SEPARATED NOT ISOLATED…


2 Corinthians 6:14-18 – “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ” I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 17 ” Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18 ” And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.”  NASB

I hear more preaching on man than God in the church today and that troubles me.  It is not that I don’t want to help man or believe that we can be far more than we are in this life.  It is that I have learned by experience and from the Word of God that man, left to himself is corrupt and will descend deeper into a state of depravity and selfishness that limits our ability to have a relationship with God or to win the lost.

The Bible teaches us in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, to ‘shun the very appearance of evil.’   We are to be ‘salt and light’ to this world and if we are just like them, where is our saltiness or the light emanating from our lives?  We are epistles know and read of me and if the letter or story of our life is no different from the person outside the Body of Christ, what message are we sending.

I know believers who refuse to associate or do business with ‘non-Christians’ claiming this text as their foundation.  Paul taught, Jesus demonstrated, and the Bible is filled with references telling us that our conduct is to be different, but if we treat the lost as though they were a plague how do we reach them?  Jesus demonstrated love to the lost and even said to His critics that, “It is not the well that needs a physician but the sick.” 

I am not suggesting that we party with the revelers and engage in their debauchery.  I am not suggesting that we approve of their lifestyles and endorse them by failing to give them the truth.  I am suggesting that if we attempt to isolate ourselves and insulate ourselves we will become uninhabited islands and fruitless trees having no value.  If we are to reap the harvest, we must go into the field where the crop is.  If we are to be fishers of men we must go into the sea of humanity and drop our nets. 

I have found that some of those I have reached would never have been reached if I had not been willing to do business with them and even have a meal with them or some other association.  No, I do not drink with them, curse with them, commit acts of immorality with them. I attempt to live before them rightly.  I have had people who are lost call me to pray for them or their family and as a result, won them to Christ.  I do not want to be isolated from the world but in the world, I want to be salt and light, and I want to be a witness through my example. 

The Pharisees, in the Bible, looked down on anyone not following their particular religious beliefs or tenets.  They viewed them as “SINNERS” and would say it with a condescending tone and used it as a word of utter disgust. It was a slur!  They repeatedly attacked Jesus for eating with publicans and sinners.  After all, those people were of such lesser importance and value, the believed Jesus should not even give them the time of day.  Jesus demonstrated the fallacy of that view and sent His disciples and us into the world.  He even prayed that the Father not take us out of the world but protect us in the world.

You are not more valued by God than the lost, you have simply received His Grace and experienced His mercy in Salvation.  Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give.”  You can’t give from your sanitized ivory tower, so instead of fearing that the world will taint you change it and infect it with your love, His grace, and bring light into their darkness. 

God bless you as you proceed on your pathway of life on this beautiful day He has given us in which to live and enjoy!