship with the Lord. When I consider my own life, I find myself lacking. How can the world really hate me when I spend so much time striving to better myself in it, taking advantage of it, and trying to impress it?
In the movie Cast Away, Tom Hanks’ character finds himself alone on an isolated tropical island with nothing but a volleyball to keep him company. He spends four years surviving and waiting to be rescued and taken home.
Followers of Jesus find themselves in a similar predicament. In a world that is so anti-God, those who are truly living for God find themselves stranded, separated, and cast away from the rest of the world. The only solace is found in the knowledge that the Christian has something much better than a volleyball to keep him or her company. The Bible says that the Lord is with you wherever you are. The Christian’s purpose on this earth is to make disciples of all nations, and that means coming under fire because of your faith.
Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us to “be strong and courageous… for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Like Hanks’ character, Christians must survive, living according to the Word and will of God in a world that tells us to live according to our own will.
Also like the character, the followers of Jesus must wait to be rescued and taken home. The Christian rock group Petra had a hit in the early-1980s that said “We are strangers. We are aliens. We are not of this world.” That is true. This world hates Jesus, and thus hates His followers. The Christian’s home is in Heaven with the Lord, and that’s why Christians must wait to be rescued and taken home.
First Thessalonians 4:16-17 says that the Lord Himself will descend, and “we who are alive and remain will be caught up…to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” Talk about being rescued!
I do not know how many years Christians will have to survive on the earth. However, the Lord will rescue those who follow Him, and the rewards will be great.
In the meantime, Christians must not worry about being cast away from a society inebriated in sin. As Christians, we must be strong and courageous, unafraid of separation and disapproval from a finger-pointing world. After all, we have God on our side, with a promise never to leave us or forsake us. In the ninth inning of history, followers of Jesus must rise up and draw a line in the sand.
This world glories in the compromising of principles for the sake of harmony. Denominations and organizations masquerading as Christian have signed over what they know to be truth in order to get along with those who ignore the truth. Christians must not be fooled by the rhetoric of peace and harmony from those who have no true interest in it.
Truth is found in the Word of God, and it tells us that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12
So I come back to self-examination. Am I persecuted? The Bible says that is the mark of one’s godliness. I continue to seek my own will, and that has to stop. All Christians need to continuously look in a mirror and ask themselves these questions: Have I been cast away by the world? Am I seeking intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, or am I fearful of what others might think?
No one ever said living for Jesus was easy. The Lord Himself said that we must take up the cross, and the cross was a very painful persecuting death at the hands of the world.
We must not fear for our own earthly lives, because Jesus Christ will rescue us.