“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 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.” John 17:13-18 | ESV
Sanctification is what allows the believer in Christ to experience the quality of life Jesus describes as “eternal life.” The word “sanctify” means “to set apart, consecrate, make sacred.” In ascribing this holy state of being, Jesus makes what on the surface appears to be a major contradiction in verses 17-18: “Sanctify them by the truth…. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one…. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” One would logically think that if eternal life is a certain quality of life, the goal of which is to make me sacred to Christ, that I should look for every possibility to escape the world. Instead, Jesus says his purpose for us is to remain sacred to him while living smack dab in the middle of a culture characterized by deepest darkness. In other words, you and are to live sanctified lifestyles while remaining in the world. That is far more difficult and necessary than retreating from the world.
There has likely never been a more critical moment for the church to stand out and speak out in this country than right now. My wife and I once enjoyed Hallmark holiday movies, but the Hallmark company is now joining those in this country attempting to redefine marriage and family with non-biblical language. According to an article by Lawrence Richards, Hallmark will now prioritize and reflect “diversity.” According to a company spokesperson, that will include “projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors.” “Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us,” the statement said via Good Morning America. “We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.” Dr. Jim Denison reports that a recent episode of HGTV’s House Hunters show featured a “throuple” (a three-person “couple”) seeking a new home in Colorado. He goes on to say that the American Psychological Association has created a “Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force” to promote “awareness and inclusivity” about polyamorous (“many loves”) relationships.
“Without revelation people run wild, but one who keeps the law will be happy.” Proverbs 29:18 | Holman Christian Standard Bible
American culture is running wild, casting off restraint right and left. Every pulpit in America should sound forth prophetic cries calling culture to be weighed in the balance of biblical truth. The problem is that taking a moral stand always offends. What are we willing to sacrifice for popularity? If you bow before the altar of public opinion you forfeit the privilege to be prophetic. Prophetic voice rubs the wrong way because it goes against the grain of public intent and popular culture. Prophets are rarely hailed until long after they are gone. During their active ministry prophets are misunderstood, maligned, and frequently martyred. But this, evidently, has been Christ’s plan all along. When the sanctified live sacred lives among those who are thoroughly sacrilegious, the Truth stands out in stark contrast to popular lies masquerading as morality.