Separation From the World

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 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 Cor 6:14-18 KJV

 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a better country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Heb 11:13-17 KJV

We see according to these verses that there are two kingdoms that cannot be mixed. There is this present world filled with sin, based upon selfish principles, and under the dominion of the devil, and there is the kingdom of heaven where righteousness reigns, love is the motive behind action, and Jesus Christ is king.

Jesus calls us out of this world, and into His kingdom. To follow Jesus is to go in the opposite direction of the way the world runs; to do the very things that the world scorns and rejects. As stated above, the world is based upon selfish principles. This is why we see so much sin and heartache in this world. Read what James says about this,

From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think the scripture saith in vain, The Spirit that dwelleth within us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:1-6 KJV)

God calls his people out of selfishness and sin. Anyone who would call themselves a Christian, yet be driven by the world’s system and ways; who would be a friend of the world, is in reality God’s enemy. God is a jealous God, and will not have His children following after the evils of this world, and placing the things of this world above Him. God will give us grace, but only to those who are humble.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. (1 John 2:15-17 KJV)

It is impossible for a follower of Christ to love God and yet love this world, just as Jesus states that it is impossible to serve two masters (Matt 6:24). The world values the temporal things, the things that excite our passions and bring us pleasure. The truth is that these things draw our hearts away from the living God, and separate us from Him. This world is passing away. The bible warns us of the coming day when the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2 Peter 3:10-11). If we remain in it, we will be destroyed with it. Those who come out of it, who separate themselves form its evil ways, doing the will of God, will abide forever.

It is true that we are in this world. We live in it, work in it, and raise our families in it. However, we can live in this world, and yet be not of it. Just as we read of the Patriarchs, who lived as strangers and aliens in a foreign country, so we also must live in this world as strangers to it, looking to our heavenly home, for our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20). To be here as a stranger is to refuse to partake in the sinful ways around us. It is to reject the passions and pleasures that would war against our souls. It is to refuse to be conformed to the pattern of this world’s fashions and entertainment. It is to refuse to become entangled in its affairs; its politics and  its patriotic fervor, as our allegiance is to Christ alone. To be separate from this world is to use it only as is necessary, as we serve Christ in this world (1 Cor 7:29-31). Those who have turned from this world do not make the temporal cares and concerns of this life their utmost concern, but instead, they seek first the kingdom of God, while trusting Him to care for their needs (Matt 6:25-33). These also have their eyes upon their heavenly home. They are looking for and hastening the coming day of Christ, they are longing for His appearing (2 Peter 3:12; 2 Tim 4:8).

The Christian is Christ’s ambassador in this world. We must be careful to live as such, not getting entangled in, and distracted by the affairs of this earth, all the while remaining steadfast, and diligent to complete the work God has called us to.

See The Two Kingdoms.

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