An exile is someone who has been thrown out of their homeland by a government or someone who has fled persecution. Napoleon was exiled twice for his failings and many historical figures such as Aristotle, Seneca, and Dante suffered the same fate. John the Apostle was exiled by the Roman Emperor because of his testimony of Jesus Christ, Revelation 1:9.
Many Christians today predict a time is coming when we will face persecution and exile. People today who push the homosexual agenda, those who insist on a secular, atheistic point of view in education, and even those who hate the church in every way, are seeking to silence and make more difficult the livelihood and teachings of those who follow the Bible. God’s people have always been in exile in this world and really the only variable is the level of persecution against the church in each generation and culture. If fact, the church was born into an environment of persecution from the Jews, Greeks and Romans. Peter speaks of Christians as “pilgrims and sojourners (1 Peter 1:1, 2:1) while the Hebrew writer calls us “Strangers and pilgrims” (Hebrews 11:13-16).
Yes, our nation is becoming increasingly hostile to biblical teaching. But Christians should not build monasteries because our beliefs clash with our culture, especially when we fear persecution. Rather we are to continue to be salt and light to this world (Matthew 5:11-16). Salt cannot season while still in the shaker and light is most useful in the darkness. Paul said to Christians in immoral Corinth, “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would have to go out of this world (1 Corinthians 5:9-10). Paul considered himself an ambassador of Christ—that is, someone who goes to a foreign land to represent the leader of his homeland. Sometimes ambassadors are treated cruelly (2 Samuel 10:4, Luke 11:49) but they are still faithful in their duties. Even Jesus was not received by his own (John 4:44). We know that while we remain in exile here it is to persuade those who are of the world to no longer be in exile to the kingdom of God (2 Timothy 2:24-26). Christians, stay faithful in your duties as you represent your king to those lost, and dying world!