Not of, But Definitely Sent

When I was in college, I successfully buried myself in a “Christian bubble.” My interaction with those who didn’t know the Lord was kept at a minimum – only when required. I knew God had a heart for the lost, and I practiced evangelism on campus, but the vast majority of my time was spent with people who believed exactly what I believed.

Coming out of college into the work world, my bubble burst. Suddenly, “the lost” were all around me, and I didn’t know how to interact with them. My mantra became “in the world, not of the world,” and I would repeat it to myself often. I felt like the good kid who accidentally got sent to detention: I just had to wait it out till the bell rang. If I didn’t interact with the other kids who actually deserved detention, maybe I wouldn’t be tainted. And yet, I knew I was missing something.

My mindset changed when I actually looked up the passage I had quoted so often. I thought it was in John 17, Jesus’ high priestly prayer, but it turns out that the phrase “in the world but not of the world” does not occur anywhere in the Bible. Jesus says something similar in John 17, but he means something drastically different. We are, in effect, “not of the world but sent into the world” (verses 16-18). Jesus didn’t leave me in this world by accident, as though I had missed the last bus and would have to wait till morning. He knows I don’t belong to this world, but I definitely belong in it – He’s sending me in as an ambassador. He’s sending all His people into every part of the world to make disciples, to see the lost come to know the One who loves them so dearly.

Jesus has sent you. Are you going?

Resources

Want more? Serge recommends the following books:

Talk: Sharing the Gospel through Listening, Learning, Loving and Laughing with the People Around Us Every Day by Dean Storelli

God Space: Where Spiritual Conversations Happen Naturally by Doug Polluck