Strangers and Pilgrims. It seems as if people do …

Strangers and Pilgrims.

It seems as if people do not seriously follow what Jesus commands. If people who call themselves “Christian” really followed what he taught, they would be living a lot different than they do now. Jesus was radical. Radical because he taught the words which when followed would cause one to be completely different from the world they lived in. Those who follow Jesus’ teachings should in fact look strange compared to those they live among. The Messiah taught about selling what you have so you could give to those who didn’t have. He told his disciples to love their enemies apart from their conditions. Jesus told them to go into the world and preach the news of his Father’s coming Kingdom. He expected that those who followed after him would stick out in this world as he did. Why isn’t this happening?

“Christians” are fitting in just fine to the world – thinking that by intermingling with the world the world will be more like them.

“Christians” are gaining more wealth while their poor and suffering brothers struggle – thinking that it is God who has blessed them with their wealth and those without it must be doing something wrong.

“Christians” are leading their nations at war, are encouraging others to sign up and are violent and angry – thinking that their nations are Godly nations, wars are just, and meekness is a sign of weakness.

When I think of the idea of a stranger or pilgrim outside of the Biblical idea, I think of one who is different from the people they are living among. I think of someone who speaks a different language. I think of someone who has customs and traditions that are uncommon from their neighbors. They live in their new land but are identified with the land which they came from or were returning to.

Why when these ideas and words are translated into Christianity so few think they are what God has in mind for His people awaiting the Kingdom?

Instead of speaking the language of the Gospel of the Kingdom, few are even speaking and others have tried to change the message to make it “relevant.” Instead of following the words of Jesus and living in light of his return, changes are made to soften the hardness of his words and their implications. Instead of being identified as a citizen in waiting and a king in training, compromises are made in order to look like everyone else.

Jesus’ words are designed to prepare his people for his return. For most, the return of the Messiah to the earth will be a terrible event. Those in power will be overthrown. Those in authority will be made subject. Those who have rejected him will be rejected by him. The servants and the children will be exalted to rule the world with the King of the world. Jesus’ commands are intended by him to ensure those who will follow them entrance into the gates of the city. The implications of disobedience, self-promotion, and pride are alarming.

That is why the words of the Christ are the words of life. When adhered to they transform the doer from being a part of this age to a person living for the next. They were specifically given by the master who knows what characteristics he wants in his everlasting Kingdom. His commandments are good and right and life-giving.

So why change them? Why not follow them as he intended? Is the fear of being looked at as different or foolish in this age bigger than shame and everlasting contempt in your mind? You choose which age you belong to by following the commands of the leader of either one. You will fit in well to the age you belong.

Look around you.
Do people speak evil of you…
Do people insult you…
Do people hate you…
Do people ostracize you…
Do people curse you…
Do people mock you…
Do people put you down…
Do people exclude you…

Because you are his follower?
Good.

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