Lesson 13: Christians In The World
As a Christian, How Do I Relate to the Unsaved World?
The Bible is very clear that the present world system is contrary to God's eternal purpose. The Word of God commands His children to be separate from this world system; yet at the same time, to reach lost men and women who live in it for Jesus Christ.
This lesson is designed to show Christians how to live a balanced and consistent life in order to influence people for the Lord Jesus Christ, without the world influencing them for evil.
You Must Realize That if You Live for Jesus Christ, You Will Encounter Opposition from the World
- You will be opposed because Jesus Christ was opposed (John 15:18-21).
- You will be opposed only if you live for Him. If you go along with the world, they will not oppose you (2 Timothy 3:12).
What Area Will This Opposition Come From?
- Your primary opposition will come from those closest to you who know you best-friends, family, fellow workers, acquaintances (Matthew 10:35-36; John 1:11; Mark 6:4).
- From unsaved people in general. The two spiritual families have gotten along and never will (Galatians 4:29).
- From society in general. The opposition is communicated subtly through the media (literature, television, radio, etc.). You must judge those things by the Word of God (1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4).
- Of course, the master mind behind this opposition is Satan.
- He is your adversary (1 Peter 5:8).
- He is currently at work in unsaved people (Ephesians 2:2).
How Can I Overcome This Opposition?
- Give a soft answer. Avoid fights whenever possible (Proverbs 15:1; Romans 12:18).
- Please God with your life (Proverbs 16:7).
- Have faith in God (1 John 5:4-5).
- Love your enemies and help them. Jesus Christ loved His enemies enough to die for them when He didn't have to. The world cannot understand this type of love, and those who are seeking the truth will be drawn to it (Romans 12:14, 20-21).
- Pray for your enemies, and pray with pure motives (Matthew 5:44).
- Keep good company. associate with people who love God and want to serve Him (Proverbs 13:20; 1 Corinthians 15:33).
- Immerse yourself in the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2).
How Should the Unsaved World View Me as a Christian?
- They should know you love God - not by your mouth as much as by your life (1 Corinthians 8:3).
- Your lifestyle should separate you form the world, and your behavior should be different to them (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 1 Peter 2:9).
- However, you should not be so different that you lose influence (1 Corinthians 9:22).
- They should see you as being open and honest in all matters (2 Corinthians 8:21; Romans 12:17).
- They should see a living testimony of the grace of God (Philippians 2:14-15).
- Generally, you should be of "good report" (1 Timothy 3:7; Colossians 4:5-6).
How Should I View the World?
- You are a pilgrim in a strange land (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11).
- Your home is in Heaven (Ephesians 2:6; Philippians 3:20).
- This world is a "mission field" to reach the lost for Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20).
What Are My Responsibilities to My Government?
- Government is one of three institutions ordained by God, the other two being the Family and the Church. All governments are controlled by Satan (Luke 4:5-6) and, therefore, are essentially against God. However, you are still to submit to the ordinance of God (Romans 13:1-2).
- If you do what is right, you have no reason to fear. God will honor you for doing right (Romans 13:3-5).
- Render to the government what is due by law (Romans 13:6-7; Matthew 17:24; 22:15-22).
- Submit to their ordinances (1 Peter 2:13-15).
- Honor those in authority, even the wicked, without partaking of their wickedness. Commit any adverse situations to God and let Him handle them (1 Peter 2:17-23 - When Peter wrote those words. Nero was king, perhaps the most wicked king Rome ever had).
- Realize that you cannot legislate morals or change mankind through political action. Man is by nature fallen and sinful and must be changed individually, from the inside out, through a personal saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 2:14).
Key Memory Verses
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12).
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 John 2:15-16).
"But if any man love God, the same is known of him" (1 Corinthians 8:3).
Some popular attitudes among Christians are:
- Christians are to be totally separate from unsaved people.
- I should do anything to keep people from being upset with me.
- The best way to fight opposition is with an aggressive approach.
From the Bible principles taught in this lesson, you should understand that these teachings are false, and why.