The storyline of the Bible is more epic and dramatic than any Hollywood film. God is without beginning or end and the Creator of everyone and everything. God made spirit beings called angels to be His messengers and ministers. Tragically, like a military coup, one of the highest-ranking angels declared war against God and a third of the angels joined in the rebellion. The holy angels won and kept the Kingdom of Heaven. The unholy angels who lost are now demons and were cast down to the earth.
The battle between God and the demonic then continued in the Garden of Eden. Tragically, our first parents Adam and Eve chose to align with Satan rather than with God and joined the demons in rebellion. To save us from sin and ourselves, Jesus entered into human history to defeat the devil and establish the Kingdom in the world.
In His longest prayer (John 17), Jesus stops to prepare Himself for the battle that was coming any hour at the cross. Satan had already filled Judas, and was using him to betray Jesus. In His 26-verse prayer, Jesus warns us about the “world” 18 times. If someone tells you something 18 times, then you know it is important. In the Bible, the world is demonic culture. Culture comes from one of two places. One, it comes down from the Kingdom of Heaven. Two, it comes up from hell. The world is culture that comes up from hell instead of down from heaven. From pride to perversion, bitterness to bribery, and abandonment to abuse, the world is filled with the culture of hell. As citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, God’s people are to invite heaven down and not pull hell up through the values we hold, decisions we make, and morality we choose. Here’s just a few things that Jesus’ prayer says about the world
Jesus saves people out of the world
John 17:6 – “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world.”
Jesus is against the world
John 17:9 – “I am not praying for the world”
Jesus promised war in the world
John 17:11 – “they are in the world”
John 17:14 – “the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world”
Jesus said our mission is in the world
John 17:15-19 – “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
Practically speaking, this means that while the world is not our home, it is our mission field. Jesus does not love the world, but he loves the people in the world the same way that a soldier hates a prisoner-of-war camp but loves those who are held captive there. As we tell people about our King and His Kingdom, we get to see captives of the world set free.
Who told you about Jesus? Who are you telling about Jesus?