“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters,” saith the Lord Almighty. - 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 (KJV)
Have you ever had to decline an invitation to participate in activities or functions that called you to cancel your convictions and champion your carnality? The world employs a myriad of methods in order to encourage us to compromise our convictions: bribery, threats, guilt, manipulation, violence, amusements, pressure, deceit and even indoctrination. Capitulating to the world’s demands causes us to join them in their defiance against a gracious and loving but holy God.
Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy. – 1 Peter 1:16 (KJV)
I submit to you that all authentic children of God who have been born again are not exempt from the world's invitations of insurrection. Deeply loved of God, you do realize that our God has called us out of the world? The difficulty lies in that the world is always calling us to come back! As a result, there will be a time that you will be led to separate yourself from those who are separate from God.
When we practice separation sanctioned by scripture we are reflecting to the culture that we recognize that God has called born-again believers out of the world. We are called to a personal and corporate purity in the midst of culture that is prolific in impurity. In the scriptures, the Apostle Paul challenged us to live and demonstrate a life that distinguishes itself from a world that is descended into darkness.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. - Philippians 2:14-15 (KJV)
Many years ago, when I was a student athlete, I was invited on numerous occasions to join my teammates at an establishment that entertained its patrons with public nudity, more commonly known as a strip club. The proposition they posed presented a new and exciting experience. My familiarity with this folly was absolutely foreign. The pressure to partake pounded and pulled at my conscience and convictions. I questioned myself: Should I go along just to get along? Be real and relative in order to maintain a relationship? Compromise in order to cement camaraderie? Can you understand and appreciate the wisdom of God's word with respect to the company you keep?
Be not deceived: evil communications [company] corrupt good manners. - 1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV)
To God be the glory, His grace gave me the victory! I fled into scriptural separation and did not look back!
Unfortunately, we also see that today’s culture has permeated the boundaries of the church and enveloped it in clouds of carnality. In next week’s blog, we will consider how to balance the call of separation and the need to navigate society’s negative impact in the church.
Not a Sermon But a Thought,