Too Good for the World

Hebrews 11:38   (KJV)   38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

hebrews-11-38-too-good-for-this-world

Believers who are persecuted and whose very lives are threatened that they have to lose their homes, leave their communities, and forced to leave life’s comforts willingly undergo such experiences not because they are not worthy of this world—that they are below the world’s standards. The converse is true; it’s the world that’s not worthy of them. That’s why they would rather suffer than compromise with the world.

There is the world; there is us. Our precious Lord Jesus makes it clear: there is no “unequally-yoked” marriage between the two. The world utterly hates us because we love our Lord. The world hated our Master; much more so will it hate His followers. No sweat. We’re not missing out on anything. We’ve been blessed with everything we need for life and godliness; our super-gracious heavenly Father gives us everything for our enjoyment.

Others can’t comprehend this. We live in ironies—or do we? Whatever we give up for our Lord, He returns to us—thirty, sixty, hundredfold, and with them, suffering. We have nothing, but we have everything. We live by faith in God that can move mountains, shut the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire, bring people back from the dead; it’s by that same faith in our God that we are tortured, cruelly mocked, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, sawed, struck with the sword, beheaded, displaced, became fugitives. Ah, these are ironic in the world’s perception, but not with eyes of faith. We count all our earthly experiences for our Lord Jesus as honor and privilege; we see them working altogether for His sovereign purpose and for our best; we also see beyond all this bodily experiences–we see the glory awaiting. That’s why we don’t turn back.

 

Knowledgeable Zeal

Acts 14:19  (KJV)   19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

They were stoned!!! This is crazy. Just prior to the arrival of the antagonists, the people were worshiping Paul and Barnabas as “gods.” Totally wrong. The apostles tried really hard to stop them, and explained to them Who the True God is; they were trying to educate them to truth, but they were persistent. They were full of zeal, but without knowledge. As quickly as them concluding that the apostles were divine, they also quickly changed their minds; persuasive words from the enemies caused them to join in and stone the apostle Paul. Forget about the amazing visible miracles, compelling words turned them away – just like that.

Zeal without knowledge is dangerous; it could lead to a lot of errors. It could harm us and hurt a lot of people. Zeal is good, but not without knowledge. Knowledge is good, but not without zeal. Both have to be present. We have to know the truth. And we have to have absolute truths as our non-negotiable foundation for our convictions. Without it, we will just be like directionless waves, tossed every which way by every wind of human opinion. And as we can easily notice, there’s a lot of opposing opinions. This is why we get a barrage of attacks. So many people today are very zealous – so passionate about their beliefs. They’re full convinced that they’re helping others – even saving them from dangerous people by presenting us as uneducated simpletons who are out to stall and hurt humanity’s progress. Why believe a three thousand year old archaic writings? For them it doesn’t make sense. They conclude that what we believe are irrelevant to our generation. They can’t explain why of course except for the fact that it contradicts their own beliefs, opinions and lifestyles. They’re passionate, but without any knowledge. Or, if they have knowledge, it’s not based on an authoritative source or foundation. We can expect continuing attacks. But let’s hold on. As the old saying goes “Truth will always prevail,” and may I add: In His time.

Dear God and Father, our one true God, the Truth, our Protector, may we live with zeal and knowledge. Please give us the wisdom to march forward unflinchingly with the Truth. Please give us the wisdom to be ready always to give an answer to every man who asks us why we believe what we believe. Please give us the courage to stand our unshakable foundation in the presence of a very antagonistic world. Please lead our steps to those whose hearts are ready to listen, understand, believe, persevere and grow with us.