Something to think about.
In This World Part One
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
We have heard it said, we Christians should be in the world but not of the world. This is an abbreviated quote of the verses above. They are paraphrasing what Jesus said “they are not of the world,” referring to Christians, Jesus is saying we belong to a different realm of existence.
I would like to focus on the lesser know verse 15. Here Jesus is praying, God do not remove them but protect them. We the body of believers have taken the “not of this world” to far. I noticed as I have become heavily involved in my church that I continually hangout and associated with people from the church. Which because of my involvement is a natural byproduct of how I spend my time. In a sense, I am living “not of this world.” Which caused me to re-examine this verse and its intention.
As you become more involved in an activity, you tend to associate with others that are also involved in the same activity. If you like alcohol, you tend to associate with others that like alcohol. If you like running, you tend to associate with other runners. How does your, or my involvement in church activities accomplish being in the world but “not of the world?”
Your involvement in the church does not remove you from the responsibility of the “great commission.” Good works do not exempt you from “why”you are still here. We are to be in the world. Jesus prayed that we remain here not that we be removed. He prays for our protection, not for our exclusion. What Jesus is saying to us is we are to be in contact with the world because if we are not, how can we share the Gospel. We are to be the mouthpiece of God, not the silent political irritant that we have become. Jesus prays for our protection. Why would he pray for our protection if all we do is associate with other like-minded individuals? The only reason for protection is if you are an irritant to someone. If we only associate with each other, then the evil one would have no reason to disturb us. He would leave us to our own interest. As long as we don’t step outside of our boundaries, we would be safe. As long as we remain within the confines of our religious activity do we even need this verse? If all we do is minister to people within the church are we really doing anything?
We must interact with the world. It will be messy. We must shake off the comfort of complacency. We need to be in the world.