Belonging To Christ

In John chapter 15, Jesus spends a lot of time encouraging His Disciples so that they will love each other, and remain in His love. In vs-18, Jesus says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first..." Think for a moment, why the world hated Jesus? One of the reasons was that He taught that they must change the way they lived, and no longer live like the world if they were to be pleasing in the sight of God. In vs-19, Christ says, "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world."

Part of being chosen means we will suffer at the hands of the world, maybe they will not kill us or physically harm us, but for certain they will persecute us for our belief alone. Even if we pose no earthly threat to them, our message of repentance and submission to Christ threatens their way of life simply because it calls their sin into the open. At one time, all of us had our sin called into the open, and we either kept sinning, or made a positive change in choosing Christ.

Jesus, as chapter 16 opens, says, "All this I have told you so that you will not fall away..." Jesus knew and continues to know today that persecution is hard, and some give in to the pressures, and return to their old ways. Jesus told His Disciples, and us through their writings, that He is warning us so we will be prepared, and keep the Faith.

There will be a day of reckoning for those in the world who choose the world over God, and on that day He will separate the saints from the sinners, as scripture clearly teaches. But what about the here and now? Back to Jesus's conversation with His Disciples, He tells them that He must go away (back to Heaven) so that He can send the Advocate or the Helper. This is the Holy Spirit He is talking about, that Spirit that He sent, that lives inside everyone who belongs to Christ.

Let's see what He (The Spirit) will do now, while we still walk this earth. vs-8-11, "When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned." No matter what persecution the world may hurl at us, they are wrong, as they are about what sin is, and what is truly righteous. They are wrong in their belief about judgment, and about Satan, who stands condemned already.

Many will stand condemned on the Judgment Day. Unlike Satan though, as long as they are alive on this earth, an opportunity remains for them to repent and change that outcome. We can take heart because through Christ and the Holy Spirit, righteousness prevails now, in our lifetime. We don't have to wait for it. The world may not listen or believe, but that doesn't alter the facts. We should encourage each other, as Jesus was encouraging His Disciples with this knowledge. Praise be to God!