"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God....These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:10, 13-16
One of the more prevalent falsehoods in Christianity today is that Christians should be a "nice" people working to make the world a "nice" place. How do we do that? By preaching how God loves all people no matter their beliefs or lifestyles. By downplaying the word of God so that we do not make people feel uncomfortable or estranged from God in talking about sin. Present day Christianity would have the Christian striving to "be nice", "act nice", and "make nice" with the world. Yet, this message is in direct conflict with the Scriptures.
Back in the day, you would often hear Christians say, "This world is not my home." This statement was an acknowledgement that we are ambassadors in the earth (II Corinthians 5:20). That means our citizenship (identity, duties, authority, etc.) comes from above, and not here below.
ambassador: a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representativeWe are to be representatives of God - having been first equipped, empowered, and sent by Him - to those here in the earth.
Consider the text above in Hebrews Chapter 11. The cloud of witnesses who went on before us had something in common: they were seeking a city not of this world. They recognized that citizenship in this Heavenly place meant that they no longer belonged to this world, but were strangers to it. Not only does faith in Jesus Christ prevent us from fitting into this world, but it is precisely this "not fitting in" which makes it possible for us to represent Him!
The Scriptures make it plain; it is either one or the other. Either we belong to this world or we belong to Christ (James 4:4). Notice as well that if our minds continue to dwell on the world, we may very well find an opportunity to go back to that vomit (II Peter 2:22).
We are to be a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people (I Peter 2:9). We are to appear as an alien nation to those still in love with the world. Not because we are trying to be different or withdrawn, but because we have within us a supernatural life that is not from this world. It is a life which is alien to this world...and as a result, so are we.
alien: a resident born in or belonging to another country who has not acquired citizenship by naturalizationPeople speak of aliens coming to earth, and it is true that the nephilim spoken of in Genesis Chapter 6 are often the spiritual reality behind these claims. However, we will never fulfill the purposes of God in our lives until we grasp that we too are "aliens" to this world. We are not "by nature" citizens of the world. We have been given a new nature in Christ Jesus which makes of citizens of Heaven, even while we are still walking around down here in the earth. Our home is in the Heavenlies and we have been born again with a life that is out of this world.
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ." II Corinthians 2:14-17
Christians don't have to try to "act" like anyone or anything. Simply forsake one life (soulish) and you will find the other (spiritual) (Matthew 16:25). The very life we possess makes us different from those in the world and they can sniff us out apart from any fleshly effort on our end. We don't have to try and be a Christian or try to show love; simply crucify that old man and the life of Christ will pour out from you all by itself. It will be a sweet savor imparting life to those who yearn for the Lord, while being the smell of death to those who are perishing. What kind of death? Death to this world.
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Galatians 6:14
This world not being our home is not something we simply reminisce upon when folks die, but this is how we are supposed to live every day. It is the normal existence of a Christian to be ostracized by those in the world (John 17:14-16). Yet most people do not want to be looked upon as different from the world. They are unable to stand for what is right when the masses are going for what is wrong. They don't want to be seen as an "alien nation" because they don't want to experience alienation.
alienation: the state of being withdrawn or isolated from the objective world, as through indifference or disaffection."If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." John 15:18-20
Jesus makes it plain: we are not of the world and should expect to be rejected by the world. We must cone to terms with this and stop trying to downplay the difference between life in Christ and life in the world. And if we find no such disparity with the world, then it is the evidence that the life of Christ is not yet birthed within us.
When we try to fit in and get along with the world, we are quenching the Holy Spirit's work and denying the life of Christ within us. Why resist being sanctified in the inner man so that the other-worldly life of Jesus Christ can be manifested? That is the only hope of the world (Colossians 1:27). Why would God have us exerting so much time & effort trying to make this world a "nice place" to live when He is going to burn it all and fold it up as a vesture (Hebrews 1:10-12; II Peter 3:10-13)? Why invest so much in that which is temporal and passing away? Why struggle to be accepted by the world - and thereby the god of this world - when the Lord & Creator of all has made us accepted in the Beloved?
Do we really receive that this world is not our home? Where do we spend the bulk of our resources: time, money, attention, thoughts, effort? Is it with the work of the Lord in mind or to build up some earthly kingdom for ourselves down here? It is only as we esteem the life God has given us to be worth more than anything this world could offer that He is not ashamed to be called our God.
Think it not strange to be considered different, set apart, peculiar or alien to this world. Rather embrace the promises of God and confess that you are strangers here, knowing that a better place has been prepared for you. Understand that you are not here to make of yourself a home, but to lay down your life so that others may join you in the place prepared for us by the Father. Let your mind be set on being but pilgrims & wanderers in this land, working not to store up riches here, but to everlasting life. Give yourself wholly to the Lord and His Kingdom for which you are ambassadors.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21