Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Be In The World

Be in the world, but not of it, the Bible teaches us. Some people have trouble balancing this concept. Some people seem to overemphasize the “be in the world” concept by taking part in the ungodly activities of the world, even bringing these things into their churches. Their claim is that they hope to reach the world for Christ by making friends with the world just like Jesus was a friend to sinners. Other people overemphasize the “not of the world” concept by completely avoiding anything they see as worldly. I believe we are to balance these two concepts.

Be In the World

If we are to be in the world, we are to actually be in the world. That means we’ve actually got to get out and talk to the world rather than hiding away in our homes. I don’t however think we must conclude that because Jesus was “a friend to sinners” that we are to participate in the bar scene, get involved with dancing with its immodest clothing and movements or anything else that we might do to assure the world that we are one of them. What we must understand about Jesus is that even though he was a friend to prostitutes and tax collectors and other sinners, he at no point participated in their sin or told them it was okay for them to keep sinning. He remained sinless, even while he was walking among sinners.

Not of the World

To be not of the world, means not participating in their sin. That doesn’t mean preventing children from having lost friends or avoiding people who are worldly. Children in public schools have many opportunities to share their testimonies with lost friends. In a typical day, a child in a public school has many more opportunities to witness than his or her parents will. An adult goes to work and may have an opportunity to share Jesus with someone, but his primary responsibility is to do his job. He may have opportunities during breaks, but other than that, he is to be dedicated to his work. A child, on the other hand, has opportunities to witness on the school bus, on the playground, during lunch, during study hall, and even during class. So, adults have to look for other ways to have contact with the people we are trying to reach for Christ.

What are you doing to be in the world?