Living In An Ungodly World
Book of 2 Corinthians Chapter 6
It is for certain that the Bible teaches separation as we learn very well in this same chapter:
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
If we understand this as isolation then we have not understood what God has said.
We are not to loiterers in this world, because we are to be laborers in this world.
The Bible says we are to be as husbandmen, builders, soldiers, fishermen, ambassadors!
The ministry of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ is not always easy work!
God started with One, His Son Christ Jesus but now we as believers are all in this thing together with Him!
We are never to live separate to the people of this world, but are certainly to live separate from the sin of this world!
*****2Co 6:1 We then, “as workers together with him”, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
The message of the “Gospel” can be unbelievable to those who are blinded by Satan’s lies but this message sent from Heaven is a glorious message and the only message that can save a lost sinner or an unbeliever!
Our Pastor, along with every “Born Again” child of God are not only to be “Ambassadors” for Christ but we are to be “workers together with him”!
What are we to understand by the “Grace of God”?
1) The “Gospel” is free in every sense of the word free, but it was not free to God for, God paid a high price to offer this freedom to us all.
Remember Grace is “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”!
2) The “Gospel Truth”, is an offer of freedom, “free, full, and everlasting salvation”, to whosoever believes in the saving work of Christ Jesus.
The “Gospel” is received in vain if you accept it only as “doctrine”.
The “Gospel” is received in vain if you accept it only as a “system of duty”.
The “Gospel” is received in vain if you accept it in ” theory only”.
The “Gospel” is received in vain if you make it “inconsistent” with “God’s intent for a personal relationship.
When the “Gospel” has been accepted in vain then the Lord Jesus Christ died in vain and salvation is meaningless and non-existing!
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
When the “Gospel” is not honored, then Christ Jesus is made to have died in vain!
Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
If righteousness could come from anything in this world then Jesus Christ died in vain and the “Gospel” is of no importance and “God’s Grace” does not exist!
Remember “Grace” is the “undeserved favor of God”!
The truth is, the reality of this world is, than the life of anyone of us could be snatched away at any moment, so the “Gospel” is more important today and at this very moment, for the past is gone!
*****2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
At the day of our death and we have not accepted the “Gospel” message, then the Lord Jesus Christ died in vain for that person!
The truth is, everyone one of us have until this day of our natural death, in our future or in the very next moment, for we cannot know when death will come.
We must enter into the New Covenant with the Lord before our time expires!
Eze 16:8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, “and thou becamest mine”.
If we cannot or if we refuse to do so, then we certainly cannot blame the “Gospel” of God, for everlasting “death” that is the reality of not responding to the “Gospel”!
ALL, ministers of the “Gospel” must remain consistent with the “Gospel” and the intent of the “Grace” of God!
*****2Co 6:3 Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
2Co 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
2Co 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
It can never be our duty to compromise on the “Gospel” message so that it does not offend some because the “Gospel” will always be offensive to an unbeliever!
By it’s nature, the “Gospel” message will certainly offend some of those who hear it and the truth is, it is rare for God’s message to be accepted the very first time it is heard.
It is a fact that in today’s world there is a great attempt to silence the true Pastor because of this message from God!
BUT, no Pastor is to allow his lifestyle or inconsistency in his message to be the source of that offense!
The Pastor must avoid any and all appearance of evil!
I personally do not know how a Pastor selects the substance of his sermons but I hope they all always follow the lead of the Holy Spirit who wrote all the Scriptures and I believe that most do.
It would pay every Pastor to choose wisely the words he uses and show good judgment in his presentation!
The same goes for any teacher and also for every child of God!
In fact, the subjects of the message of each Pastor should be suited to the “spiritual welfare” of the flock he has at that time!
For instance, a Pastor needs to be on fire and preach the Hell is hot, but we must all consider that those that are lost already know how to get to Hell, “they need to know how to get to Heaven”!
Each Pastor must never offer reasons or place stumbling blocks in front of those who are seeking this truth!
The Apostle Paul said he was a failure “if he caused a poor reflection on his ministry”.
A Pastor is never to show respect of persons, as this is also a reflection on the ministry of God!
We already know that a Pastor must insist that any Church discipline adhere “exactly” to the Word of God, “no ifs, no ands and no buts”!
A Pastor must always realize that he is a minister of God’s message and God’s ministry is of His Son Christ Jesus!
God does not send Pastors or preachers out with their own message, God sends them out with His message!
If a Pastor cannot get under the spout where the “Glory of God” runs out then he is not one of God’s called men!
The message of God is serious but it must not ever be boring.
The message of God must be holy and remain morally sound.
The message of God must be instructive!
The work of the Lord can be very laborious but it is never to be considered a job but it will sometimes require a great amount of endurance.
If a Pastor cannot endure with much patience, he will never be able to be consistent!
The world we live in will always be consistent in corruption and sin, even increasing to distract those in it from the message of God.
The Pastor will have to over come all these things and remain faithful to the Word of God!
Paul mentions afflictions, we can be sure they were physical and mental. No doubt the work of a Pastor can be overwhelming at times.
That word “necessities” really means the “necessities of life” which includes so many things beyond food and shelter and clothes, to personal needs and much more.
That word “distresses” is plural and means extreme pain, anguish in body and mind, but can even include loss of near and dear friends.
Paul endured scourging at least 8 times but he also endured, beatings, lashings, whippings and many other things, just because he preached Christ Jesus.
Paul was imprisoned more than once because he preached Christ Jesus.
Paul labored in prison but Paul also labored with his own hands in attempting to meet his personal needs but most of all Paul labored in pain while he continued to suffer for Jesus’ name sake.
Many others have suffered in the ministry of Christ but no one any more than the Apostle Paul!
“Watchings” would include many sleepless nights.
“Fastings” would be deliberate but sometimes Paul would miss a meal just to preach if the opportunity presented itself.
What does the Bible teach us?
Ecc 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Not only did Paul remain consistent through all these things but during that same period of time Paul was consistent in ever learning the Word of God!
*****2Co 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
2Co 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
Paul was consistent in his own spiritual growth!
Paul lived his life in purity, free from the filth and pollution of this evil world.
Paul continued in his study and understanding of the Word of God.
Paul was most patient with those he preached to, in bringing them to the truth even when they so easily rebelled.
Paul was kind and good and gentle, even when he was abused and unappreciated.
Paul clearly understood that his strength came by the Holy Ghost and not of any man.
The proof of every Pastor, is the knowledge that God works in him but also through him!
Paul walked in the power of the Spirit of God or Paul would have simply fallen by the wayside!
Paul understood the love of God who sent His own Son to pay the sin debt of all mankind and Paul showed that same love as best he could to all that crossed his path.
The proof of a Pastor is his love for “all” God’s people!
Paul clearly understood that the “Word of God” was also the “Words of Truth” that this world was in such great need of because this world contains very little truth because of the desires of ruthless men.
The proof of every Pastor is that he will preach the truth of God and not the thinking, the philosophies, nor the ideas of man!
So many today preach an every changing message to adapt to this world and God said never to allow this to happen.
Every Pastor must endure and be consistent in the truth of God’s Word.
Paul clearly understand that only God has the power to save.
Only God has the power to make “new creatures”.
Only God has the power to give eternal life.
Only God has the power to heal.
The proof of every Pastor is that he knows that God is the power in his life and this was necessary for his ministry to bear genuine fruit.
Paul clearly understood that his “armor of righteousness” was the Lord Jesus Christ!
The proof of every Pastor is that they know that Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Church!
The Church belongs to Jesus, bought and paid for with His own blood.
Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The Apostle Paul remained consistent no matter how this world reacted to the message of the Gospel!
*****2Co 6:8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
Some people approved and honored the preaching of the Apostle Paul but others did not, mainly those with authority, much like today.
Some people would say wicked and evil things about Paul but some did have good reports, the believers.
Many places Paul was treated as a deceiver, yet Paul was as true to the Word of God as he could physically live.
Paul was not some impostor.
Paul was not some false teacher.
Paul was not some quack trying to start a new religion.
In all these things the message of the “Gospel” remained consistent with Paul.
*****2Co 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
Most of the world of that day just ignored Paul and dismissed his message but God had promised that His Word would not come back void, so many others loved the Gospel message and loved Paul for what he did and for what he had done for them.
No matter Paul’s treatment Paul consistently preached the Gospel!
Paul was treated as a dying man with a dead message by many. Paul was looked upon as reckless and unwise man, who could only cause trouble.
They saw Paul as a doomed man, walking the way of death and enticing many to follow him into that death.
Paul was chastened, Paul’s life was threatened, but no one could take his life, until God was ready for him to come home.
Paul was constantly suffering for the Gospel but Paul remained consistent in preaching the Word of God!
*****2Co 6:10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
The world looked upon Paul as sorrowful and depressed but Paul was always rejoicing.
Why is it that the world thinks to be a Christian is to give up having fun?
We certainly are not to join in with the worldly crowd and their sinful pleasures but these things never produce true joy to begin with.
There is more joy in knowing where we came from and where we are going than most people realize.
There is tremendous joy in doing the things that are pleasing to God.
Paul was looked upon as a poor man, yet in truth he had made many rich and he still is today as we share his message.
The truth is, Paul was looked upon as having no possessions.
Paul was a traveling missionary and he appeared homeless but in reality we as Christians possess true wealth, the wealth of God’s presence for eternity along with all the wealth of Heaven itself!
This is the everlasting wealth that can be shared with others!
Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
It is a fact that all those that have the sure promises of God are far richer than those that reject the Word of God!
1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
People just do not realize what separation is all about!
Separation can only begin when we open our hearts to God!
*****2Co 6:11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
2Co 6:12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
2Co 6:13 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
Paul teaches us that there is no hidden message in the Word of God and God does not have some secret agenda, just the pure and honest truth, so then the first call is for an open heart to receive God’s message.
Paul was saying that he was just the messenger, all his the words came from God!
The “Gospel” in of itself has a simple message!
2Co_11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted “from the simplicity that is in Christ”.
When we are struggling with God’s message, it is not the message to blame, it is Satan we can blame, for he will corrupt our mind and our hearts and this is why we need to separate ourselves socially from those in the world.
Our love will certainly grow for one another, when we get to know one another better in Christ.
Paul had a deep love for the church and it shows in passages such as this and remember these words were from the Holy Spirit.
Remember Paul had been mistreated by this church so this shows us that there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us any less.
God has a pure love that does not ever change by our actions!
Remember Jesus died for our sins before any of us knew Him in a personal way!
We need to hold fast to God’s love!
When this world wounds our heart, let’s not become bitter, “let’s just become better”!
Love increases for God and with each other, when we separate from this unclean world and devote our lives to God!
Remember an expansion of the heart is not the same as an expansion of the mind. Mankind has been growing in intelligence since the beginning but the truth is this growth in the mind has only led to a decline in morality.
There has never been one government consistent in morals and the promotion of the well being of it’s people and that includes our own!
It is only Christianity that inspires these views and these feelings!
We need to always examine the present state of our hearts to be sure we remain consistent in our love for God through Jesus Christ.
What did Jesus say was the biggest problem in the church during the last days?
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, “because thou hast left thy first love”.
That first love is a love for Jesus Christ, we are to enlarge our hearts and certainly not shrink away from the love of God!
That word “straightened” has the meaning of made narrow or “restricting” or “narrowing” and the love of this church toward the Word of God and the Apostle Paul had become narrow or restrictive in it’s love for God.
They needed to open their hearts to the truth!
The truth is, the Pastor of every church must be open and honest and have a loving heart for God and God’s Church.
BUT, just as important The Church must be open and honest and have a loving heart toward God and the man God has called to be that Pastor.
These things must work together!
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
This separation must not only be with the Church body but it must extend to every individual, including our personal relationships and our business relationships.
*****2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16 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.
Since believers are so different from unbelievers, this is to great an obstacle to over come in a relationship..
That word “unequally” means to be disproportion or unsuitable. If God says it is unsuitable then the chances of this relationship working out well is not good!
As believers, we all stand on equal ground at the cross but when we do not stand on equal ground before God our relationship will suffer greatly!
One of the laws of the Old Testament demonstrates this principle of God.
Deu 22:10 Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.
The principle is simple, God prohibits mixing things together that He has separated in creation.
The believer that has been “Born Again” is a “new creation” of God and is not to be mixed with those of the world!
God simply says, “What fellowship has the righteous with the unrighteous?”
How can one that follows God’s law agree with one who does not follow any law?
How can those that reject God agree with those who accept the truth of God?
Jesus Christ is the light of this world, when you turn a light on, darkness disappears and hides in the shadows. “What communion has light with darkness?
Communion means how can there be a partnership between two who cannot communicate with each other?
One has rejected Christ Jesus the other has not.
One is seeking the things of this world the other seeking the things of Heaven.
One does not do things according to the Word of God, the other hungers and thirst after righteousness.
That word “Belial” is just a synonym for “Satan”. As Jesus Christ has nothing in common with Satan what makes a believer think they can? It absolutely cannot be!
An “infidel” is someone who has denied the “faith”, denying Christianity, an unbeliever, how can a believer associate with such a person in a close personal relationship? It cannot happen!
An idol is anything which we give our allegiance to other than God!
When we give our time, our money, and our energy primarily to things other than God, we become idol worshipers!
A true believer cannot be an idol worshiper because he or she is a living temple of God!
Paul only had the Old Testament so he quotes from it:
Eze 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Paul wrote these words in the New Testament by the Holy Spirit.
1Co_3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Jn_2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
The lost world walks in ignorance of Jesus Christ.
The lost world walks in ignorance of God as revealed by Jesus Christ.
The lost world walks in ignorance of the true destiny of life as shown by Jesus Christ.
Joh 12:35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Those that walk in darkness will always hate the light of the “Gospel”!
Those that walk in darkness are condemned unless they repent of their evil ways!
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
The Christian must separate themselves socially from those of the world!
*****2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
How many of us weed our gardens because we know the plants we desire will not flourish when weeds are allowed to grow with them.
That plant cannot do this itself because a plant has no conscience to know right from wrong.
The human on the other hand can make a choice to improve himself or herself.
The “Gospel” allows us to think in a moral way, the unbeliever is like the plant and his conscience does not know the difference in right or wrong.
1Ti_4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Believe me if your conscience is seared with a hot iron then it no longer exist!
When God led Israel out of captivity, He told them to leave everything behind. Nothing in that defiled land had any meaning because they were to begin a totally new life and all they needed was the Word of God to direct them!
God’s wants a peculiar people:
Tit_2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
“Peculiar” in this Scripture means a people that were not like the usual people!
Now God does not ask us to leave our cities, our communities, or our work places, even though sometimes our work places also need to change.
These are the first places that we will be called to witness.
We are never to isolate ourselves from unbelievers. We are to share our thoughts and experiences and in fact always be friendly.
Pro_18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
So what does God mean?
First separation means that we have a new Master.
We must be obedient to the ways of our Lord!
We are to have a personal relationship with the Lord so then we cannot be intimately involved with those of the world!
We are never to participate in ungodly functions and events with unbelievers.
We are not to be closely bound in any sort of partnership with an unbeliever “including marriage”.
We must never make a covenant with an unbeliever because their Master is Satan and Satan is a liar.
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
We are especially to avoid relations with those who have rejected the truth of Jesus Christ!
And above all we are never to worship with the unbeliever in his place of worship, period!
Exo_34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
We are never to attend a worship service in a place that does not honor Jesus Christ!
God says we are never to touch the unclean thing!
The Jews were never to touch a dead animal nor a dead person and if they did they had to follow a strict cleansing.
We know that “the wages of sin is death” and every “unbeliever is condemned to this death” so we are certainly no longer to live as sinners nor participate in the sins of unbelievers!
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Each believer is to walk in the Holy Spirit:
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
There is just to much difference in the unbeliever and the believer!
And the truth is God will not receive us until we have done this thing!
Why would we not want to be approved of God?
We are to walk in this world but we are not to be a part of this world!
Being reconciled to God is the greatest reward we can obtain above all others!
In fact if we will separate ourselves from the world we will have a new Father.
God will then adopt us into His own family!
When we weigh these simple things against the sacrifices we have to make to obtain them, then they will not seem like sacrifices at all!
We will understand that God does not treat anyone lost or saved with unkindness or injustice, for Jesus Christ died for all.
But God will not ever treat the lost as His children and that is a great big difference!
Note the story of the prodigal son.
If God is willing to be as our Father from Heaven then why would we not want to act like His children?
The truth is, it is only in Christianity where it is said that God will be our Father and we can be His children.
A Father’s love is far greater than any other love!
1Jn_3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
It is this love that is the reason God allows His Spirit to live within us!
Gal_4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
It is then and only then that the riches of Heaven become available to each believer!
Rom_8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
How can such a thing be rejected by this world?
These are the only means of living for God in an ungodly world.
Ungodly means anything that is not of God!