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9/24/14 - Your Life: Living a Christian Life in an Ungodly World

Published: Wednesday, 24 September 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

1 Peter 2:11-12

My wife and I have moved numerous times, and each time, we always sought out Christians to fellowship with.  This usually meant finding a church that was true to the gospel of Christ.  No matter where we went, we always found strong Christians, weak Christians, questionable Christians, and pagans.  It is difficult to label those without Christ in their lives.  I am using the word pagans from the verses above.  In reality, I never call someone without Christ a certain label.  They have been called “lost” which has no meaning to them, because they know where they live. They have been called sinners, but we are all sinners.  One possible way is to call them “worldly”.  This holds true because Christians are “unworldly”.

In the verses above, Peter puts a different perspective on Christians and pagans.  He describes Christians as foreigners and exiles (unworldly).  I hope this is significant to you. When you accepted Christ, you were separated from this world.  Your citizenship changed from the world to the Kingdom of God.  You now live in the Kingdom of God and are a stranger to the world.  I had to think on this for many years, because I grew up in this world, just like you, and saw and heard and participated in what this world provides.  I am now a foreigner to this world.  I strongly suggest that you think on this concept to the point that you not only believe it but also understand its ramifications.

Since you and I are no longer citizens of this world, war has been declared on how you live your life.  You cannot escape this war.  It is a battle between the values of this world and the values of the Kingdom of God.  The values of this world are centered on your flesh or your selfish desires.  The values of God’s Kingdom focus on self-sacrifice and serving others.  I hope you can see the significant difference in these two spheres of influence.  They share nothing in common.

While you continue to live in this world, you are not a part of this world.  However, the world wages war against your soul.  This is why most Christians have a difficult time applying spiritual truths to their lives.  It doesn’t seem natural to forget about self.  Yet, this is why God has given every Christian the Holy Spirit to lead and empower them to live their life guided by the values of God’s Kingdom.

When a Christian does live by God’s Kingdom, those who are pagans/unbelievers/lost/ungodly/worldly will see the significance of your self-sacrifice and praise God.  I suggest you ask the Holy Spirit to show you the significant difference between the world and God’s Kingdom.  You can read a newspaper, watch TV or a movie, have a discussion with others, and you will begin to see the huge disparity in living a Godly life and a worldly life.

I think this is an imperative for all Christians.  We must be different, because we are strangers to this world.   Worldly people need to see the hope that you have in God’s Kingdom.  It is the only true and solid hope left in this world.    

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