Separation from the World / Sinners


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Today we will explore the Scriptures to see how God, from the very beginning, meant for there to be separation between His people and the rest of the world. God’s people were to be Holy and separated from the rest of the evil people of the world.

(Gen 24:1) Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. (2) He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh. (3) I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, (4) but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac." Here we have our spiritual father Abraham instructing that his son was not to take a wife from the ungodly Canaanites who worshiped Baal.

(Deut 7:3) Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. (4) For he will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of Jehovah be kindled against you, and he will destroy thee quickly. (5) But thus shall ye deal with them: ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire. (6) For thou art a holy people unto Jehovah thy God: Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth. (7) Jehovah did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all peoples: ( 8) but because Jehovah loveth you, and because he would keep the oath which he sware unto your fathers, hath Jehovah brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Here we see a Holy people who were to be separate from the rest of the evil peoples of the world. God commanded that separation in order to keep His people from being influenced by ungodly people who would teach His people to serve other gods. His people were to be holy and separate unto Him and this scripture  explains why God’s people were not to associate with the evil people of this world. (Exodus 34:15-17) lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot after their gods, and sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee and thou eat of his sacrifice; (16) and thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters play the harlot after their gods, and make thy sons play the harlot after their gods. (17) Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. This was the warning to God's people but they didn't listen.

(Numbers 25:1) While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, (2) who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate and bowed down before these gods. (3) So Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor. And the LORD's anger burned against them. (4) The LORD said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that the LORD's fierce anger may turn away from Israel."

It looks like the Lord is very serious!

(1 Kings 11:1-6) King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh's daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. (2) They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, "You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods." Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. (3) He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. (4) As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. (5) He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. (6) So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done. Notice how Solomon not only went against what the Lord commanded; but his heart was not “fully” and “completely” devoted to the Lord. We must evaluate our lives to see if we are fully devoted to the Lord. Does God say that it's OK not to be fully devoted or not following Him completely? No, the Lord say’s that Solomon “did evil in the eyes of the Lord”.

Next we see a literal command from God which has a spiritual parable. (Deut 22:9) Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole fruit be forfeited, the seed which thou hast sown, and the increase of the vineyard. (10) Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. (11) Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together. Can you see the parable of the seed in this? "Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole fruit be forfeited". Spiritually, we only have two seeds in the world; the seed of God and the seed of the devil. The seed of God is pure and should be growing in every believer's heart, and if any of the devil's seed sprouts in your heart, then "the whole fruit will be forfeited".

The Psalmist David knew about separating from sinners. (Psalm 26:4) I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites; (5) I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked. (6) I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD, (7) proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds. David would not sit nor associate with evil or wicked people. Remember in 1Kings 11:6, the Lord calls even those who are partly but not fully devoted to Him, as evil.

God's people are to spend time with each other to learn and grow from each other. (Proverbs 27:17) Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. When you spend your time with fellow believers who are following the Lord completely, you are then learning and feeding off of each other and what the Lord is teaching us. If you're spending your time with non-believers, luke-warm believers or spending time with believers who are walking in willful sin, then not only is sharpening not taking place, but you are probably dulling your blade. (1 Cor 15:33) Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.

(2 Corinthians 6:14) Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever? Old Testament or New, God does not want us joined with those who are non-believers or those who claim to be "Christians" that are in willful sin. You are God's temple and you should have nothing to do with darkness. (16) And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you, (18) And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Yes, believers are to come out of the world and be separate from the world. (2 Cor 6:17) Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; and I will receive you. The Greek word for church is ekklēsia which means to be called out, or a body of believers called out of the world and called out of their old religious system. So when we see the word "church" in the Bible it's talking about a small group of believers who were called out of the world, called out of their old religion into a smaller body who were following the teachings of Jesus and were holy. Even the word "Holy" in the Bible is from the Greek word that means "separated", separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, or set apart for a sacred purpose.

(1Cor 5:1) It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. (2) And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? (3) Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. (4) When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, (5) hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. Paul says that we should put this man out of our fellowship! He says that this man should be handed over to Satan; not for evil but so that he becomes so miserable that he turns back to God so he will be saved. How is that for separation from sinners! (6) Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? (7) Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (8) Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. A little tolerance for sin works through the whole body of Christ. If sin is tolerated and accepted, then it will soon spread and thought to be OK. As the saying goes… “One bad apple spoils the bunch”. Years ago it was almost unheard of to have divorce within the church. Today it as common for Christians to divorce as it is pagans.   That which was sin before, is now accepted. Years ago sex outside of marriage or "living together" was strictly prohibited; it was sin and was not allowed in the church. Today it is common place within society and in the church. "A little leaven leavens the whole lump". Teen pregnancy is a common place today. Homosexuality used to be an absolute sin in every church and not tolerated what so ever, but today it's more and more acceptable with more and more preachers themselves coming out of the closet that they are gay. "A little leaven leavens the whole lump".  Yes we can go on and on what we accept under the disguise of love and grace by Jesus Christ but the Bible says otherwise. (9) I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— (10) not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. (11) But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. Paul is talking about “so called” believers here, those who claim to be a Christian but live contrary to what the Bible says. How many people do you know who profess they believe in Jesus, yet lives contrary to His teachings? Those we are not to associate with! (12) What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? (13) God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you." We don't see this in our churches today, yet it's a command for the church that we are to be separated from sin. When was the last time we heard a good sermon on sin and holiness? When was the last time we were told not to associate with believers who are not following the teachings of Jesus?

Many will cry GRACE, GRACE we are now under grace and that it's alright to accept those who are willfully sinning. To those I would say that in the scripture above, the Apostle Paul does not agree with you, nor does the writer of Hebrews. "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries… who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:26-29)?

We were warned about this easy grace, "everything goes" gospel which accepts sin into the church. (2Timothy 3:1-5) But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, (4) traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; (5) holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away. Does this sound vaguely familiar? To be honest this sounds like most of the Christians today. Either they are caught up in this world and all the pleasures in it or they hold a form of godliness but denied the power. What power is Paul talking about here? (Mark 16:17) And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; (18) they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. This is the POWER that many are denying and Paul says to turn away from those! Clearly Paul preaches holiness and separation from sin.

The Apostle John also teaches separation from those who are not true Christians. (2 John 1: 7) For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. (8) Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things which we have wrought (accomplished), but that ye receive a full reward. (9) Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son. (10) If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting: (11) for he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works.

Here we see what the Bible considers a deceiver and an antichrist, someone who does not confess that Jesus “cometh” in the flesh. The Greek word for cometh is “erchomai” which is a PRESENT TENSE VERB. If John’s letter was written many years after Jesus’ death, how is Jesus coming in the flesh? At His second coming, Jesus is coming with His glorified body and not in the flesh. The only way Jesus is coming presently in the flesh is in His believers! Remember it is no longer us that lives but Christ in us (Gal 2:20)! So John says if anyone does not accept this or teaches something different, that we are not even to receive them into our house or greet him! If we are, then we are partaking in his evil works! So if you have those who are teaching you that you're a sinner (saved by grace) instead of a saint who in now saved by grace, then they're not accepting that Jesus in now in us and John says not to associate with them.

Jesus even said that He was bringing separation to His people. (Matthew 10:34-38) Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (35) For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law: (36) and a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Jesus knew that He was bringing separation to the world. He says it will even be in your own family! Why? (1Cor 2:12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (13) These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

This is why Jesus said there would be separation even among families, it's because we have received a different spirit than that of the world. Not a worldly wisdom; but a spiritual wisdom from God, that most, including our family members cannot understand. Because it is from God, they cannot understand it and it seems foolish. If you don't separate yourself from the worldly people, you'll quickly fall back into the world and start to love the world all over again. (James 4:4) You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Enjoying life and friendship with this world, is hatred toward God! That's why God wants us to be separate from sin and worldly people. (1 Peter 2:11,12) Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. (12) Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. We are to be so separate from this world that we are to consider ourselves aliens and strangers of this country and this world we live in. We are to live among the pagans and be an example to them.

(Phil 2:15) That ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world... Are you a blameless child of God without blemish in the midst of a perverse generation; are you seen as lights separated from the darkness? 

(Hebrew 7:26) For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens...  You see, as believers we are to be sanctified which means separated from the world unto God. We are not called to blend in with the world like most Christians do today; we are called to be separated from the world unto God. Because most Christians have not done this, the Lord gives us a stern warning to come out of the sinful worldly system.

(Revelation 18: 4) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues: (5) for her sins have reached even unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Notice that our Lord is not speaking to everybody or to the world, but He is speaking to “my people”. What are God’s people into these last days that He wants them out of or separated from? Most likely the worldly economic and religious system that has strayed so far from what Scripture says. He wants us out and separate from this world we live in. If we don't come out and be separate from the world we will share in her plagues!

With all this talk of separation from sin and the world, we must understand, that does not relieve us of preaching the Gospel and letting people see the Jesus in us. We must do like Paul says. (1 Cor 9:22) To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak: I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. (23) And I do all things for the gospel's sake, that I may be a joint partaker thereof. Paul went into the world not for the purpose to have a good time but to save some out of the world. Paul preached the Gospel and did what he could to save some, so follow Paul's example and go and do as Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” If they do not receive the Gospel, then wipe your shoes off and be on your way. But do not intermingle with the world and become like them. You are just passing through this world on your way to your permanent home in Heaven. It's a very narrow road with lots of distractions along the way. (1 Cor 15:33) Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.

I encourage you brothers and sisters to yoke yourselves with other strong believers who can keep your feet planted firmly on that narrow road. Make pit stops along the way in order to save those in the world as the Lord directs you, but do not tarry along the side of the road. Quickly get back on that narrow road and travel that less taken road that leads to life. 


God bless,

Mark, a servant of the Lord, 



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