Something to think about.
In The World Part Two
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. John 17:14-15
“You should keep them from the evil, this is an interesting statement or request. Jesus is asking God to protect us. To keep us from being defeated by the devil. You have to ask yourself why He would make such a request? Why do we need to be protected?
He is asking out of experience. He was hated, abused, ridiculed and had experienced the hate we would know. The reason he makes this request is that he knows if we follow him we will suffer. He knows that the world will reject us as they rejected him. So he asked for our protection, not that we will be protected to the point where we are unaffected. He asked that we are protected while we’re being hated and ostracized. Jesus was hated because he challenged the status quo. He introduced a new covenant. And he asks us his followers to maintain the same Covenant. By doing so, he became an irritant to the powers-that-be. If we are to follow him and do what he did, we will be hated and opposed as he was.
If you are a Christian, you will be an irritant because you are in opposition to the status quo. We want to be accepted. We want our beliefs and our actions to be received by society without conflict. We want everything that we do to be recognized and welcomed. But we forget how we were before we became Christians. We were anti-Jesus Christ. We had no interest in Christian values, faith, belief or authority. We were self-centered and only interested in our own desires. We believed we were entitled to do whatever we chose.
We would like Christianity to be a very neat conflict-free existence where we could live peaceably, favorably and orderly. The peace, favor, and order we receive comes from God. It is foolish for us to think that we will have peace in this world. We are at odds with this world. We are at odds with sin. Our opposition to sin puts us at odds with society. We must realize that though we are in the world, we don’t belong to this world. As such we will always be in opposition to the secular world. That is why Jesus Christ prayed that we would be protected. Because we will always be in conflict with the world.
Though he was rejected, hated abused and humiliated He overcame the world. Through His victory, we will also overcome the world. As joint heirs with Jesus Christ we have the assurance of our resurrection through Him.