Feeling Like A Foreigner

Friday, June 14, 2024

Recently I saw this inspirational headline: “WWII Veteran on state of America today: ‘I feel like a foreigner in my own country and I don’t like it”. I get it. I recognize and appreciate the context of that WWII veteran’s longing for the past. To him, the freedom-loving America he knew when he first enlisted in the military is now totally gone. To others, myself included, America is nearly unrecognizable as we’ve become a nation grievously divided and hateful by abominable leaders pushing one evil agenda after another, after another, after another, relentlessly. In the sense of a national belonging any true Christian, conservative or patriot knows that this is not the America we all once knew and to that end it can be emotionally exhausting, even mentally distressing, if not guarded by salvation love, grace and mercy of God in true holy faith, for every true believer knows that neither the US nor any other nation of this world is our home. Here we’re foreigners.

Hence the inspiration. Every true believer should feel like a foreigner in any country he or she lives, for our eternal home is not of this world. In fact, the eternal dwelling of people is in one of two places and will be assigned on the Day of Judgment, “as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:27–28). Note the qualifier of who inherits the benefits of faith in Christ’s shed blood for the forgiveness of sins. It’s truly for “those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation”. [My emphasis] Do you and your loved ones “eagerly wait for Him”? My prayer is that you do, for He will only appear once more. This life is the proving ground for the life hereafter. Scripture teaches that this life determines who has or hasn’t by grace through faith received God’s salvation by true faith in Christ Jesus’ shed blood unto eternal life.

Speaking of Abraham, the father of our faith and all the faithful patriarchs of ancient Israel and those who faithfully endured in the faith, God said “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland … But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Heb. 11:13–16). The Scriptures are so very clear that, it’s those who make a conscious decision to follow Christ in this life, who of their own free will choose to receive by grace through faith the gift of God’s salvation, by faith in Christ for the remission of their sins, it’s they who will inherit that city.

That “city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10) is reserved for those who by grace through faith with vision and intent look forward to their heavenly reward, “those who eagerly wait for Him”, and not those who never had faith in Christ nor had a vision or intention of the eternal reward awaiting those who persevere until the end, Matt. 24:13. The Lord Jesus put it another way, saying “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32–33). [My emphasis] That defines the exclusivity of the gospel, separating true believers of Christ from unbelievers.

And what about those who did not by grace through faith believe the Lord Jesus Christ? Indeed, we are told about them. The Spirit said “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8). And the Spirit further said of those outside God’s eternal city, “But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie” (Rev. 22:15). Who “practices a lie”? God answers that: “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). Unbelievers notoriously deny that Jesus is the One and only Son of God, including every false religion in the world: Judaism, Islam, New Age, Christian cults such as Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witness, Eastern Mysticism, Hinduism, Hare Krishna, Unitarians, Shinto, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Caodaism, and others.

As true Christians who love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we must, living in this world of increasing ungodliness, feel like strangers, aliens and pilgrims. The apostle Paul reflecting on himself and the other apostles of his day said, we “labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day” (1 Cor. 4:12–13 KJV). In this we see the persecution that unbelievers level against true Christians. It’s been that way since Jesus Christ ascended to the right hand of His Father after His resurrection. And so persecutions of true Christians will remain until Christ returns and gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31). This is why all true believers, as did Abraham, look for that “city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10). We have that vision and intent by faith, a revelation that unbelievers do not and cannot ever share with the elect of God. It sets us apart from the world, which is why the spirits of Antichrist will, especially in these last days during the course of the seven-year tribulation work to destroy believers and their witness.

But in the last 70 years and growing worse by the week, is the issue of fearful, tepid pastors and Bible teachers in Western Christianity shielding themselves from persecution in varying degrees. This is why so many pastors and their churches today equivocate on the truth and bend the knee to cultural demands, fearing the people more than God and His Christ. It’s a travesty of no small proportion. Fear of rejection and persecution by the culture is why many churches today approve ordained women in church leadership; it’s also why the LGBTQ+ agenda is in many churches.

Such fearful, tepid and “cowardly” (Rev. 21:8) pastors and Bible teachers cannot stomach the thought of rejection and persecution, so they protect themselves by agreeing with and defending rebellion which the God of the Bible clearly teaches will separate people from Him forever. True born again Christians recognize that Jesus Christ clearly taught that “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20). This is why any true Christian feels alienated by worldly society, being reviled and mocked for defending the word of God and His Christ. We justifiably feel like foreigners, aliens, strangers and pilgrims in this increasingly unbelieving and wicked world.

My new book “ON EAGLES’ WINGS” with the subtitle “God’s Call, Your Response, Your Life Journey, Through The Tribulation, Until The Rapture” reveals many spiritual and end-time truths every Christian needs to be prepared, to not only face but endure this cruel unbelieving world till the end as Jesus contextually taught at Matt. 24:13. My new book will equip you in vital truths.

Marlin J. Yoder

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About the author

I'm a non-denominational ordained minister, and have written TheFridayLetter.com for many years and teach the truths of Jesus Christ with an emphasis on the end-times. This on-line and in-person ministry to which God called me helps many people to know the truths of Christ rather than traditions of men which make "the word of God of no effect" (Mark 7:13).

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