Jesus referred to His disciples as “in the world” in John 17:11, yet in the same chapter and verse 6, Jesus also referred to them as “not of the world.” As a result of our proximity to planet earth, we can be fairly certain we are “in the world” but if we are Jesus’ followers we need to realize that we likewise are not “of the world.”
In references to God’s people in both Old and New Testaments we see them referred to as “called out.” You may wonder “called out” from what? The answer to that is “the world.” We, who have elected the Christian walk of life, have chosen to walk in a way described by Paul in Colossians 2:20-2. We “have died to the elemental things of this world” and of things that appear wise that are of no value.
In Colossians 3:1-3, Paul says “If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Now ask yourself this question. Are the things of this life the primary focus of your life? Is your primary concern for your future here or in the hereafter? Friends, the things we have here are temporary. Our possessions will be gone eventually, or we will be gone before them. One way or the other, they are temporary. What happens after we’re gone however is eternal. Doesn’t it make sense that we should be “in the world” but not “of the world?”
Copyright © 2002, Nolan P. Rutter