Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile…
1 Peter 1:17
It’s very interesting what Peter calls our time here on earth–he says that we are in exile.
This is not a common way to describe the life that American Christians live.
The reason that he says that our lives here on earth as Christians can be described as an “exile” is because the church in his time was currently suffering through persecution and he needed to remind them why this was so. They were being mistreated because it wasn’t their home.
If it were their home they would be welcomed and safe, but no, they are “in exile” until the kingdom of God (which is really peaceful) truly comes.
But the difficulty for us American Christians in understanding this is because we aren’t being persecuted. And so the absence of conflict in the course of our faith deceives us into thinking that we are home.
This is a problem for Peter. Everything about the American dream and home in regards to settling down and being progressively comfortable does not bode well with the identity of our lives as Christians.
Just because we don’t experience the discomfort that persecution brings does not make America our home. It can almost be said that we are at a significant disadvantage because us Christians are in an identity crisis of not knowing where we belong.
Indeed, the lack of persecution often makes us forget our real home–heaven.