John Piper writes that Christians “exert influence as happy, brokenhearted outsiders” who should only count on having limited and temporal success this side of heaven. “American culture does not belong to Christians,” he continues, “neither in reality nor in biblical theology. It never has. The present tailspin toward Sodom is not a fall from Christian ownership, ‘the whole world lies in the power of the evil one’ (1 John 5:19)… God’s rightful ownership will be manifest in due time.”
However, “whole world,” in 1 John 5 does not mean the earth but those who are outside of Christ, otherwise John would be saying that our families and even the church are under the dominion of Satan. Peter describes the “world” at the time of Noah’s flood as being “destroyed, being flooded with water” (2 Pet. 3:6). But what was actually destroyed? “The ‘world’ that was destroyed,” Paul Marshall writes, “was not the ‘world’ of the creation itself but the ‘world’ of sinful people. The sinful world—the conspiracy of evil against God—was destroyed. But Noah and his family and the animals and the birds were rescued in order to begin life again.”
In other words, “God’s rightful ownership” has never ceased and has remained constant since the beginning. God is “the great King over all the earth” (Ps. 47:2, NIV).
Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths
Too many Christians believe that the Bible is irrelevant this side of heaven. While they make up about 35% of the population, they have voluntarily abandoned the culture war, electing to hide the gospel under a bushel instead. Our nation is in a crisis. The world is crying out for answers in the face of bewildering and seemingly unsolvable problems. Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths shows that the Bible has real answers to these problems—answers the church is currently ignoring.Buy Now
On today’s podcast episode, Gary discusses heavenly and earthly citizenship, which is covered in Chapter 10 of his book Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths. Christians will sometimes object to getting involved in the “affairs of the world” because the Christian’s true home is in heaven. Earthly responsibility is misdirected, they claim, because we’re just “exiles” here. This is both illogical and unbiblical.