In It But Not Of It


I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do.

~John 17:15-16, NLT


It is one thing for the boat to be in the water and another for the water to be in the boat. The church is in the world but how much world do we have in the church?


The Children of Israel are Christians in type. In the O.T., they were God’s children. They found themselves in bondage more than once but in this blog, I am referring to what we call the Babylonian captivity. Although some choose not to return to the homeland, the captivity itself last 70 years and those who wanted to were free to leave Babylon. Among the first captives was Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, or as brother Mike Dawson use to say, your shack, my shack and a bungalow. The point is: they were aliens living in a foreign land in the midst of a hostile culture. They were believers living under the rule of pagans. Like Abraham, we are strangers, aliens, foreigners in relationship to this world. They do not speak our language. They do not love what we love. Matter of fact, they hate what we love and love what we hate. This creates tension and the Hebrew boys felt the tension.

How did they respond? Well, they were obedient to a point but when this pagan culture tried to force them to renounce their faith, they refused to honor the wishes of the pagan king. He insisted that they bow to him and they refused to bow. These boys wrote the book of civil disobedience. When you defy a king, you must be ready to suffer and even die for what you believe. They were ready and willing: my question is–are we? As Americans, we have never faced this situation before. We have had more religious freedom than any culture on earth but a pharaoh has arisen that does not know Joseph {code for Jesus}. Our faith is about to be tested. Of course the story of the Hebrew boys is one of our favorites because God did a miracle and saved them from the furnace. Will He save us? I don’t know just as they didn’t know what God was going to do for them. They said, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

This pagan culture lost its grip on these boys. The experience deepened their faith. It was pretty deep to begin with but after the furnace, they were unstoppable.

Sorry guys, I overslept big time. Came in from Church last night and sat down at my puzzle table and lost all track of time. I am working on a blog for Jason but don’t have it ready. Let me go ahead and tell a couple of things you need to do. There is an old Hallmark movie made for TV, APRIL MORNING. Tommy Lee Jones plays the lead. It is about Lexington and Concord and the shot heard around the world. You need to see this film before they take it down. I found it on YouTube. Secondly, YOU NEED TO JOIN the National Rifle Association. It is the largest gun rights lobby group in America and the first group the left will try to destroy. If they are successful in destroying NRA, they will be after our firearms shortly after. Join today! If we can get 100,000,000 members, it will be hard for them. Plus they need our money to fight the upcoming court battles. Biden has given his word that it will be shut down.

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