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"I DO NOT PRAY FOR THE WORLD" - Jesus Christ
THIS WORLD - RISING TO FALL
Prayer is the seeking in the Spirit of God by the spirit of man for the will of God and its application: that is, spiritual prayer in terms of the only authorised and authenticated path to God, in Jesus Christ. That is why Christ did NOT pray for this world. One might consider it astounding that one who is LOVE (I John 4:7), should so act; but do you pray for cancerous tissue, when it is discovered and removed ? You say, But this world is not removed!
True, but it will be (Matthew 24:35). Do you then pray for cancerous tissue while it lives and defiles the body ? No, you say, of course not. You pray for the patient who has this tissue, that it may not find a home in him, and that if it is to continue anywhere, it will not be in him. You pray for an antidote, a remedy, a cancellation note to be given to it, for the removal of its power.
Yet, you say, could you not feasibly pray for its re-civilisation, that is, for its restoration to good tissue. You could; but cancer is not noted for this sort of remedy, though it may happen, often either by miracle, or by a series of actions which over time and with great loss may produce that result in some cases or areas in the body. Why not, then, you may urge triumphantly, concerning this illustration, pray for the cancer to be healed.
Some cancers, however, to give more point to the analogy, like melanoma, are invasive, destructive, colonising, that is, apt to move quarters to many places, like enemy scouts moving in to the capture of a country. They may threaten an ear, and then move to other areas, penetrating lymph areas, propagating in their colonies until the body is irremediable, except by miracle. Is this then what gives illustration to the concept of why Christ did not pray for this world!
This present world is by nature set on an evil course. It may have a UN, but it will omit Christ from it. It will speak of liberty and non-domination, and then as if witless, watch the actual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people. It speaks of good and is rampant with evil, as shown too well in numbers of works on this site*1. Its mouthings give sorrow to the soul, for they affect a soulful manner, but hard heads and self-willed governments seek advantage, to forbid this or that by veto, or deal in compromising non-ideals in an unideal world, as they try to limit this and that, especially where oil is, and in vital and perennial cases, fail. Their headquarters are palatial; their impact is puny.
Again, in this world, you increasingly hear that profit is the moral obligation of any public company, which is bound by the 'interests' of the shareholders, to put profit first, and must hang its directive head if opportunities for it are lost, or its size is compromised.
Why ? Do you say that of anybody else, and is a legal entity regarded as something fictitious in morals as well as in personality ? Why ?
Are not people in it ? Is there something that is not people who do the thinking, aiming, evaluation, moral analysis ?
Is it then run by some kind of computer, impersonal, which controls the people in it ?
WHY should, and why again, a company, public or other run on this rather than that set of morals, if the profitable maximum be called moral at all. Profit ? there is no problem about that as to result: but there is enormous problem with ditching all but this result, in order to get it. In fact, many companies seem to do just that, as reports for example from China would indicate in terms of guards protecting ... if you could call it that, company premises, hard to leave, where workers are kept under intensive conditions in dormitories, paid little, find it hard to have pay docked on leaving and may ruin their health in a few months. Such was the report. It is not unusual to hear of 'sweated labour' but this is reaching new levels of old things!
But why is there, whether in communal or democratic nations, such trend, where morals may if not subverted, then at least be grossly subordinated ? Let us pursue the democratic case further.
It is easy to see the reason. It is a PUBLIC company in this world, and this world is endemically corrupt. The degree of corruption increases with ugly, ungodly, mocking educational programs even for children, planting shoots for the next generation, so that the amorphous man may continue: he whose god is his own self, whose mind is stripped of anything good, a repository for desire, a smirk against spirituality, a configuration of ugliness.
A country is ASSUMED, in a not dissimilar way to a public company, to have certain INTERESTS. It is said, even by the more moral seeming and admirable of statesman, that such and such a course is in the country's INTEREST.
What does that mean ? Does it mean that it exhibits the moral stature which the country has adopted ? If so, then it will not necessarily produce profit for the country, and may be far from the meanest and most efficient way of gaining national power. It may involve doing righteous things, like protecting the environment by moderation and self-control, assisting the afflicted, seeking to promote peace without loss of principle, securing means of production so that the nation may in integrity without slavery maintain its life free from corrupt cultures. Alas, in Australia, this very thing seems to be overlooked almost with passion, as it makes itself more and more vulnerable to economic blackmail.
On the other hand, is 'the national interest' often taken to mean what will produce the most money in the shortest time by trade with other nations, or even what will do this over what appears a reasonable number of years, or what will match much money with relative security ? What IS the national interest when the nation is busy deploring many Christian morals, seeking to relativise morals, attacking past godly works in a national apology to aborigines for their removal from their homes, and doing so without qualification!
Take that case of the apology. Although some may have been removed cavalierly, and some misused when removed, a fit subject for expression of acute regret and concern, yet amidst all, others than these are noted. One category of those who were taken from their homes, by report, includes those whose people ASKED them to be removed, for the sake of educational opportunities, deliverance from abuse and proper upbringing, which many received. What is the good of lying about it, or alternatively attacking good with evil, and blathering without precision, so insulting good as if evil, and speaking as if evil had vested interests in corruption which need to be honoured and called good!
The national interest becomes involved in subterfuge, in hideous assault on the reputation and action of many who sought to do good and this with consent or need so vast that the same would have been done to a non-aboriginal family. Recent revelations have shocked the nation, since Howard brought forward his action in the Northern Territory, and this on both sides of the political chasm. The national interest in this case ? is it to pose, to posture, to insult, to seek some kind of dream in order to make people resent the more the efforts to bring them where they need to go, if they are to avoid moral corruption and undue dependency, as one of their own number, a counsellor to the Howard government, last year declared ?
Is the national interest then to be enlightened self-interest, truth at a loss, dreams at a premium, weaving a magic carpet of falsehood and misplaced paternalism to the point that it corrupts many!
Take the US. When it went to 'help' Kuwait, and of course incidentally Saudi Arabia which was under threat, did it come with its "In God we trust", as on its coins, approach ? Did it insist on the liberty which it sought to secure, to be preserved in its own ranks while it fought ?
Not at all: it came willing to be bound in severe ways as to what prayer or religious modes it might display in Saudi Arabia, and where. But how could it do that ? If it were in the perspective of its own morals, would it then allow these to be denied to its own crusading soldiers helping another country, as one of the conditions of entry!
If this is the national interest, it is seemingly a schizoid one.
Is it indeed the national interest ? Of course not. It could have said, in essence:
Look, if we are to come, our religious freedom must be respected in your country wherever we are, whether in public services, in places convenient to us, or in our speech and testimony as it may seem good from time to time, in our free exercise of faith.
We quite understand that you may have a different sort of regime, and we are not trying to remove that; but while acknowledging that this is your country, we would have you acknowledge, neither less nor more, that we are here to help, and will do so with our own national integrity intact, as persons of another dispensation, free in our own way to conduct ourselves in your land. Respect for our ways is the least you can offer when we come to help you.
It might be said in reply,
Fine, provided you do not seek to invade our mosques, brain-wash our people or debase our religion.
That might sound good, but it lacks integrity. First of all, the term 'brain-wash' would need analysis. Does it mean 'expose to our viewpoints' ? If so, it is an indirect and corrupt way of saying, You may not voice your faith, or your morals, or show your differentiation from what many in our country will, desire and value, lest we be offended.
Really ? might be the response.
I am afraid we are what we are, and co-operate on sound premises, preserving our MORAL INTEGRITY as a nation. Without our free ways - prudent certainly, and not deliberately provocative as to intention, we do not come. We do not require you to be as we are, if we help, and you need not imagine that we would desire to be as you, when we come. We will not seek to stop your type of prayers, as public as you wish for your own convenience, -and if we come, you will not seek to hinder, harass our type of prayers, as public as we wish, because of our open commitments to liberty and to God.
Would any nation, in some religious fields, be likely to agree ? Certainly not, for it is too reasonable, has too much integrity, might cost something; and it means that FREEDOM is given scope. Without vision, the people perish...
What then is the way of this world when a great nation allows itself to be religiously manacled in order to help ? It must have ulterior motives, beyond morals. WHEN you allow your moral principles to be compromised, then it is clear that they are morals of convenience, and properly speaking then, not morals at all. They are practical principles subject to more pressing issues. If of course you HAVE NO morals, but survival, security and satisfaction, then your course might indeed be to go where it helps your State survive, and conform to what is required in order to make the best fist of survival. In that case, your lack of vision, impact, inspiration and goodness may well cause you to lose anyway, if not sooner, then later. People rarely respect the integrity of what ... they despise.
Whether however, this should be the result, or on the other hand, some profound cost, the national interest either way is going to be something bound to narrow bonds, and fickle principles, or it is going to represent something grand in scope, inspiring in heart and consistent in application. If not, then increasingly as seen in many nations, survival becomes the common message, and subtleties of diplomacy and varied ideas for the future, cunningly wrought out, engage the mind of the leaders and perhaps of the massing millions whose hearts are to erupt in this or that way, as the sewers of the soul drain into the swamps of disspiritedness.
THAT IS this world, and perhaps, in at least some of that, at something near its best!
SPECIES OF FALL
After all, even here, you are not actively torturing your citizens in order to mould them to some dictatorial premiss of astonishing foolishness, as is the way with many, whether in the Roman Catholic Inquisition, the Holy Roman Empire's imperial thrust to impose papacy, or in the Communist vainglory, to reshape people by sophisticated tortures of mind and body, in order to make a philosophy without rational basis force people to follow its dictates*2. Again, it is not like the Islamic mould found*3 in certain States, where a turning in heart to Jesus Christ marks out a man for murder, or imprisonment or other violations of home, hearth or family life; or where a protection of a victim nation like Israel, is deemed ground for some nation to proceed to the slaughter of citizens of another, by multiplied thousands, where they work or play.
This is an even more serious spiritual devastation, displaying its force in the world. But even where this sort of gigantesque horror is not present, the misuse of force over faith, even yet, there remains the compromise whether of company or nation for the sake of gain or protection or power. Such complicities, duplicities, compromises, superficialities and desertions play like an opera of drama and grief, a tragedy of wilful folly. As to such things in the powers of the nations and the cultures of canniness, this is precisely the nature of this world.
Will Romanism continue without the pope ? Of course not, for the papacy is precisely its distinctive, which gives authority to the pronouncements and gravamen to the new and unbiblical doctrines with which it has sprinkled the earth (cf SMR pp. 912ff., 1032-1088H).
Will Communism cease to dictate ? Of course not, not that from Marx and his intellectual minions, since this is based on a dictatorship of the proletariat interpreted by the State, which is the alone majesty over all such things as individuals, and becomes thus the dictatorship of the State, which comes to the dictatorship of the representatives, which - since these are not universally elected - becomes the dictatorship of the dictators, who have no limits by law to their depredations, since they are IT.
Anything, indeed, which ignores God fast falls into mantling man with an absolute power minus truth, which leads to contortions and extortions at the wisp of will and the non-gallantries of the great. It is rather like gravity distorting space: whatever ephemeral theory comes in with its 'gravity' distorts mankind and makes of him a butt for the bucolic.
It is in such things, distortion by authoritarian transvestites, who seek to wear the clothes of God, by abusing His word or His universe, that this world's spiritual orbit lies.
Here lies this world; and thus the case of Communism parallels that where the pope is IT, and in Islam, that where the Imans or other spiritual rulers, are IT. Reason does nothing to confirm; logic does everything to deny such maelstroms, as Christ depicted they would be (Matthew 24:24), contrary to His own decisive and consummate revelation of God*3A. What has been used ? Force freely has been used. It has been used in all these cases. Take that of Islam: Force has always been freely used to propagate this faith, as and if it has seemed good, and hence it is not only a contradiction in terms, right from the days of the invasion of Mecca, to call it a faith, but it is part of this world, just as were Moscow, with no small carry-over to the present, and is Rome.
In terms of formal connection, such religions as these take care of a huge proportion of the inhabitants of this globe. Secular force, with or without Communism, spreads its wings in the same direction, even where no religion is apparent, though it is always present, since the divorce from God makes it necessary to invoke human deity in order to gain a truth not otherwise available in a relativistic universe, in order to declare it to be one.
While this is by no means ADMITTED, it is freely ASSUMED in practice as laws and inhibitions, prohibitions and promulgations proceed from the secular State as if it were a political papacy, ex-pope. This indeed is the direction of flow clearly depicted in the Bible (as in Daniel 7, II Thessalonians 2, Revelation 13, 16, 17, 19), and the logical implication now will at the last be the actual observation, as a man ('the man of sin') actually convinces himself that he is God and so exhibits himself in public.
Is this world one to pray for ?
Christ would not pray for this world. It has its little ways, and as to subjection to the Creator, the Redeemer, the God who indicts sin and explains salvation, that is NOT IN IT. Pray for a spiritual al Qaeda complex ? Not likely. Pray for its multiple explosions of no heart and arrogant presumption over mankind ? Hardly. Pray for this world in its multitudinous singularity of contempt for the living God as defined in the only testable way ever presented to man ? CHRIST pray for THAT ? Would a mother pray for a snake, while her infant lies on the floor!
Such is the uniform, persistent and consistent biblical depiction of this world and Jesus Christ's attitude to it, regarding prayer. He SO loved the world that He GAVE His SON in order that SOME would be saved from this world, for ALL the people in which He sought. This He did with a love which is not frustrated in power by those who refuse Him, as foreknown before the world was, but which is perfected in restraint and individuality (cf. Predestination and Freewill).
When Britain as a Protestant Christian nation, putting the Bible in the new monarch's hands as the repository of wisdom, fought to push opium into China, it was obvious that the world in it was winning over its liaison with Jesus Christ!. When it sought to find a homeland for Jews after World War I, it was showing a very different concern, one of helpfulness, concern and remedy for a vast, vicious persecution of that people.
As a 'Christian' nation however it was limited by the fact that where a majority of people in it were NOT Christians, where morals in these were not Christian, where ideals in them were NOT Christian, where the power of God for Christians therefore was not in the hearts and minds and plans of the majority, nor His wisdom, then the term would become hollow, as a description of the ways of the nation, as it has done.
Now Britain in the European Union is given ORDERS about having provisions for homosexual soldiers*4, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is reported to have a special communion for homosexual and lesbian Church workers, in obvious contradiction of the Bible to the point of exclusion notices being served on such, for the kingdom of heaven (as in I Corinthians 5-6, I Timothy 1:10). It is either not Christian at all, or so heavily compromising Christianity, even in its national Church, that it is like the rest of the world, following force or convenience, to satisfy its lusts.
Does this however mean that there is no good in this world ? Here we must distinguish carefully between the 'world' as a place where people live, and a system in which most join. If you mean the former, then geographically, yes of course there is a tremendous amount of good in the world, souls sacrificing freely and in love for the welfare of others, high ideals, lovely personalities disposed to follow the Lord, compelling none to the faith, inviting many. people who move mountains by faith and imbued with the goodness of the Lord, spread the knowledge of the Creator and Redeemer as hillsides of flowers spread perfume..
If however you mean the latter, then no, its flurry of variant morals and ideologies, its worry and its hurry to use force, its compromise and false assumptions, its plain godlessness in terms of such concepts as the Sermon on the Mount, its frank NON-CHRISTIAN character could not be more obvious. Christ in the UN ? Laugh about it. Christ in the CIA ? Guffaw. In the Kremlin ? sending Bear bombers to affront Britain and returning to 'Cold War' tactics, explicitly, turning off gas to Europe or the Ukraine, on its occasions, shouting down liberty of speech more and more deeply, denying liberty its due legal opportunities ? Humour would be the only response.
Nor is China in Tibet or regarding Christian churches in its own midst, following the Bible freely, any better. Indeed where is the love of God prominent and His liberty dominant, where are His morals practised in any government ? Perhaps here or there for this or that time, some nation comes nearer than most, and gives a start; but the claims of national security by means which do not stop at any moral buffer, of national 'interest' meaning the need for more power and place in the world, creep in, or surge in, and the character of this world suffers but small blemish from the qualities of evil, by the presence of what from the mundane perspective, is a pollutant called goodness.
In diplomacy, increasingly, lies are understood and pretexts numerous, pretentious claims are made and wrong interpretations candidly apparent. War is prepared while mouths speak peace.
This world, alas in character, is very like melanoma in tissue; and its spread of the sinister and unspiritual character which is integral to it, while prevented from entire take-over, constantly threatens it for any free people; and where war from without is not the danger, it is present from within.
Thus a nation with common law protections over generations can suddenly be presented with a Bills of Rights, which will be able, at its will, to confer limited liberty to the point that opening your mouth for Jesus Christ can mean imprisonment, even in a democracy. Why ? It is BECAUSE it may offend someone (cf. *1A in Ch. 1 above, and Preface to this Volume).
In that case, truth is prostituted for feeling, and goodness is readily made criminal, that downright and unqualified presentation of the Gospel with all its positive and negative features of which it is composed, that Gospel and that word of God which might bring others to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some may not want it ? To be sure, and some might: so where then is freedom!
It might be said, Preach positively and then people will not be offended. In that case, Jesus Christ would need to be junked from Christianity as just as glance as Matthew 23 would show. He preached as the Great Physician, condemning spiritual cancer and commending spiritual truth. He pulled no punches, spoke lies, was tender with the afflicted, confrontational with confrontationalists, and showed where rest lay (Matthew 11:28-30).
So this world
is NOT prayed for by Christ.
It is the people in it for whom He seeks.
In Chapter 2 above, this topic was touched on as follows.
Thus Christ is not FOR this world, this present evil world, this world of attention to trivia, cultural conformity and detention for truth; He is for what love desires, truth requires and spirit fires, for people righteous through conversion and regeneration, restored by redemption and renewed by the Holy Spirit, strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 3:16), if weak, then reinforced (Isaiah 42), for whom the Sermon on the Mount is like daily bread. He is for saving them from this world and its cultures, the vultures of evil thought. He forwards and implements the desire for the realities of abundant life, vitality and reality, having come not only to save, but to sanctify them through His word by His Spirit (John 17:17).
He is not for a world of eccentric innovation, moralising about amorality and spiritualising reality to the point that no command is so sacred but that of the heart of a man, which doctors, 'adapts' and frequently flatly contradicts biblical commands, while smirking about spirituality in a style worthy of the worst of the scribes. He is not for a world wise in its own eyes. For such a world, Christ does not EVEN pray (John 17:9).
It would seem only balanced to present the rest of John 17:9.
The whole verse reads as follows:
"I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world
but for those whom You have given Me,
for they are Yours."
The "them" from the preceding context is "those to whom I have given the words which You have given Me" and more than this, it is those who, having been given these words, have this said of them: "and they have received them." These are two qualities of those prayed for.
Further concerning these for whom He prays is then added, for they are also those who "have known surely that I came forth from You and they have believed that You sent Me."
Of these for whom He prays, we learn a little later in John 17:14:
"I have given them Your word
and the world has hated them,
because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world."
Not for Him, prosperity Christianity with its gross carnality, and plastic crosses.
What then is one of His prayers for these whom He so regards ? It is this (John 17:15).
"I do not pray that You should take them out of the world,
but that You should keep them from the evil one."
(This could be translated 'the evil' but as that diabolical, flamboyant and dynamic source of it and his products are like one, the point is not material here: such is the biblical doctrine - cf. John 8:44).
In fact, the case is even more positive:
"As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world, and for their sakes,
I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth."
Truth is obviously a criterion immiscible, indispensable and irreversible, come what may.
Even more positive is the next verse.
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You, Father are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."
As the flag of faith unfurls, even more positivity is presented:
"And the glory which You gave Me I have given them,
that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me,
that they may be made perfect in one, and
that the world may know that You have sent Me,
and have loved them as You have loved Me."
Thus the whole expansive and expanding band of Christians are those for whom He prays, who will be hated by this world, who are to seek unity in Spirit as they testify to this world, who are to KEEP themselves from the evil and characteristic ways of this haughty world, who are in the love of God to present to this world, as one might seek to use an ear trumpet to speak to the deaf, the doctrine of the Redeemer, the Saviour, the sin-confrontationist (cf. Matthew 13:13).
The love of God, as in John 3:16 for this world, is of a particular quality. He SO loved the world that He GAVE in this love His ONLY begotten Son SO THAT whoever believes in Him should have eternal life, instead of perishing in and with this world. The purpose of the love is not to endorse this world, but to abstract persons from it so that, though in it, they will not be of it, and will in fact be made ready to receive that glory which Christ has, and which in heavenly grace, wisdom and beauty He causes to overflow to His people; and everyone who receives the remedy is thus loved with the others as one.
The sort of love God has for the world is an spiritually EVACUATIVE one, not to have people OUT of it at this stage, while it is allowed to endure, but OUT OF ITS WAYS, and no longer in the line of perishing in the interstices of this world.
But what of the unity of His disciples ? It might be said that almost every variety of perverse misinterpretation of the Bible possible has been devised, often by Satan, and used to divide the Christians from each other, and this seems largely true. (Some of the remedies are presented in BAY OF RETRACTABLE ISLANDS, MISSION FOR THE MAINLAND, From Evanescent Extremes Back to the Book of the Lord.)
This action of the adversary does not alter the fact that trans-denominationally, many do acknowledge each other, despite relatively minor differences, and work together. Again the work of the Evil One is such that many others who name the name of Christ and DO NOT receive His words, and so DO NOT qualify as those to be made into one in terms of John 17:8-9, have a different destiny. These are frequently made into a counterpart, a counterfeit counterpart of Christian unity, such as the World Council of Churches, which at one stage at least, as shown in glasnost's day, included KGB pretenders, the better to manipulate their opponent! (cf. Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host Ch. 10A, esp. as marked).
The devil delights in imitation with dissimulation for as Christ declares, he was a liar from the first, and it is of him (John 8:44). To this world as a system, it is not given to believe in Christ, as He says: "Because I tell you the truth, you do not believe Me." He proceeded with verification mode: "Which of you convicts Me of sin ?" (bold added). They could not fault Him or His words, but their hearts, bred in and reliant on this world, did not because they could not believe in Him. They had other modes, idols for thought, even rejecting God when they saw Him incarnate, though rationally and spiritually, morally and in dynamic, they could neither match nor discountenance Him. Discountenance God ? Not likely.
What however - past the devious, ecclesiastical diplomacy on the part of those who are not in fact churches or in them - of those who DO with fidelity keep to His word ? It is obviously incumbent on them to do all in their power to co-operate PROVIDED the word of God is not contradicted and real effort is being made to remove blemishes where this has unintentionally been done.
It is NOT to the point to seek to manufacture from their midst large and imposing, socially fearful and impressive constructions to WEIGH on this world in its own terms; and many are the denominations which appear to have sought just this:
to SURVIVE rather than speak
to ARRIVE rather than live in
There is as there always has been, wastage in the world, and worldly churches simply become false disciples imitating that which no longer hates them, because now they ARE OF IT. WHY did Christ say the world hated His people ?* 5
It was because it hated Himself. WHEN will the world NOT hate His disciples ? It is when those called disciples are in fact no longer of this kind, but are part of the world, in the Religion Section of its Emporium! Such is much, and such persons were foretold by II Peter 2 as II Timothy 3 and I Timothy 4 and II Timothy 4.
Thus it is small wonder that Christ does not pray for the world, one which would swallow up even His people, taking like wolves the stragglers, those who being only slightly healed in the first place (cf. Jeremiah 6:14*6), forsake Him for this present world, like Demas: yes, this world is one which will use force to separate His very own people from prosperity, peace and very often, a physical place in this world at all.
Would He pray for pleasure seeking, power grabbing, force deploying, sacrificialists for survival*7 immoral mountains, estuaries of evil ethics, presumption personified, deviousness deployed ? or would He pray for what imprisons faithfulness and deletes whole bodies of persons because it hates the Lord ?
Would He pray for what uses armies in order to gain more land, more power, more prestige, what seeks to frighten others into weakness, in order to despoil them of what they have or might gain, that makes design a conundrum and sex a missive for pleasure, that marries the same gender as if blind, and markets flesh as if it were beef, that oppresses the poor, and commiserates with them, being rich, which helps the poor and allows them to be demoralised with the misuse of the funds, which refuses to have Christian morals so that its gifts may be mauled rather than employed wisely, that brags of its beauty and deploys ugliness of spirit as if a plague of mice were specially deployed and bred, for that purpose!
No, not really.
He actually said it, then: "I do not pray for the world."
His way does work. Love does provide peace. It may have to sacrifice, but it does not seek self-aggrandisement: see I Corinthians 13 and see.
It does not even SEEK ITS OWN, a task of primary importance for this world.
It bears all things, hopes all things and of course ... LOVES the TRUTH. That also you see in I Corinthians 13. If Christ, the Truth itself, God incarnate, had NOT bothered to be TOO careful about the truth, why He could readily have continued living in this world right then, instead of being bothered with crucifixion and needing to use His infinite power in the Trinity, to be raised bodily from the dead, in order to let His disciples evangelise with His good hope and remedy in this world, until He comes at the end of the ... TEST.
HE could have said to the investigating authorities: The Son of God ? Well, of course, it depends what you mean. In a sort of spiritual sense, I only mean that I have a special and intimate relationship with Him, one I am hopeful you will all gain, and the main point is this .. and so on.
He did not do it.
He was not of this world. HE KNEW its ways, but did not love them. He loved the people in it and gave them HIS ways, the will and word and witness and work of God. Instead He answered to the question of His being the Son of God, this: "I AM," and went on to indicate that He would come in divine glory for judgment. Indeed, He made it clear that He had been appointed as the Judge (John 5:19ff.,cf. Acts 17:31).
He was neither declamatory concerning His identity, nor did He hide it. He did not try to IMPRESS with it, but neither die He repress it, as if on sufferance in Saudi Arabia or Peking. He EXPRESSED who He was by what He said and what He did, until it became clear that the coast was now free of smog and mist. We saw, in Ch. 4 above, the guilt which THEREFORE attached to those who having SEEN and HEARD what He did and said (and that included the predictive prophecies which have Him an identikit from the millenia preceding), yet withheld faith so that they did not believe in Him .
It is not IN ORDER to gain this guilt for the lost, but to extract them from all guilt through the atonement that He has spoken and acted. Yet IF, as in this world and of it, many desire to void or avoid the issue, then the guilt remains.
That, it is this world, and He does not pray for it.
The love of God is not for prostitution; instead in that love He seeks His people in spiritual marriage, and inviting all, delights in each new one found.
See: Overflight in Christ Ch. 1 (and the UN),
Light of Dawn Ch. 6;
Of the Earth, Earthy or Celestial in Christ Ch. 13;
Divine Agenda Ch. 3,
His Time Is Near Ch. 5
It Bubbles ... Ch. 11,
His Time Is Near Chs. 1, 3,
Trust God, Mate! Forget about 'Fate' Ch. 7,
Things Old and New Epilogue.
See on this:
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8;
The Grating Grandeur ... Ch.
2; SMR pp.
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 6,
with News 98,
Beauty of Holiness Chs. 3 4 4
History, Review and Overview Ch. 1,
Aviary of Idolatry,
Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 5,
News 37. 44, 69, 97, 98.
See More Marvels ... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6, Highway to Hell, and Indexes.
Christianity as the only
written, authorised word of God to mankind has many verifications,
validations and demonstrations. For an outline, see What is the Wheat to the
Chs. 3 and 4, and in particular, see SMR and TMR, with
Dwells with the Lord's Christ,
Who Answers Riddles and Where He is, Darkness Departs and
The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy, with
Deity and Design ...
See on this, Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming Ch. 3. See more generally, SMR pp. 743ff.. and 750Bff. (at Demonic Head endnote).
See first, John 17:14.
Indeed, in John 7:6 we read this.
"Then Jesus said to them, 'My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.' "
Again, in Luke 21:17, we have this:
"And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.
But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls."
The spiritual perspective that though you may be killed, not a hair on your head is lost bespeaks just that calm and assured attitude to eternal life and bodily resurrection which is so beautiful in the Lord. He speaks a He is, and does all according to the truth.
Sad indeed is this type of thing, correlative in the parable of the sower and the seed, from Christ's lips. When some seed fell on hard ground. there was rejoicing for a season, but then when the sun was up, the plant died (that is, the seed of the word of God in the heart of that hardened soil!). Never converted, only convicted, such souls had been unbroken in heart, like hard soil. See Mark 4:4ff.,16ff..
The passage referred to, in the text of this Chapter, is from Jeremiah 6:14, and its referent are people not basically changed.
"They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying,
Peace, peace; when there is no peace."
Sacrifice, Sacrificer and Sacrificialist
To the keen ear and eye of some, the term 'sacrificialist' might seem extraordinary. It is not ordinary, and is perhaps an invention (it is not in the large Webster's), but it has a point. The term 'sacrificial' refers to what is of the nature of a sacrifice, a loss made expressly for a purpose in view, often in the religious setting, something done for good by one who suffers to achieve it.
Someone who sacrifices in a way contrary to this, in order to make an impact or to secure something basically selfish, might therefore be called a sacrificialist, someone who engages in sacrifice in the manner of a profession or ostentation.
The negative sense in this case is carried by the fact that the making of sacrifice, if honest and not a mere investment in selfishness indirectly, is not normally a point for self-promotion. Thus the trend of meaning moves towards a sense of the inappropriate, which of course is precisely what is in view.
When it is for survival, the exact opposite in kind of sacrifice in the normal religious setting, then such a person would be a sacrificialist for survival. It is similar in form to a survivalist (one who promotes survival, possibly in a selfish manner, someone immersed in the concept of surviving and applying it to himself). Again, it resembles the term 'revivalist', one dedicated to or immersed in the practice of revival. It does not seem to carry logical weight whether one uses a noun or an adjective for this construction, and so it is used.
The point at a deeper level is this: It is no use being a sacrificialist, making a point or life out of such talk, be it specious or spectacular in orientation. it is not the term, the mode, the fashion of such a thing that matters, but the reality as defined in Christ. When sacrifice reaches its epic height and undisposable depth, then it is defined in terms of the One who alone has power to overcome the evil of this world by means of it, through the infinite purity and infinite power alike, which is His, combined with the infinite delicacy and understanding as Creator.
By this, His sacrifice becomes the very form and norm of all sacrifice, the criterion of sincerity, the function of its integrity. Godly sacrifice, in His Spirit and life, is giving for purpose good with the goodness of God, and thus structured per se, for welfare at the ultimate level, and neither specious, pretentious nor ineffectual. It is so reassuring to know that to whatever depth you go, there is LOVE, there is OBJECTIVITY, there is in the Lord, the subjective beauty of the Subject who is infinite in compassion and goodness, perfect in wisdom and knowledge. Here sacrifice is superb and its result enduring.
That some are left unhelped is biblically their own fault (John 3:19, Colossians 1:19ff.), and if they refuse to be liberated, no army comes in to FORCE them so to be. Christ came freely and so must they. If they do not want it, as God foreknowing all, provides in His wisdom, then so be it. Hell is no palace, and the Cross was no romp either. You take up the one or just roll on to the other. THIS sacrifice however remains effectual for those who receive it and Him whose it is, just as love refuses to force the issue, as if to demolish personality and save some programmee.
That is not its way.