“We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” I John 5:19 NASB
There is little to no doubt it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian in our secular post Christian society. We look around the world today and see the righteous suffering. We see Christians slaughtered, raped, and enslaved while it seems the wicked are prospering. We see the faithful shunned and silenced, being told they are radical and primitive for holding on to their religion. At the same time, we see the immoral gaining in influence and stature.
It makes the Christian feel as though they can never get ahead in life. They often feel like everything in life continually beets them down and no one is there to help them back up. The fact is, this world is a tough place to live a Christian life. Due to this, people will often neglect the power of God and place their faith in money, education, health, or their own ability to help themselves. In reality, it doesn’t matter how rich, educated, healthy, or intelligent you are. Life is difficult for everyone; even those who make it look easy. Money can’t buy happens, education can bring success, and even the healthiest of people will one day fall ill.
When we place our faith in anything other than God we are in rebellion. Not only are we in rebellion, if we’re not walking in fellowship with God we are walk with the losing side. When we look at the future prophesies concerning end time events we see that this world will stand opposed to God with every bit of effort they can muster, but they will ultimately lose. This world opposes God because as John states, “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” The evil one is Satan, and the bible makes his ultimate defeat abundantly clear. In fact, I Corinthians 15 tells us that Jesus will abolish all rule and all power and make all of His enemies a footstool under His feet. This tells us not only of their ultimate doom but also of their utter humiliation. Why then would anyone desire to trust in anything of this world?
The good news is, Christians are not of the world. In fact, John made a bold statement and declared that, “We know that we are of God.” Knowing is faith. When ones faith is in God, they are, as John stated in the previous verse, “Born of God.” If we are of God we are not of the world. If we know that we are of God we also know, when God wins, we win. And, God always wins. We are on the winning team because we have chosen God and rejected the world.
One cannot live for the world and for God. Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with me is against me,” and James 4:4 says, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” You just read what will happen to the enemies of God. Why then would anyone choose the world over God?
Unfortunately, many do choose the world over God. Since they have chosen the world over God they have chosen to be under the power of the enemy and are in hostility towards God. Since this world is in hostility towards God it is also in hostility toward God’s children. This is the very reason so many faithful Christians are suffering all around the world. Paul knew all too well about suffering for Jesus. Knowing that he was about to die for his faith in Christ he wrote, “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” II Timothy 1:12
Indeed, this world will bring sorrow and suffering, especially for the saints. Yet, this world is quickly passing away. Soon enough it’s time will stop while the Christians time of eternity will begin. Though we suffer in this short life, that is nothing but a vapor, we know the victory is soon to come. Not a short lived victory, but an eternal one. Jesus told the church of Pergamum, who was facing horrendous persecution, “To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17). Even so Lord, come.