Jesus said believers are in the world, but we are not of the world. In fact He told us not to be surprised that the world not only disapproves of us, but actually goes so far as to hate us and everything we stand for.
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
The United States of America is on a path leading it farther and farther away from God. Our situation as Christians in a non-Christian land is becoming more and more difficult as the two-edged sword of God's Word clearly divides between those who believe and those who do not. As Christians we belong to the "kingdom of His Dear Son" even as we live within the boundaries of an increasingly ungodly land. My thoughts go back to the prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament as He gave Israel instructions from God as to how they were to function while living within the city of Babylon. Here is a sampling of those instructions from Jeremiah chapter 29:
Instruction #1 - Jer 29:5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
God was telling them to live as normal lives as possible, to be productive, to not be lazy and live off of other people or off of the government. Plant your own gardens and eat the fruit of them. Be good citizens. We are given similar instructions in the New Testament by the apostle Peter:
1Pe 4:14-16 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
Instruction #2 - Jer 29:7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
God's instruction then was to pray for the peace of the very city that held them captive. That sounds so identically the same as the instructions we have in the New Testament:
1Ti 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
We tend to forget that when those instructions were given in the first century, all of the believers were being ruled by the Roman government. In no way was that government "Christian" at the time Paul wrote the letter to Timothy. Christians were instructed to pray for the very political leaders who were holding them in captivity. How appropriate is that instruction for us today. We are instructed to pray for our leaders that they make wise decisions even though they do not honor the God we serve. Why? "That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
Instruction #3 - Jer 29:8-9 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.
The "voices" that most people in America are listening to today do not call themselves "prophets" but nonetheless they are "predicting" prosperity and good days are ahead because of the ungodly decisions being made by those in authority. They raise their fist to God and say without shame that His Word is not true by legalizing abortion on demand and homosexual marriage. They preach "tolerance" but they are the most intolerant people of all when it comes to anything truly Christian. They want us to be "tolerant" of every ungodly decision they make, but at the same time they want to remove every vestige of God from public view. As if that was not bad enough, there are also false teachers within the church itself. Truly the apostle Peter spoke of these times:
2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
We are to shine as lights in the darkness, leading lives above reproach. We are to be productive citizens of society while always holding forth the word of life and ready to give an answer to every man concerning the hope that abides with in us.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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