Why We Must Be Living Samples of the World to Come

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A person's sense of origin is a major determinant of a healthy self-image. So, here goes: we humans are essentially spirit be-ings!

Although our bodies were formed from the dust of the earth, dust is not our origin—we originated in God. Before our parents came together and we were conceived biologically, He conceived each of us in His Mind, and He makes no mistakes! Not only did He conceive us, but He purposed our destiny paths.

As we progress in His will, in time, the things that He purposed in eternity past are performed in our temporal present. In that sense, our future is His past—He finished it before we started.

From this passage, Genesis 12:1b (AMPC), we learn that God invites Abram to "Go for yourself." In order to do this, he must leave his country, his relatives and his father's house, and come to a land that God will show him. God says to him, essentially, "Leave your world, and I will show you My world."

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This parallels Romans 12:2a (KJV) for the present believer, "Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." This new "world" (aeon: age) is the era in which Jesus brings redemption to the earth. The good news is that this new era began when Jesus came the first time. In Luke 4:18-19, He proclaims that He is anointed to "preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Not a 365-day year, but an age, an era.

Christ's announcement alludes to the ancient Jewish tradition established by God in the law of Moses. Every 50th year was the Jubilee year, "the acceptable year of the Lord", in which all properties and persons bound and forfeited legally had to be relinquished to the original owner. In other words, all that had been lost had to be restored. And Jesus taught that He was the embodiment of Jubilee! He came to restore everything and everyone to God's original intention.

This was inaugurated with His first coming and will be consummated with His Second Coming. In this present interim, He intends that we—all of His people—would give those who do not know Him the opportunity to "sample" the power of the world, or age, to come.

This brings us to the need for a recovery of the principle of the priesthood of all believers. The damaging idea of a rigid dichotomy between "clergy" and "laity," dividing us as people rather than distinguishing us according to function, has hindered the effectiveness of the church to impact the culture. Because the powers of the world to come are thought to reside only with the preacher, operating only in religious settings, God is relegated to Sunday at church.

On Monday through Saturday, the believer is to be kind and moral perhaps, but his occupation is not actually God's work, God's business. Consequently, much of the Western church exists with a double mind: secular versus sacred, workday versus worship day. And James tells us that a double-minded person is unstable. This destabilizing of the church's effect on the world around us must cease.

God calls us to integrity, not only character and moral rectitude but full integration of our natural vocation with our supernatural calling. All of us are to bring the powers of the world to come to bear upon the pressures of the world that is.

Whether a priest or a plumber, if you are born again, you are considered a "son of God" (John 1:12) (whether physically male or female) with full right and responsibility to represent your heavenly Father in your sphere of influence.

Bishop Michael Blue is a husband and father, a musician and a student of the Word, who desires to know Christ more intimately and to make Him known more fully. Michael Blue is the senior pastor of the Door of Hope Christian Church in Marion, South Carolina, and the presiding prelate of the Christian Covenant Fellowship of Ministries.

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