Billy's Blog
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June 29, 2016, 9:49 AM

Not Of This World

Our country has been fascinated by aliens for a long time. I'm sure you've heard of Area 51. It is a remote attachment of Edwards Air Force Base in Nevada located about 80 northwest of Las Vegas. Because of the secrecy of the base and its documents that are classified there are many conspiracy theories about what happens there including UFO sightings and alien activity. We are really fascinated about things that may be not of this planet. 

One of the difficult things about being a Christian is that Jesus said that his disciples are "not of the world." (John 17:14) This is difficult because this is the world we live in. We breathe the same oxygen everybody breathes, we have the same physical needs everyone does (clothes, food, shelter), we need jobs and money just like everyone else, we get married and have families just like everyone else, we have many of the same goals and dreams...but...we are not of this world. 

Jesus clarifies in John 17:15 when he says, "My prayer is not that you take them out of this world, but that you protect them from the evil one." In other words this is our home for now. We look like everyone else. We go to work like everyone else. We live in houses that look just like our neighbors, especially if you live in a suburban housing development. But when Jesus said you are not of this world it's a little like being an alien. Obviously we are not running around in little Martian man outfits, but Christians don't quite fit into the world. 

It's not about clothes or houses or jobs or any of this outward stuff, but it's about values, principles, beliefs and things like this. If you feel as if you don't quite fit in at your job or in your neighborhood it might be because you are truly following Christ. 

YOU MIGHT BE A LITTLE CRAZY

The great theologian, Billy Joel, said in one of his songs, "Well, it just might be a lunatic you're looking for." Paul said it like this in 2 Corinthians 5:13a, "If we are out of our mind, as some say, it is for God..." Some people may think you are crazy for how you live your life. If a young person decides to not have sex before they are married, because they are trying to be obedient to God, they are crazy. Why would anyone do this? You do this because you are in this world, but you are not OF this world. You are a spiritual alien. 

YOU MIGHT BE A LITTLE WEIRD

In 1 Peter 2:9 the King James Version says that we are a peculiar people. This word in English is usually understood as being weird or odd. Peculiar here is a lot like the word, holy. You are chosen, you are set apart, you are called to something specific, which is serving God and following Christ. This might make you a little weird in our world. You may have a set of values that make you a little strange. Remember that you are a spiritual alien in an evil world. 

YOU MIGHT NOT BE LIKED BY EVERYONE

This one really bothers people. We get the idea from somewhere that if we are nice and good people that everyone will like us. WRONG ANSWER! Jesus said that brother will betray brother and that we would be hated because he was hated. If they can find reasons to hate Jesus what chance do you think we have? Your values, beliefs, and convictions as a Christian will rub some people the wrong way. You will be called insensitive, a bigot, judgemental, hateful, phobic, and many more that I can't really repeat on a church website. 

In all of my years of teaching students especially in junior high and high school and even college, a consistent theme I've taught them is to do your thing and move on. You have to do what you know is right and move on. You want to be liked by everyone, who doesn't, but it's just not possible. You don't want to be weird, but some people will think you're weird. You don't want to be considered a freak or crazy, but some will think that no matter what you do. We had an amazing message from an amazing man last week at church. He's doing amazing things in the US and in Africa. He's beloved by many Christians and non-Christians alike. He's a former college basketball star. But much of his family thinks he's in a cult, and don't even want to hear about his church stuff. 

You do your thing. You live your life in obedience to God, love people, and just do the best you can. Remember, you are not of this world, so sometimes this world just won't get you!


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