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Last updated Wed Jun 4, 8:25 AM EDT

OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew


            Some brethren seem to be enamored with the desire to be accepted by those in the world.  They sugarcoat the gospel to make it more palatable to the lost.  They emphasize likenesses instead of differences in order to promote comradery.  They refuse to reprove and rebuke so they will not be offensive.  They find avenues of fellowship with the erring so as not to close any doors of opportunity.  In essence, they do all they can to be liked by all.  They believe it is their fault if the opposition hates them.

            Jesus’ words to His apostles stand in opposition to the postmodern mindset described above.  He warned His chosen that the world would hate them.  “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  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” (John 15:18-19).

            The world is that sphere of individuals and activities that habitually practice sin and evil.  This is the realm that is controlled by Satan and his evil cohorts.  Iniquity, corruption, violence, rebellion, and darkness are some of the words that describe this environment.  God, His Word, and His people are not part of the world.  John described the world in his first epistle.  He wrote:  “…and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (I John 5:19).

            God gave His Son on Calvary to deliver man from this present evil world (Gal. 1:4).  However, God does not force man to come out of the world.  Instead, He lovingly calls him to come out (Matt. 11:28-30) by means of the precious gospel of Christ (II Thess. 2:14).  Those who heed the call by obeying from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered them (Rom. 6:17-18) are added by the Lord to the church (Acts 2:47; I Cor. 12:13).  They become part of a group of baptized believers known as “the church,” or “the called out ones.”  God has delivered these individuals out of the power of darkness and has translated them into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13).

            As a member of the church, one is different from the world.  He no longer loves the world or the things that are in the world (I John 2:15-17).  He refuses to allow the world to mold and shape him (Rom. 12:2).  His affections are set on things above and not on things on the earth (Col. 3:1-2).  He seeks a city whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:16).  His ear is attentive to the dictates of God’s Word (Heb. 2:1-3; 12:25) and not to the enticing calls of the world.  His message to the world and his matter of living before the world causes him to shine as a beacon of light in the darkness of the world (Phil. 2:15).  A child of God has no fellowship, communion, concord, part, or agreement with the world (II Cor. 6:14-16).  He has come out from among the world and keeps himself separate from it (II Cor. 6:17). 

            Everything about the Christian put him at odds with the world.  As stated previously, he shines as a light in the black of night.  “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.  For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19-20).  Any attempt on our part to try to get the world to like us is futile.  Their thoughts, their deeds, their hopes, their aspirations, and their objects of worship oppose those of God’s children.  The moment our light exposes their darkness they will either recoil from us or attack us.

            This reality is not appreciated by some members of the church.  They work under the assumption that the world can be lured into liking us.  Not so.  The world hated our Savior, and it will hate us as well.  Therefore, instead of dimming our light in a useless attempt to gain the world’s favor, let’s turn up the light and expose the world for what it is.  Those in the world with honest and good hearts will hear and be converted (Luke 8:15).  The rest of the world will hate us and remain lost.