Monday, August 3, 2015

Not of this world BUT not above this world!

Listening to a sermon by a guest pastor helped to remind me of one of the most
intriguing concepts I had to face while transitioning from a 'check the box' to a 
real Christian: the attitude of some Christians toward this world in which we live
and reside.

It wouldn't even take a Christian to admit that there is something fundamentally
wrong and mixed up about this world. Take a quick look at the newspaper or, heaven
forbid, tune in CNN or Fox News and just listen to what topics are being discussed.
It tends to be both stupid and not real positive in nature. There is no question that
sin's entrance immediately turned things God  called,'Good!' into a whole
different place. Murder ensued, deceit, God's very first creatures hid from Him in
shame and guilt, and on it went. So no debate that we, as Christ's followers, live
in a world that Christ will return to and  completely judge, right down to the
blades of grass in our lawns.

But here's the problem with emphasizing that we are aliens, that we do not belong
here, that this place is a place we need not care about or steward, it is God's
world, and it is full of beautiful, masterful creations that sing of His essence and
creativity. To not care about this world, therefore, is to eliminate one of the major
ways that God has revealed Himself. The pastor, yesterday,mentioned
birds on an early morning walk who seem to be singing as if things are quite fine.
Secondly, it becomes easy to isolate ourselves from the very real task of reaching
out to others who are not saved in love and a desire to share the gospel message.
We can develop  a superiority stance that ensures that others will look at us as
Christians who do not emulate Christ.

The New Heaven and the New Earth, depending on ones interpretation of
Revelation, seem to be located 'right here on this planet,' having descended
from above into a world that has been cauterized into purity. So this planet,
both beautiful and messed up, will be the home of all who live with God
as His adopted sons and daughters. This world. That's right, this world. 

We may be aliens in relation to the workings of sin that have changed
things, but we are hardly aliens to the creative genius and love God expressed
when he spoke things into creation.

Be a steward. Care about this world. Value this world. Through love and
respect, do what you can to worship God's magnificent work.

Praise our God!