The church is at war. A fierce battle with the greatest stake of all time on the line. The eternity of billions and billions souls are at risk. Look around. The evidence of the Great War is surely there. Hurt. Pain. Hunger. Loss. Evil. Yet, the church has found itself fighting the wrong enemy. The church often ends up in a battle with the same people they are attempting to save.
How do you view the church in relation to the world? I’ve heard it described from the pulpit as a stronghold, a fort, training grounds for the warriors in their struggle… If the church is ever meant to be these things, it is by no means meant to be against the world! It is against Satan.
The world is not the enemy of the church. It is her mission, her calling, and her harvest. But somehow we have found ourselves fighting that same harvest! We scoff at it, avoid it, condemn it, and train ourselves against the world’s ideologies hoping to keep ourselves from it. Perhaps we think that the world will follow us when they realize how wrong they are. Perhaps once they realize the foolishness of their ways they’ll see how right open are. Yet Satan wins when we think this way. Satan wins as we fight the world, pushing them closer to him. His goal is to see the world lost, condemned in darkness. He has fooled us as we fight the world more than him. The church is the hospital to the world, encouraging them to come to the altar.
But the world is dangerous! The world hates us! The world mocks us and wants to see our end! That is the point! The world crucified Christ. Christ didn’t live his life in fear of the world. Ever. He strode into the very places where his life was threatened, to the point that his closest friends and disciples believed they would follow Him to His death. Christ didn’t shy away from the world, and didn’t fight against them. Whenever you see Jesus responding in frustration or anger in the Gospel, it is against those who claim to be religious followers of Yahweh, who were living in sin? Jesus didn’t try to come in and convince the sinful, evil world that they were wrong. He went to them, sat with them, and let His manner of Life prove it.
Don’t live in fear of the world. Live life with a heart for the brokenness and hopelessness that exists therein without Christ. We must stop attacking the world if we are to ever lead them to the truth and hope that we ourselves found through grace. Did you know that we aren’t instructed to “defend our faith” in Scripture? That phrase has been poorly drawn from 1 Peter 3:15 which actually states “give an answer for the hope that is in you.” Our actions must speak louder than our words, our love louder than scorn. Yes it’s dangerous. Yes the world wants to see our demise. Thats why they are the mission. Remember 1 Peter 3:15? Right before that verse, Peter write “even if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled.” Our lives are meant to be a testimony screaming truth that necessitates questions from the minds of unbelievers. Primarily: “how do they have hope?” Not “how come they’re always right?” Or “why don’t things make sense?”
Let us go into the world, bearing the message of Christ, proclaiming truth but more importantly living it. Our lives are a living testimony. A testimony of Christ’s love to a world looking for Hope.