John 17:15 “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil [one.] (NASB1995)
Well this is kinda where we left of yesterday. What does it tell us and does it in anyway relate to keep them from the hour of testing, which many affectionately think means to be kept from the Great Tribulation.
And quite honestly that could be something I could want as well, but I find that what I want more is to know the truth from God. So does what Jesus says in this verse tell us anything of what is important, or does it reflect His truth about us, and If so what is it and why is it so?
I do not ask that you take them out of the world. Obviously Jesus is not speaking of individual believers, because believers were dying, and in that sense they were being taken out of the world. So what He must have been asking from the Father would have involved the body of the Ekklesia, the bride. There was a reason that they were to be left.
John 17:21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, [are] in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. (NASB1995)
The church exists for the purpose of bringing others from the world to Christ — “that the world might believe”. The church will be present in the world and for the world not only throughout this age, which we have seen in past posts revealing that it is the age of man’s rule over humanity on earth. It is the age when even believers within (the church) are engaged in marriage and the giving in marriage, which Jesus tells us identifies this age (Luke 20: 34-36). In fact the church will still have a presence on earth even throughout the millennial reign of Christ; for it is not until the 1000 years are ended that we see the completed bride (the New Jerusalem come down out of heaven. And until that time we will reign with Him on earth over mortal nations.
So if men are to be saved by the good news of Jesus Christ it is the job of the church to accomplish this. I have informed you before that it is the Angel of each of the seven churches whom Jesus addresses in Each of His messages to the seven churches. So it should not surprise us to hear the lord send out an Angel, who could be representing the entire church later during the Tribulation. Symbolism is used throughout the book of the Revelation. Believers in Christ are certainly present during the Tribulation. To say that the church is not present requires one to explain believers to be something other than what the Bible describes them to be. The mere absence of the word church does not prove anything. For we find no mention of the word church in John’s gospel, in 1st or 2nd John; in 2 Peter; or in Jude. John only references the local church in his 3rd letter. He writes church in Revelation chapters 2&3, because Jesus is dictation the message. In most other chapters, John is recording what he sees in his own words for the most part, and it is not his habit to use church to describe believers.
Think on these things.