I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. (John 17:14-19)
Be assured the hatred flung upon believers is not 'ill-placed' - they are just showing their rejection of Christ and his provided way into right relationship with his Father. Jesus could have taken all who believed out of this world with him when he ascended into heaven, but their work was only beginning. Although they no longer conformed to the ways and customs of the world, they were 'left behind' to carry forth this message of hope and restoration. Instead of taking us out of the world, Christ asks us to spread hope - knowing that his Father will keep each of us safe under his watchful care.
How is it we become ambassadors of Christ's message to this world? The most important thing after saying 'yes' to Jesus is that we allow his Word to 'get inside of us' so it begins the work of making us holy. We receive all we need for right relationship with God when we say 'yes' to Jesus, but then there is this transformational process of laying down the ways of this world and taking up the holiness provided to us in God's grace. This 'exchange' process is actually something that the world observes, making the 'preaching' of the message of hope really more about how we live out our salvation in our daily lives.
Jesus' sacrifice might have saved from the fires of hell, but the more we embrace that truth, the more we find ourselves desiring less of this world's ways and more holiness, right-living, and peace to be part of it. That might seem strange - being 'delivered from' but still 'living in' this world - but there are a good many around each of us who have yet to experience the power of truth in their own lives. We 'live in' because we are to be messengers of this truth - ambassadors of truth. The Word of God is powerful - it transforms us because of that power. When Jesus left this earth, he left behind his Word. Why? So many more could receive truth and enter into his peace.
We might think we are ill-equipped for our mission, but Jesus did one thing that day so long ago that some of us miss. He asked his Father to give us everything we would need to 'live in' this world without becoming 'like' this world. Truth keeps us 'fit' for the Kingdom of God. The more truth gets into our lives, the more 'transformed' our lives become. Our actions begin to reflect grace. Our attitude reflects peace. Our hope is eternal and not temporal. Our insight is not opinion, but it is reality (truth). Our mission - share truth with those who have not seen the power of truth yet. Just sayin!