How Big is Your World?

Encouragement for Your Heart & Mind from Pastor David Staff

Philippians 3:20-21
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it
we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will transform our lowly body to be like
His glorious body, by the power that enables Him
even to subject all things to Himself.
Just about every generation of humans arrives at a point where heads are shaking and hearts are lamenting.  “Our world is a mess.”   Unless you stick your head in the sand to remain oblivious to the world around you, the evidence before us is compelling.  Any newspaper or news cast gives ample testimony.  The one I read on most days offered these headlines:

DOJ cites Pattern of Police Abuse--Job Openings Declined, Lay-offs Increasing—Another Rail Mishap—Georgian Protesters Clash with Police—U.S. China Relations Fray as Xi Ramps Rhetoric—U.S. Grand Chess Master Sexually Assaults U.S. Women’s Champion, Others—Oklahoma Votes on Recreational Marijuana—Families Skip School for Disney Trips…and on it goes.

No.  We’re not simply “being negative.”  On many days, we can choose to say that our “glass is half-full, not half-empty.”

But Christians understand, better than most I’d argue, what kind of world we are living in.  It is small, and it is badly broken.  And, it won’t get better by simply staying-the-course.

Prompted by God’s Spirit, Paul said it:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  For people will be lovers of self, loves of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth…while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  [Titus 3:1-4,7,13]

If this is the only world in your future, your future is dim.


In his book, On Christian Truth, Harry Blamires says it well:

To become a Christian is to accept an extra dimension to life.  From the Christian’s point of view the notable thing about the unbeliever’s life is how much smaller it is.  The unbeliever is imprisoned in a decaying universe.

Imagine you took a child to the theater to see some tragedy like, say, Hamlet, at the end of which the stage is littered with corpses.  And suppose you ad difficulty comforting the child afterward, so distressed was he at the spectacle of the deaths.  “But the man who played Hamlet is not really dead,” you explain.  “He is an actor.  He also lives a life outside the theater.  He has a wife and family, and far from being dead, he is probably now at home with them enjoying a late supper.”

IF there is one word the Christian secretly wants to use to describe the unbeliever’s outlook, it is literal…like the child who takes the play for reality.

Our citizenship is in heaven.
Our wait is for a Savior, the risen, living Lord Jesus Christ.
Our hope is in complete transformation (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, Romans 8:18-21).

If you have friends who are reading only the paper…well, offer them Philippians 3:20-21.  They too could step into a larger and hopeful world.
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