Heaven Looks at the World So Differently
When the book of Hebrews was written, almost no one could see what really was happening. There was a vast difference in how Heaven viewed God’s people on this earth and how mankind viewed them. Christians were being persecuted everywhere and were seen as enemies of society. Even more amazing was that the Jews condemned God’s children as His enemies. It was only through the eyes of faith that reality was seen. The world of Christians, both those in the first century and in our day, is never understood by the people around them.
Christians have been objects of persecution from the beginning. Hebrews chapter ten described the time when the homes of Jewish Christians were plundered and their possessions were taken from them. This was nothing new. Years before the writing of the book of Hebrews, Luke vividly described how Christians suffered. “Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3, ESV). Thirty years later, the same kind of persecution continued. The world rejoiced as they saw the way Christians were being abused.
Jesus had told His followers such would happen, “Now brother will deliver up brother to death . . . you will be hated by all for My name’s sake, but he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 10:21-22). Paul described the fate of the apostles in these words, “We hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless . . . We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things” (1 Cor. 4:11-13, ESV). The world saw Christians as the scum of the earth, the garbage of mankind, but Heaven saw them so differently!
What does this have to do with us? If from the beginning Christians were despised, we should not ever be surprised when those around us really wish we were not part of society. If your family members just wished that you would “stop being so religious,” and your fellow workers wished that you would sit silently while they mock God and righteousness, it should not surprise us. It has always been that way! All that matters is how we respond to this situation.
Those early Christians “joyfully accepted the plundering of (their) goods” (Heb. 10:34), and “rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41). Let us faithfully serve Him regardless of how the world sees us. Just remember that God sees the “scum of the earth” as the greatest treasure in all of His creation. We are not the refuse of the world, but the honored guest in His house. Our worth is not determined by those around us but by those above us!