1996-10-29 - Christian Influence
Hebrews 11: 38, "Of whom the world was not worthy"
Question: How do Christians bring blessings to places where they live?
- By their presence. God said to Abraham, the Father of the faithful,
you shall be a blessing (Gen. 12:3) and so it is with all believers. Laban
says that he thought that the Lord had blessed him for Jacobs sake, (Gen.
30:27). Potiphar saw that Joseph was a blessing in his house, (Gen. 39: 2,
3). While Lot was in Sodom, the Angel could not destroy it, (Gen 19: 22).
If there had been ten believers in Sodom, the Lord would have spared all
for the sake of the ten, (Gen. 18: 32). Believers are blessings by their
presence Scripture testifies this to be the case.
- By their prayers. Abraham prayed for Abimelech and God healed him
and his family from barrenness, (Gen. 20: 17, 18). The prayer of Moses ended
God's judgments upon the Egyptians (Exodus 7:12,13,30) and God's wrath was
appeased against His people, (Exodus 32:11, 14). Some think that Stevens
prayer in Acts 7:60 was one of the means used in the conversion of Saul.
- They bring blessings upon a place, by their example. When we see
godly persons walking before us in the fear of God and making conscience
of all manners of sin, it is a special means to cause us and others to turn
from our wicked ways, to walk in newness of life. This is why Peter exhorts
Christians to have their conversation honest among the Gentiles, so that
those who speak evil of them as evil doers, would see, by their good works
and glorify God, (1 Pet. 2:12). Paul tells the Philippians to walk blameless
in the midst of a wicked and crooked generation, as lights in the midst of
the world, (Phil. 2:15).
God sent a flood upon the world in the days of Noah because of sin. Is there
less wickedness now than there was then? Surely not. Every day we deserve
a new flood. But the Lord holds back His judgment for a time that His people
might be gathered and converted. As soon as this is done, God will not wait
a moment. So the entire world and all the people of the world have the advantage
of God's children, because for their sakes the Lord withholds His wrath.
He defers His judgments, even the great judgment of fire where the world
will be consumed on the last day. These things the world should take notice
of, and it should move them to repent of their sin.
Sometimes a phrase that we hear tossed around all the time can mean much
more than we would think if we do not reflect carefully on it. "of whom the
world was not worthy", when applied to our lives is no cause for smugness
or arrogance. It is a simple reminder of the sanctifying nature that believers
have upon their surroundings. Scripture evidences this everywhere.
Soli Deo Gloria,