In this dark, fallen, and rebellious world in which we live, Christians ought to stand out like the proverbial sore thumb. We cannot “go with the flow” of what the people around us believe, say, and do. Our outlook is shaped by God and His Word, not by the orthodoxies of our times.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
The word “holy” means “set apart.” So, Christians are a people set apart from the world and unto God. We are not to be conformed to the world (Romans 12:2), but instead we should be entirely distinct in our way of thinking and in our behavior.
The standards to which Christians adhere are not those of the people among whom we live, but are those of the kingdom of God, as revealed in His Word. That means, we shouldn’t expect to “fit in” with our peers. In a very real sense, Christians will often find themselves going against the flow of 21st century beliefs and practices.
Here’s what Christians who stay true to their commitment to Christ can expect:
John 15:19 (NKJV) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
That may seem like a pretty heavy burden – to know that the more we stand for Christ, the more disliked, and even hated we can expect to be. But don’t let that scare or dismay you:
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Even as the world around us grows darker in its rebellion against God and all He stands for, our light shines all the brighter in contrast. So, never be discouraged at the opposition or contempt you may be subjected to for continuing to stand against the ways of this world. That’s what God put us here for in the midst of “a perverse and crooked generation.”
And that’s what it means to be His holy nation.