Come Out From Them and Be Separate

 

(2 Cor 6:14-18 NIV)  Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? {15} What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? {16} What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." {17} "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." {18} "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

 

Tied together for a purpose.

*   (Mat 11:29-30 NIV)  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Being yoked is OK. Being unequally yoked is not OK.

*   (Acts 15:10 NIV)  Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?

*   (Gal 5:1 NIV)  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

 

So let’s understand this, “Yoke” idea. It is a word with an animal husbandry background but parallelism is also applied to relationships. Hear are two examples from the dictionary.

1.      A crossbar with two U-shaped pieces that encircle the necks of a pair of oxen or other draft animals working together.

2.      To join securely as if with a yoke; bind: partners who were yoked together for life. Or, to become joined securely. Also, that which unites or binds.

 

There are real dangers in being unequally yoked. There are real dangers in trying to be friends with the world. Several old sayings come to mind that intend to warn us of this.

*   Birds of a feather flock together.

*   You are what you eat.

*   Monkey see monkey do.

*   A man’s friends are a reflection of the man.

*   Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

*   Misery loves company.

 

The danger is that instead of them becoming like us, we might become like them! The rescuer might end up needing to be rescued.

*   (Rom 12:2 NIV)  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

In other words we should not be like or similar to the world we live in. We are born (conformed) like the world but we are reborn like Christ. We are changed (transformed), by becoming a new creature in Christ.

 

This world is attractive and has much to offer. It also has much to avoid and be ashamed of.

*   (1 Cor 3:18 NIV)  Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise.

The litany of the shameful things of this world is long. And the way they attempt to make shameful things appear not shameful is even longer. Truly, if you are accepted by those called “Wise” you are probably already in trouble. This is not intended to be a blanket statement, but consider some of the so-called wise of this world.

*   Scientists that deny creation.

*   Professors that deny God.

*   Doctors that kill the unborn.

*   Politicians that normalize homosexuality while corrupting marriage.

*   Bureaucrats that steel from some to give to others to keep themselves in power.

*   The social elites that profess love and tolerance but have no love or tolerance for God’s people.

If this is wisdom then I would rather be a fool!

 

We are in this world for a purpose. We are here to proclaim God and Jesus His son. We are here to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God. We are here to show those in the dark the one true light of the world. We are here to show them the way out of the trap they are in. The job can’t be done by being like them. We must be like Jesus. They must be able to see Jesus in us.

*   (John 17:15-17 NIV)  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. {16} They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. {17} Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

Sanctify! That word means to set apart for a holy purpose. It means we must be different, a peculiar people.

 

Yes we need to go into the world. But we need the world to know that thjis world is not our home. We need to show them our faith by our works. One of many such things we can do is mentioned in …

*   (James 1:27 NIV)  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 

One final verse.

*   (1 John 2:15-17 NIV)  Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. {17} The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

 

This is the message we must understand and the message we must deliver. What we have is glorious and eternal. What the world has is a pitiful counterfeit and only temporary. We, through Christ, offer a glorious eternal life the world offers only eternal death.