Thursday, August 4, 2011
"Am I separate from this world?"
Many have the belief that the gospel should be appealing and welcoming to everyone. Though it is most definitely welcoming (Jesus came and died for the "whosoever's"), it is not appealing. When we are told to die to self, that goes against our nature. When we are told to pick up our cross, that's downright uncomfortable! When we are told to follow Christ, it sounds awesome....but we forget that by following Him, we travel a narrow road; a less populated road; most times a lonely road.
But we are commanded to be separate.
2 Corinthians 6:17a
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord..."
I have noticed that Christian separation is becoming nearly non-existent. Instead, we try to win more people to Jesus by being cool, hip, and involved in many worldly activities and interests. We use the "love and grace" card, yet never confront sin at its core.
YES, Jesus loves you!!! YES, His grace abounds!!!! And praise our God for this fact! But He still calls us to be transformed; to totally revamp and renew our minds. He still commands us to be separate. We are to have a different way of thinking and a desire to flee everything worldly and cleave to all that is Godly and holy.
"But why not just love everyone and live our lives in love? That will show them Jesus."
Yes, that will show them one side of Jesus. But the world needs to know that though Jesus loves you, He loves you TOO MUCH for you to stay the way you are. He loves to you too much for you to look like, act like, and be like the world of sin that He saved you from.
"But why can't I look like and act like the world in order to show others that Jesus loves them and wants them?"
Zacchaeus figured it out. So did Paul. Paul was not converted by observing a Christian who lived or acted just like him. The thief on the cross was not converted by Jesus being a thief like he was. NO. Those who were converted were saved the way they were by the God who never changes. Jesus does not morph into a Gothic to reach a Gothic. No, He comes to them just the way He is and knocks on the door of their heart and asks to come in. And once He enters our hearts and minds, HE changes US! WE are the ones who should change and who should, then, be separate.
So how can we do this? How can we be separate as a Christian? Let's talk about some ways...
1) We are to be separated in our beliefs.
The heathen have their own system of beliefs. As believers, we must obey the Bible, whether it feels good or not. We must constantly be on guard against adopting worldly quotes and reasoning into our mind. We must analyze everything we hear using the Bible as our measuring stick. Carnal thinking is completely backwards from the Bible. As Christians, we need to seek the truth, asking God's Spirit to guide us.
2) We are to be separated in our lifestyles.
We should not go to taverns, nightclubs, and other heathen establishments. No Christian should ever spend a dime to go to ungodly movies or ungodly music concerts. We should not support sinful things produced by the Godless world. We are surrounded by Satan. Let us be separate in our daily lifestyles.
3) We are to be separated in our fellowship.
Christians should have little dealings with those who are openly living in sin. We should never be unkind or mean to anyone, rather we should always be loving. The Bible commands us to be blameless and harmless as believers, not rendering evil for evil. The Bible tells us to go and preach and win the world to Christ, yet there is still to be a clear separation between people of the light and people of the darkness.
4) We are to be separated in our conversation.
From listening to many professed Christians, you'd never know that they were a child of the Most High God. I have always been shocked and burdened when I hear a professed "Christian" use foul language or take God's name in vain (or anyone for that matter). I used to work in an establishment around many people who claimed to be Christians. I heard cursing and ungodly language by the very ones who professed Christ as their Savior. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not saying that they were not saved. However my point is that we are the only Jesus that someone may know. If we are worldly, others may miss Heaven because of our tarnished and "conformed" testimony. We should be very careful what we say. God tells us to "season" our words with grace (i.e., look for opportunities to include God in our conversations). Sadly, many people look for opportunities to make sexual innuendos because their mind is continually in the gutter. This should not be the testimony of a child of God. If nothing else, keep your mouth shut.
5) We are to be separated from the world in entertainment.
Most movies are full of complete and total ungodliness. Sexual innuendos abound. Foul language is the norm. Crude speech is labeled as funny. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft, and paganism is accepted. Support the movies, you support the mentality. It is no different with music. The average believer is very immature in the Lord. I can sadly say that I have only met a small handful of truly mature Christians in my life. Any music, movie, or TV show that glorifies sin is evil. And anything that has the APPEARANCE of worldliness and evil is to be fled from at all costs. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
As a fellow sister in Christ, I am asking my brothers and sisters in the Lord to come out and be separate.