Nathele Graham – [email protected]
We are in a spiritual war and to fight the battle we need spiritual weapons. The enemy uses violence and sin against people in his aggressive fight against Jesus, but Christians aren’t to use weapons of hatred. Our battle plan is to stand unyieldingly upon God’s word, otherwise we can easily be tempted into becoming a double agent. Consorting with the enemy can’t be tolerated in a physical battle and is also unacceptable in a spiritual battle.
God is serious about His children separating themselves from the world. It seems as if there’s a “so what” attitude towards sin and Christians have no problem joining with non-Christians. We want to be liked and popular so God’s ways are ignored and worldly attitudes are adopted.
“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. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23. Sadly, many Christians have surrendered to the enemy rather than being separate unto God.
Christians are sinners saved by the grace of Jesus Christ and that should mean everything to us. Our sins are forgiven and taken away when we first accept Christ’s sacrifice for redemption and from that point on our desire should be to live for Jesus instead of living for Satan. I’m not talking about doing works to make you more saved, but living for Him because you love Him. “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.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.
Paul quoted from Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming Messiah found in Ezekiel and Isaiah. Come out from among the heathen and separate from the sin that consumes them. Fellowship with fellow Christians and help each other to stand firm on God’s word. Put Christ first and fight against the enemy.
Separating from the people around us who don’t honor God isn’t a new idea put forth in the New Testament. God gave the Israelites the Law of Moses and some of those laws were specifically to keep God’s chosen people separate from the pagan culture around them. The heathens embraced all things that God abhors, such as child sacrifice to demon gods and perverted sexual practices. God warned the children of Israel against marrying into the heathen culture around them.
“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. For they will turn away they thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.” Deuteronomy 7:3-5.
That’s very straightforward. If a believer is yoked to an unbeliever strife can follow. This was true for Israel and it’s true for Christians. If a son or daughter decides to marry someone who rejects Christ then they go against God’s will. The non-believing spouse is seldom happy when the Christian determines to attend worship services or give money. The children have no commitment from both parents to honor God so the un-believing parent is a very poor example to the children. There are two influences in this world, God Almighty and Satan. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24. If you don’t love and serve God then you serve Satan. If you’re married and then accept Christ as your Saviour, remember that marriage is sacred to God. Don’t compromise your faith but do everything you can to bring your spouse to Christ. No matter what situation you find yourself in, honor Christ.
The Christians in Corinth had not separated themselves from the world. Sin was welcomed into their congregation, which is very much like many congregations today. “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-10.
We live in a fallen world, but we aren’t to live like the fallen world. We work with people who don’t know Christ and we shop in stores along with the unsaved and may even attend social gatherings with them. Even though we’re in the world with non-believers we must remember that we serve Jesus. You may be laughed at because of your resistance to sin, but that is Satan laughing, not people. People aren’t the enemy, but the god they serve is. Make no mistake, if a person doesn’t serve Christ they serve Satan no matter how sweet and kindhearted they are. It may be necessary to be around the unsaved but we aren’t to participate in their lifestyles. Dress modestly, don’t use foul language, and keep Christ first in the choices you make.
What if the person who embraces sin claims to be a Christian? “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” 1 Corinthians 5:11.
People who claim to be Christian but have chosen to live in such a way that they honor Satan have committed treason in this spiritual battle and we aren’t to keep company with them. “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” 1 Corinthians 5:12-13. So much for not judging. The unsaved have no standards to guide moral conduct, but Christians have God’s word. We aren’t to judge in order to condemn but we are to judge with righteous judgment when discerning sin. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24.
God is clear about what is sin. The worldly people who follow Satan need to be witnessed to, but don’t join yourself to them in partnerships. We also need to be sure when pointing fingers at others that there isn’t sin in our own life that needs to be dealt with. Be sure you aren’t keeping company with the enemy.
Jesus is our example and He did spend time with sinners. He is God and is perfect but chose to become human in order to bring the gift of salvation to lost sinners. He spent time with tax collectors, Pharisees, prostitutes, and others who needed to find salvation through Him. If we follow His example and spend time with homosexuals, drug addicts, fornicators, and others who practice sin, are we fraternizing with the enemy? That depends on your motive for associating with them.
Are you witnessing to them or are you yoking yourself to them in friendship? Only Jesus, our High Priest, was perfect and would never yield to temptation. “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” Hebrews 7:26-27.
If you’re spending time with non-believers who are living happily in their sin, then you need to be sharing the Gospel with them. If you yoke yourself to them you just may end up accepting their sin and may even participate in it. Fraternizing with the enemy can only bring grief. Satan is the enemy and those who reject Christ serve the enemy.
Pride can cause a person to think they won’t be influenced by the sin of others. “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as year are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” 1 Corinthians 5:6-7.
It’s easy to be deceived. Sin (leaven) can overtake anyone who hasn’t put on the full armor of God. The helmet of salvation should guard your thoughts from enemy attack. Every day activities can numb a person to sin. Television is a terrible influence. Do you watch soap operas? MTV? Cartoons? Do any of these shows you allow into your brain glorify God? Make the choice to remove sinful influences from your life and don’t give Satan a chance to draw you into his schemes. Before you accepted Christ you embraced sin but that should have changed.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
Everyone has sinned but Christians are forgiven. Don’t go back into the sin that once had a hold on you. Don’t spend time in the enemy’s camp, but stay close to Jesus.
We have freedom in Christ, but that freedom doesn’t include the freedom to indulge our flesh. If a Christian soldier is walking close to our Commander in Chief there won’t be any fraternizing with the enemy. Witnessing to the lost is good, but accepting their lifestyle is fraternizing with the enemy. Always follow Jesus.”Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof”. Romans 13:13-14.
Brothers and sisters, the enemy is becoming bolder. If Christians choose to lower their defense and embrace the enemy’s tactics, this battle will be tough to fight. Choose to follow Christ in everything you do. Stand strong.
To succeed in spiritual warfare, fellowship with Christ and don’t fraternize with the enemy.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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