Project: Separation

26 07 2009

The subject of “separation”has always been one that brings somewhat of alot of controversy. Most times, when someone hears the word “separation” they roll their eyes, call you legalistic, and walk away. However, let me share a couple thoughts with you…

The word “separation” (noun) means:
1. an act or instance of separating or the state of being separated;
2. a place, line, or point of parting;
3. a gap, hole, rent, or the like;
4. something that separates or divides;
5. Law.

When people hear someone talking or preaching about separation, their mind automatically goes to a list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts”. The Bible says in II Corinthians 6 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (vs 17).  But that’s not where the thought ends… there’s still yet another verse after that. It says, “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” See, it’s not just about being separated FROM something, it’s also about being separated UNTO something. This is where most of us have the problem. When we separate ourselves FROM the world in one area of our life there is going to be a void – that void needs to be filled with the things of God! We need to separate ourselves UNTO the Lord.

The second thought I want to share is this…
You know those vows a bride and groom exchange on their wedding day? You know: “to love, comfort, honor and keep, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse,” etc… Well, somewhere towards the end of the vows it says something like this: “forsaking all others, keeping yourselves only unto each other as long as you both shall live.”

Let’s look at that for a few minutes. When we ask Jesus to be our Savior, we become “Christians” – do you know what a Christian is? Christians make up the church – and the church is the “Bride of Christ”!

When you go to a wedding and you watch that couple – so in love with each other, they’re oblivious to anything and anyone around them – there’s no holding back. When the vows are being exchanged, that boy is so in love with that girl that he’s willing to agree to anything so that she will be his forever. When the preacher comes to that last part of the vow: “Do you promise to forsake all others, and keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?” What if the groom said, “Now hold on here… you’re being a little bit narrow-minded, aren’t you. That’s just a little bit legalistic, wouldn’t you say? You’re asking me to only be with this woman for the rest of my life? I’d say that’s just a little bit old fashioned, preacher… a little too legalistic for me!” How do you think his his bride would feel about that? I venture to say she wouldn’t be too thrilled. No! Of course, we know the groom isn’t going to say that because he loves his bride!

Now… how do you think Jesus feels when He tells us to come out and be separated from the world? How do you think He feels when He tells us to separate ourselves, and we refuse? We (as Christians) are the bride of Christ.

I know people have argued: “Well, if we come out and are all different and weird and stuff, the world will want nothing to do with us… we’re gonna drive them away from Christianity altogether, and then how are we supposed to win them to Christ?” Friend, that’s the stupidest arguement I’ve ever heard in my life. A teacher I had in highschool said it this way:

“If we become like the world to reach the world, what will we have to offer the world?” (Jeff Redlin)

Jesus was very plain in stating that the world isn’t going to like us. In fact, let me share a few Bible verses with you:

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.” (Luke 6:22, 27)

“The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” (John 7:7)

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)

“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” (I John 3:13)

You see, it’s not a “legal” issue, it’s a “love” issue. You only love the Lord as much as you’re willing to serve Him, as much as you’re willing to give and sacrifice for Him, as much as you’re willing to obey Him. I love the Lord, but not nearly as much as I ought to. It’s not really a suggestion. If you’ll notice there isn’t an “If you want to…” before the “Come out from among them…” part of the verse. It’s a direct command from Almighty God. However, God has instilled in us a free will to do what we want, and it’s up to us to make the right choice.

How much do you love the Lord? Are you willing to separate yourself FROM the world and UNTO Jesus.

(Thought from Pastor Steve Brown/Pastor Ken Graham)