The Christian in The World

While the world population was estimated at 6.9 billion [1] in 2010, the number of Protestant Christians in the same year was only 11%. Today, the UN estimates about 7.7 billion people living the world; a figure that has steadily increased for decades, even with the decline in the rate of growth of the world population in recent years.

The statistics above reveal two great truths about Christians in the world: Christians are numerically a minority compared to non-Christians; “The harvest is great, but there are few laborers,” as Jesus said in Luke 10:2.

However, beyond statistics, it is important to emphasize that being a Christian is not simply a question of going to church every Sunday or simply declaring oneself as such. To be a Christian is rather to be transformed by the Word of God revealed in His Son Jesus Christ; it is to renounce the values ​​cultivated in this world to conform to the Word of God; it is to have the mind of Christ Jesus (see Philippians 2:5). Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Preserving the Christian identity
It must be recognized that the Christian identity lies in the conformity of the believer to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It must be admitted that the influence of the world does not cease to oppose this identity. Many Christians give in to the influence of the world by adopting values ​​contrary to those ordained by God. In Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul exhorts the Christians of Rome not to conform to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of their mind, in order to discern the will of God.

The Christian must therefore be careful not to compromise his place in the Kingdom of God by developing passion for the futile things of the world. In 1 John 2:15, the Bible says, “Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world: if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

In other words:
When the world becomes greedy and advocates selfishness, the Christian must apply himself to selflessness;
When the world rages war, the Christian must seek peace;
When the world despises the weak, the Christian must give them their hand;
When the world is indulged in debauchery, the Christian must remain sober minded;
When the world adopts injustice, the Christian must preach justice;
When the world propagates hatred, the Christian must spread love.

The list of diverging points between the Christian and the world goes on and on such that we wouldn’t be able to list it here. It is fitting for every Christian to ask God for the renewing of their mind in order to discern and repel the vices of the world which are opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, it is important to remember that the Christian is called to live in the world until the return of Christ. In high priestly prayer for his disciples, Jesus himself said, “I do not ask you to remove them from the world, but to preserve them from evil” (see John 17:15). May I hasten to say that this passage reveals that the life of consecration of the Christian does not mean that he must stop living in the world. It certainly doesn’t mean Christians must not work, shouldn’t start a family or a business, can’t  go on vacation, can’t buy a house, just to name a few. On the contrary, the Christian is to live in the world but preserved by God from evil. Moreover, the christian is to be the salt and light of the world (see Matthew 5:13-16); he has the duty to be a model of integrity and excellence in all that he undertakes; without embarking on an unbridled race after the futile things likely to divert his heart from the Word of God.

Finally, let us take again this warning, from the profound inspired thoughts, that the apostle Paul addressed to the Romans in verses 1 and 2 of chapter 12 of this epistle: “I exhort you therefore, brothers, by the compassion of God to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which will be your reasonable worship on your part. Do not conform to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you discern which is the will of God, which is good, pleasing, and perfect “(see Romans 12:1-2).


[Version française: “Le Chrétien dans le Monde“]

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