by Fred Pruitt
This article came from a comment on the blog. The reader was responding to my recent article,The Abomination of Desolation. The reader was lamenting over having been persecuted for her faith, as well as the great injustices in the world. She expressed a heart for “Jesus to return and vanquish evil,” and finished by crying out the degeneracy in the world, and being “sick” of everything in the “unredeemed” world. This is what I wrote her back.
Thank you for your comments, You said you are young, and if you don’t mind a word from someone kind of “old” (61), I would like to answer you a little bit. I understand all your pain and horror and disgust. I certainly understand your desire to be out of “this degenerate world.”
Allow me to encourage you into what I might call a “higher” desire, and which is already in you since you are in Christ, and He in you. What I am talking about is also the true nature of who you are in Christ. We all want ease, we all want to be rid of evil, we all look to the Day when we’ll see all, but overriding all those desires is the Life in the Spirit we have been born into. The Life in the Spirit we have been born into is simply “Christ in us,” we in Him, He in us.
When we “received Him,” or however it happened that we came to know Him, He Himself by His Spirit moved into the center of our being, our heart, and cast out the former “prince of the power of the air” who had held us all captive through his deceptions, and He further became our inner Source, Life, Strength, Power, Understanding, Righteousness, Wisdom, and most of all, Love, not self-love (for me), but outpoured Love for others, out of the Lamb in the midst of the Throne, and this Lamb is Who we become in our world.
Yes, we want to escape the world, but that is overridden by compassion and earnest desire to continue the in-gathering of God’s people, to be an edifier and a blesser, instead of looking to be edified, or blessed. Jesus plainly said, “In the world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Where He has overcome the world, is in you. The world is overcome in you — how do we know this John asks in 1 John, we know the victory in our faith.
Love and compassion bring us back to the world, the world which, “God so loved, that He sent His only begotten Son, that the world through Him might be saved.” Only now it is not Jesus walking the streets of Capernaum but now by the Spirit, you and I and everyone who is in Christ, are Him walking around in the earth today.
We have not yet finished our commission. It is not time yet to go. And “it is not time yet to go,” is the absolute truth for every single moment until it IS time to go. So in this time we have been given, we have also been given our commission, to be in the world but not of it, because if we are not “in the world,” how can we touch it?
It is by us that people first know Christ. They may not (and probably will not) know that they are “knowing Christ” in us, but they are. He has come to dwell in us and manifest Himself in the world in our mortal flesh. And that’s who you are.
If the “wicked” disgust you, remember that you once were also the “enemy of God,” but the Son came, “while we were yet enemies!” He did not wait until we became His friends to come to us. He came when we did not want Him and were rebellious in our sin, and He became known and persecuted as a “friend of sinners.” You and I would not be here if He was not a “friend of sinners.”
He forgave sins on the spot without people either asking or confessing. But now since you walk in Him in His Spirit, and His heart of compassion is yours, then you are the beloved Son He sends into the “world,” that that part of the world that only you touch, you are there to be its light and its salt. That is our purpose in Christ because that is His purpose.
I guess this is a pretty long reply but I hope it is helpful to you.