It has always been a challenge for Christians to live out their faith. Mankind’s nature resists and opposes God’s ways. As mankind’s collective resistance to God grows deep roots, a culture develops that operates within it’s own humanistic terms and this becomes the accepted norm.
As the culture moves farther and farther away from God the pressure to conform to this world’s ideas and standards (or lack thereof) becomes stronger and stronger. The pressure for Christians to soften their strong stands based on God’s Word is never-ending. Sometimes it is direct and obvious and other times it is subtle.
As a result many Christians and churches have made one small compromise after another to accommodate the cultural pressure. Their “faith” becomes a hybrid of God’s ways and man’s ways. The casualty of all this is true holiness.
This is nothing new. God is aware of this challenge and He gives His people the guidance and instruction to deal with this problem.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 NLT Come out from them and separate yourself from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord.
God’s instruction is for His people to separate themselves from the culture that opposes God. God tells believers to live for Jesus without compromise. God’s people are to be examples of what it means to be like Jesus and this means not partaking in the sinful things that are so commonly available. They are to be separate. They are to be different.
In this way God will be seen as our Father and we will be seen as His children. This is what God desires. His people must remain true to God and God’s ways, not man’s, however small.
2 Corinthians 7:1 NLT Let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body and spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God.
Holiness is purity. Holiness is cleanliness. Holiness is separating yourself from anything that defiles the body and spirit. God says that His people are to work at it. They are to work at being completely pure by ridding ourselves of those things that are an offense to God.
Can a Christian be holy, pure and clean and use filthy language? Can a Christian loose morally? Can a Christian fit into this world’s culture? What does God say? He says “NO.” God says that His people need to clean up their act and get serious about separating themselves from the filthy things in this world and be faithful to Jesus, no matter what.
Too may believers do not fear God. They believe that they can have one foot in God’s family and one foot in the world’s family. But this is fantasy. God demands that His people be pure, clean and separate from this world and the world’s ways. Why does God tell us to fear Him? Because there are consequences to carelessly insulting Him by partaking of sinful things and ignoring His instruction. One day God’s people will be judged for our behavior in this world. Think about that.
1 Thessalonians 4:7 NLT God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives.
So, what’s it going to be? Are you going to pay attention to God’s plea for His people to be pure and clean and separate themselves from this world’s sinful ways, or not? Are you going to be holy, as you are called to be, or are you going to live impure lives?
I urge you today to take these verses serious and get things back on the right track with God. If you are where you ought to be with the Lord, then pray for your brothers and sisters who need to reset their course.
Pray for the church in these very difficult times.
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