I love my country and consider myself to be a patriot. Under this politician or that, I don’t always feel it is going in the direction it needs to go. And yet I don’t express my political opinions openly (most of the time). I don’t join boycotts, I don’t get up in arms or surprised when humans act like all flesh does, and I recognize that I’m supposed to be a good citizen, but that is only because I am truly not a citizen of any country of this world. Why, then, do Christians fight so hard over real estate they can’t take with them? Don’t mistake me: we need to stand up against injustices, and stand for that which God is for. But I don’t need to fight my neighbor. My enemy is no man or woman of this planet, even should they seek to do me physical harm (or succeed at it). My enemy isn’t of flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:10-20 has a lot to say on this!), to the contrary, it is the Spiritual realm where my battles lie.
This world is not my home; it is passing away and I don’t need to fight for what’s perishing. Instead, I need to be Gospel focused. All humanity are rebels against God (sin). Our sin leads us to die, first physically, then spiritually. Because of the rebellion of our ancestors, all of us are doomed to die. But God, rich in mercy and at the right time, sent His son to die for us. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins by nailing His flesh (and ours) to the cross. He died and was buried for 3 days, and on that third day rose again, once for all conquering death and sealing us with the promise that some day we shall also rise again in Him. I’ve been born again. I’ve been set free from the burdens of this world and sealed for the day of salvation. I won’t fight for this world or anything in it, but I will spread this good news message as far and wide as the Lord allows me to so that others may know the fullness of God, both now and in the time to come. THIS is what I will fight for: the eternity of my family, neighbors, friends, and, yes, my enemies. This is what Jesus died for, and so I will too, and I invite you, dear reader, to join me on my journey.
1 Corinthians 15:1-34
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? Why are we in danger every hour? I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.