What in the World Are You Doing?
This piercing, intense, high decibel question, came from my mom, after she caught sight of me, matted, head to waist in my own partially dried blood. What in the world I was doing…was difficult to explain, because I had left the house an hour before, and directly disobeyed her plain instructions. So now, bruised and bleeding, I had to face the consequences of my stupidity. Thankfully, my broken nose, and facial lacerations, surrounded by abrasions and strawberries received sliding on my face, touched a soft spot somewhere deep within her. As a result, she didn’t execute me immediately. Many stitches and lots of iodine swabs later I wondered to myself, what was I thinking? What in the world was I doing?
On that day many years ago, I was forced to stop and think about what I did, considering the consequences of my actions. The same scenario in my life has played out many times since. All have not resulted in broken bones and stitches—some have garnered worse results. But thinking people should know that activities have consequences. Deeds have effects. Actions lead to reactions. The bottom line is: It matters what you do.
Why not, as a Christian, apply this principle to your life? Ask this question: What in the world am I doing for Christ’s sake? God expects you to be a person of purpose. He wants His children to live lives that impact others and make a difference for His Kingdom.
So, what in the world are you doing for Christ’s sake? First, realize there is a war going on. The world and the Christian; culture and Christianity; the civilization and the church; are in a continual, desperate struggle against each other. According to the teaching of Scripture, the world seeks to ensnare Christians, while Christians seek to evangelize the world. For this very reason Paul urged believers to “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1, 2). Howard Hendricks used to say, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.”
On one hand, Christians are to be separate from the world, but on the other, they are to befriend, identify with unsaved people, and evangelize in the world. Paul proclaimed, “To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law…so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:20-23). We must minister to people we are not to mimic, if we would lead them to Christ.
In His high priestly prayer (John 17), Jesus prayed for His disciples, then and now (verse 20). The thrust of His prayer was about His followers’ relationship with the “world,” using that word 19 times in 26 verses. The two aims of the Lord’s prayer for His children was that they be “in” the world…“they themselves are in the world” (verse 11); but that they not be “of” the world…“they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (verse 14).
As with every true believer in Christ, though their home is on earth, their citizenship is in heaven. Conversely, though their heart and hope are in Heaven, their duty and responsibility are on earth. That is why the Lord has left them here.
So, what in the world are you doing for Christ’s sake? For many of us the short answer seems to be, “Not enough.” The late Dr. W. A. Criswell’s warning: “We are ever only one generation from utter paganism,” (“Guidebook for Pastors”) is coming closer to reality. According to Elmer Towns in Into the Future, the only nation in the world where the gospel is not advancing and churches are not growing is the United States. We must do better.
The answer of what every true disciple is to do for Christ’s sake is revealed in the prayer of Jesus for believers and can be summarized by three powerful phrases:
REMAIN…REMAIN SEPARATE FROM the World…Christ Prayed:
“These are in the world” (John 17:11).
“Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one evan as We are” (John 17:11).
“That they might have My joy made full in themselves” (John 17:13).
“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:16).
REACH…REACH INTO the World…Christ Prayed:
“As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:18).
REVEAL…REVEAL CHRIST TO the World…Christ Prayed:
“That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that you sent Me” (John 17:21).
The whole business of the church, ministry of the saint and job of the Christian is here: Separation…Integration…Revelation. Separation from worldly behavior and lifestyle—Integration into the world with the gospel message—Revelation of Jesus Christ—Revealing the true Savior to the world.
So, What in the World Are You Doing for Christ’s Sake?