A Christian’s separation from the world.
If you contrast the rotation of the earth with the movement of the sun, you notice that they move in opposite directions. Indeed, they should, since the sun is a picture of Jesus Christ, Ps. 19:4-5, and the world is the enemy of Jesus, Jas. 4:4. Consequently, the Lord’s children should move with their Savior in opposition to the world.
According to 2 Cor 6:14-18, Christians are to maintain a separation between themselves and the world. Like 2 Cor 6:17 says, “Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” To do this, we need to keep from getting yoked up with the world (6:14). A yoke is a connection between two things so that they move together.
The Lord describes five different yokes in this passage for which you need to watch out. If you get hooked up in any of them, you will not be separate in that area of your life.
The first yoke is the yoke of fellowship. When you got saved, Jesus Christ made you righteous (1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21). The world, on the other hand, is unrighteous (Rom 3:10). When you have fellowship with unrighteousness, you will be asked to go along with someone to do something that is not right. For instance, you might be asked to lie in a business transaction. You can’t go there (Prov 1:10). This is particularly true in marriage. A Christian should never marry a lost person.
The second yoke is the yoke of communion, which is intimate association. The example that Paul gives for this separation is light and darkness, which are mutually exclusive. That is, as soon as you introduce light into darkness, you no longer have darkness. In this dark world (Eph 6:12), we are the children of light (Eph 5:8) and the world’s children are darkness (1 Thes 5:4-5). As long as we are in the world, our light is to reprove the wicked deeds of the world, not go along with them (Eph 5:11-13; Jn 3:19).
The third yoke is the yoke of concord. Concord is a harmonious state of agreement. The example of this separation is the relationship between Jesus and the devil, called Belial. They are completely opposed to each other and their children should be. When you check the references to Belial, you find that the devil’s children are involved in idolatry, homosexuality, drunkenness, fornication, scorn, covetousness, and lying. We can’t be for these things and be for Jesus (Matt 12:30).
The forth yoke is the yoke of having a part with. Like Paul said, what part hath he that believeth with and infidel? An infidel is an unbeliever and his ultimate part is in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8). Our part is in the book of life and ultimately in heaven (Jn 14:1-3). Therefore, a Christian needs to keep from being yoked up with the world to keep from diminishing his inheritance in heaven. Esau lost his inheritance because he despised his birthright and the prodigal son lost his inheritance through riotous living (Heb 12:16-17; Lk 15:12-32).
The fifth yoke is the yoke of agreement. Since our bodies are the temple of God, we cannot have any agreement with idols. They are the false gods of this world (2 Cor 4:4). For instance, the world’s idols are movie stars, athletes, businessmen, politicians, military heroes, musicians, etc. A Christian should never know more about the statistics of his favorite sports team than he does about his Bible. Furthermore, a Christian should never go to church where there are statues of “saints” all around.
Before we were saved, we were in the world. Now that we are saved, we are to come out from among them (2 Cor 6:17). Many a Christian has poured hundreds of dollars of booze down the sink, busted numerous rock and roll tapes, records and CD’s, and thrown out unseemly movies and books (Acts 19:19). Their conversations changed from worldly matters and off-color stories to heavenly things. Their old “friends” either got saved or left them. Their new friends are God’s children and love Jesus, the Bible, hymns, and testimonies about people getting saved, doing things for the Lord and answered prayer. They are truly recognized as God’s sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:18).
Unfortunately, when you look at Christians today, you observe a trend toward worldliness that leaves little distinction between Christians and the world. The line of separation is almost gone. Often, people who profess to be saved don’t “come out from among them.” The world’s music, fashion, attitudes, Bibles, methods, philosophies and idols have crept into the church, Christian schools and bookstores. Overall, the trend will continue to worsen until the Lord returns. Don’t go the way of the worldly Christians!
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder