Life is a series of choices. As sure as the sun rises each one of us will face the consequences of our choices. Our world is a complicated place. I sometimes wonder if this isn't intentional. If everyone is so distracted by the quick pace that world events are unfolding, by technology, by what some call “day-to-day living” then they don't have much time for reflecting on their choices, how those choices may be affecting their lives and indeed how they are affecting their eternity, and how the world is manipulating them.
Whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not, we choose God or we choose the world. The choice between these affect every aspect of a person's life. If we choose God, then we must choose God in every situation presented in our lives. Once this choice is made, then we follow His instructions for our lives in all things. We strive to walk in holiness. We make sure that our lives and our decisions line up with God's word and with His will.
The moment we choose God we are cleansed from our sins. We separate ourselves from all things that don't line up with the Word of God or with His will. We do not compromise. We cannot allow ourselves to be tempted with things, people, situations that may lead us away from our Lord. All things must be judged by God's word. We, in fact, should judge ourselves by God's Word. It is impossible to achieve holiness, the holiness that God demands, without choosing God.
God tells us in II Corinthians 6:14-18 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
The passage used above is commonly thought of in the context of marrying one of another faith or of marrying an unbeliever. But, this is not the only meaning of this passage. It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts clearly appear. When believers enter into such unions, ignoring the express warnings of God's word, they must expect much distress. Caution also extends to common conversation. We should not join in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing and hearing, and being with such, we should never choose them for friends. We must not defile ourselves by converse with those who defile themselves with sin. Come out from the workers of iniquity, and separate from their vain and sinful pleasures and pursuits; from all conformity to the corruptions of this present evil world. If it be an envied privilege to be the son or daughter of an earthly prince, who can express the dignity and happiness of being sons and daughters of the Almighty?
God's word is explicit here. Christians must live in righteousness, according to the will of God. We must consecrate ourselves. We are not to be OF this world but we must be IN it. It is impossible to achieve holiness without choosing God. The message is clear: “...be ye separate, saith the Lord...” The word separate means to withdraw, be isolated, to divide into parts, to oneself from, to oneself unto...Clearly, we are being told to withdraw, isolate ourselves, divide, and separate TO something. That something is God. We separate ourselves from the sinful, compromising and self-justifying ways of the unsaved and of the world.
But, after reading this, many may say this can't be true! God told us to love others as we love ourselves. Of course, we are to do that. We must pray for the lost, we must demonstrate the love of Jesus through our actions. But, we cannot compromise our relationship with our Heavenly Father by mixing with sinners. This leads to compromise and compromise leads to sin. This is allowing ourselves to be tempted and I believe we should avoid these situations.
There is no discrepancy in this. God is not a liar, nor is He the “author of confusion” but satan is. Satan has deluded many, even Christians who believe they can dabble in the things of the world and still please God.
The moment we chose God, we chose to cleanse ourselves by the blood of the Lamb of God,separate ourselves from things that don't line up with God's word, and also in order that we may know and do the will of God We do not compromise anything in our lives that conflicts with God's word.
Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.” Negligence will ruin us. It is our interest,as well as our duty, to follow the will of God for our lives. He has a purpose for each of us. Why then, would we want to dabble in darkness? It will be our life. Godliness has the promise of the continuance and comfort of the life that now is for God's glory. It will be our righteousness.
It is only through Jesus Christ that we can be righteous before God. The knowledge of the spirituality and excellency of the holy law of God, is to show sinful man his need of a Savior and to prepare his heart to welcome a free salvation. The gospel honors the law, not only in the perfect obedience of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ; but in that it is a plan for bringing back apostate rebels and enemies, by repentance, faith, forgiveness, and renewing grace, to love God above all things, even in this world; and in the world above, to love him perfectly, even as angels love him.
In these end times, people are being seduced by wickedness and they call it righteousness. Unfortunately, the physical church has so mingled with the world that it cannot and will not understand that we serve a Holy God. Each child of God should strive to be holy. We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, we strive daily to walk in holiness and keep the statutes of our Father. Defiance to God's Word brings immorality, financial corruption, and rebellion. Defiance is rebellion.
No building, no doctrine of man ever saved a soul. We must judge all things by the Word of God. Amos 8:11-13 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” We see this happening today. People thirst for the Word of God but they do not hear it, they do not recognize it and they are too busy to find it. Those who seek it will certainly find it. Are we sharing the Word of God? Because people are searching and because they will not find the truth in many places one might think they would and because it is our duty, we must share the truth.
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” This scripture is part of what is referred to as “The Beatitudes.” Our Lord gives eight characters of blessed people, which represent to us the principal graces of a Christian.
The poor in spirit are happy. These bring their minds to their condition, when it is a low condition. They are humble and lowly in their own eyes. They see their want, bewail their guilt, and thirst after a Redeemer. The kingdom of grace is of such; the kingdom of glory is for them. Those that mourn are happy. That godly sorrow which worketh true repentance,watchfulness, a humble mind, and continual dependence for acceptance on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, with constant seeking the Holy Spirit, to cleanse away the remaining evil, seems here to be intended. Heaven is the joy of our Lord; a mountain of joy, to which our way is through a vale of tears. Such mourners shall be comforted by their God. The meek are happy. The meek are those who quietly submit to God; who can bear insult; are silent, or return a soft answer; who, in their patience, keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcely keep possession of anything else. These meek ones are happy, even in this world. Meekness promotes wealth, comfort, and safety, even in this world. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are happy. Righteousness is here put for all spiritual blessings. These are purchased for us by the righteousness of Christ, confirmed by the faithfulness of God. Our desires of spiritual blessings must be earnest.
The merciful are happy. We must not only bear our own afflictions patiently, but we must do all we can to help those who are in misery. We must have compassion on the souls of others, and help them; pity those who are in sin, and seek to snatch them as brands out of the burning. The pure in heart are happy; for they shall see God. Here holiness and happiness are fully described and put together. The heart must be purified by faith, and kept for God. Create in me such a clean heart, O God. None but the pure are capable of seeing God, nor would heaven be happiness to the impure. As God cannot endure to look upon their iniquity, so they cannot look upon his purity. The peace-makers are happy. They love, and desire, and delight in peace; and study to be quiet. They keep the peace that it be not broken, and recover it when it is broken.
If the peace-makers are blessed, woe to the peace-breakers! Those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake are happy. This saying is peculiar to Christianity; and it is more largely insisted upon than any of the rest. Yet there is nothing in our sufferings that can merit of God; but God will provide that those who lose for him, though life itself, shall not lose by him in the end. Blessed Jesus! how different are thy maxims from those of men of this world! They call the proud happy, and admire the gay, the rich, the powerful, and the victorious. May we find mercy from the Lord; may we be owned as his children, and inherit his kingdom. With these enjoyments and hopes, we may cheerfully welcome low or painful circumstances.
We are the salt of the earth. If we cannot discipline ourselves to follow God's Word and will for our lives above all things, we must take a hard look at what we are doing and why. We must not be as the world, nor of those who are adopting worldly ways in their “religiousness.” Religion never saved a soul, a building never saved a soul and the teachings of man never did, either.
Matthew 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
We must stand before the world and demonstrate our love of Jesus Christ and through Him. We must be living witnesses to the unsaved world of the holiness of our God. The day is coming soon when the Body of Christ will be removed from this world. Live every day for the Lord, and live like someone's life depends upon it, because this may be true. Leave no friends, no family no one you know without a doubt of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In these days of great temptation and false doctrines, guard your faith. Depend upon God for guidance, ask for wisdom and He will give it to you. Continue to fight the good fight until we see Jesus.