Jeremiah 29:7 NASB - "7 'Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.'"
Matthew 10:16 NASB - "16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves."
Hebrews 11:13 NASB - "13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth."
Christians are exiles from the kingdom of heaven on this earth. We are ambassadors of another culture and civilization. We represent and are under the rule of God’s Messiah King the LORD Jesus.
We can have a dual citizenship with our nation but always from the perspective that our primary identity and loyalty is to God’s kingdom and KING. This is vital and difficult. We are in our culture but called not to be owned by it.
Now we are to pray and work for the good of the culture in which we find ourselves. Clearly if that culture was to decline and decay then our ability to extend and expand God’s Word and Will in the Messiah may be limited. So Jeremiah the prophet would call us not to be saboteurs but saviors of the cultures in which God has placed us with the realistic understanding that at core they will remain in rebellion against the king (Psalm 2).
Now we may face persecution since it is promised that by the Lord Jesus that we will be hated and abused in every nation (Matthew 24:1-8). However, in this suffering we will bring redemptive grace and promote the truth of the gospel as we mirror the image of Messiah Jesus before people in our own struggles and suffering.
So we must engage our culture with love, respect, prayer, and practical deeds of social compassion and care. We are to act as agents of humble godly living free of self righteousness (salt) and loving teachers of truth (light) (Matthew 5:13-16). It is vital we learn to do this gentleness and wisdom (Matthew 10:16). We must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry in order to accomplish God’s will for our culture (James 1:19,20).
Historically Christians have either isolated themselves from culture in the hope of being kept pure from its rebellion or have attempted to force the moral will of God upon people harshly, self righteously, and with little insight that we may be simply expressing another worldly perspective instead of standing for God’s true gospel kingdom truth.
We have either deserted or attempted to forcefully dominate cultures. Neither of these approaches seems to fit the wisdom of Jeremiah or Jesus.
So let us begin by praying and then providing for the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs of our society. Begin at home, move to your work place, your community, your city, your state, your nation, and then the world.
Prayer: Lord have mercy and let us learn to be examples of real humble piety and loving mentors of the truth. Amen