“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified” (John 17:14-19).
Not “of” the world but “in” it. “Sent” and “sanctified.” Although we are not of the world, we can handle being in it because we have already been sanctified, set apart. Because we are not of the world, the world hates us. Jesus prayed that the Father would protect us from the evil one, and we are to also pray that He would “deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13).
We have a problem. We do not want to be hated by the world. How do we prevent it? Easy: compromise.
*Excerpted from Being Christian. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.