The question of the separated life is a very important one, not only because it is a practical question which must be faced by every thoughtful Christian, but also because of the implications that it has. After I became a follower of Christ I once read the whole New Testament Scripture in a day. As I read, I was puzzled with 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17-18 that says,
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? …go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty” (ESV).
What does it mean by “be separate from them”? Now, as I grow into maturity in the faith, I understand the implications of it. I was struggling to apply the Scripture in my life. To my amazement, I didn’t have to leave my friends when I became a believer; they left me! When my lifestyle became different and my interests were slowly focused in the kingdom of God, there was no common ground. However, I still talked to my friends about the Lord, and prayed for them, and loved them with Christ’s compassion. Thankfully, there are few of them who are still faithful in our friendship. For this Lord, I thank you.
If you still wonder, what does it mean by “be separate from them”? What is a separated life? I want to let my mentor and friend, Charles H. Spurgeon (1834 – 1892), a long dead hero of mine to enlighten it to you:
“Remember again, that our Lord Jesus Christ had a broad wall between Him and the ungodly. Look at Him and see how different He is from the men of His time. All His life long you observe Him to be a stranger and a foreigner in the land. Truly, He drew near to sinners—as near as He could draw—and He received them when they were willing to draw near to Him. But He did not draw near to their sins. He was "holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners." When He went to His own city of Nazareth, He only preached a single sermon and they would have cast Him headlong down the hill if they could. When He passed through the street, He became the song of the drunkard, the butt of the foolish, the mark at which the proud shot out the arrows of their scorn!
At last, having come to His own and His own having received Him not, they determined to thrust Him altogether out of the camp, so they took Him to Golgotha and nailed Him to the tree as a malefactor, a promoter of sedition. He was the Great Dissenter, the Great Nonconformist of His age! The National Church first excommunicated and then executed Him. He did not seek difference in things trivial, but the purity of His life and the truthfulness of His testimony roused the spleen of the rulers and the chief men of their synagogues. He was ready in all things to serve them and to bless them—but He never would blend with them. They would have made Him a king. Ah, if He would but have joined the world, the world would have given Him the chief place—as the world's prince said on the mountain—"All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me." But He drives away the fiend and stands immaculate and separate even to the close of His life!
If you are a Christian, be a Christian! If you follow Christ, go outside the camp! But if there is no difference between you and your fellow man, what will you say to the King in the day when He comes and finds that you have on no wedding garment by which you can be distinguished from the rest of mankind?
[Quote from Spurgeon Gold by Ray Comfort. Published by Bridge-Logos, 2005. Page 148-149]
Friends, hear the Word of the Lord. “Go out from [the unbelievers, the lawlessness and the darkness], and be separate from them”. Mind you, don’t do it because you think you’re special; do it because Jesus is special and He has set an example of Godly-lifestyle for us to follow. God’s call on your life and the destiny He has for you in His kingdom are far more precious than all the fun, happy and shallow amusements that are temporary in this world. Remember His promise: “I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me”? Live a separated life. Do this and may His Holy Spirit enable you to do this. Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.