Friday, January 12, 2018

Spies or Citizens?

1Pe 1:1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

Peter’s first epistle is written the Christians to encourage them to be patient when they aren’t being treated fairly through persecution and also to persevere through the everyday trials of life.  He uses the term “elect exiles” which immediately points out that we are to see our purpose in this life differently than the lost around us.  We are in a sense alien life forms.  We look like the average human being but our true home is up above and our loyalty is not to this world but to our Supreme Leader who sent us here for his purposes and there is a day of reckoning coming in which we will have to give an account to our time spent in this “foreign world”.  We are in the world but not of the world because we live for a different cause than the lost; we live for a God that this world rejects.

I think Christianity can also be compared to being a spy sent by a government to infiltrate a country they are at war with.  A spy participates in the activities of the country he is in but not for the same reason the normal citizens do.  He is there to undermine and compromise the country he is in for the good of his homeland.  What he cannot do is to forget why he is there and get a job and start living for the good of that country and become a loyal citizen and fail to send back reports to his government.  Everything he does is to be with his homeland in mind and if he gets so caught up in his “cover story” that he doesn’t have time to his undercover work, he basically becomes a traitor to those that sent him.

So it is also a little like an undercover cop sent into deep cover to infiltrate a criminal organization.  The whole organization is illegal and it is just a matter of time before it is all going to be brought to justice.  He is there to help this along, and it would be against his whole reason for being undercover if he actually started helping the organization in its criminal activity and failed to report back and follow orders from his boss.

The point I am trying to illustrate is that very often Christians forget who sent them into the world and why they are here and they start to act like all the rebels around them.  We get so caught up in life that we don’t work for our homeland and our King.  Of course, one big difference between my illustrations and being a Christian is that we aren’t undercover spies.  We are here to tell everyone that they are in a rebellious kingdom that is going to be destroyed.  We are to tell them that this whole crime family is about to be arrested and condemned and that they had better get right with the Law Giver before it is too late.

Peter, Paul and Jesus all make the point that this will turn most citizens of this present world into our enemies but don’t worry this is all part of the plan.

Joh 15:18  "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. Joh 15:19  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Joh 15:20  Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.

Joh 16:1  "I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. Joh 16:2  They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. Joh 16:3  And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.

1Th 2:14  For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 1Th 2:15  who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 1Th 2:16  by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!

It is our duty to think and act like we are citizens of heaven and not of this world or we undermine our message that this world is going to be judged.  How can we who are dead to sin continue to live in it?  If we tell the lost that this world is passing away and we live like there is nothing or no one more important then why should they believe what we are saying?  

1Jn 2:15  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1Jn 2:16  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1Jn 2:17  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.