Touch Not the Unclean Thing

Dear Brethren,

The better the environment we place ourselves in, the less we are exposed to wrong influences.  Paul said,  "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."  (1Corinthians 15:33)  Those in the world who do not appreciate the goodness of God's way of life can influence us in a wrong way, if we are not careful.  Close friendships with those who habitually violate Godly principles can pull us down  - even to their level.  How different are we from the world?  Do we think we can rub shoulders with the unconverted and remain unaffected?  "There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness."  (Proverbs 30:12)

How do we, as Christians, turn the situation around so that our lives reflect the true way of life?  How do we advance the cause of the Gospel and promote the right way of Life?  The clear command is for us to be a light to the world - not allow the world to pull us down to its level.  Our very actions must promote the Gospel - not indicate that we are ashamed of our faith.  "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."  (Mark 8:38)

Paul understood that it was impossible to completely avoid those who sin as a way of life.  "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."  (1Corinthians 5:9-10)  Paul in his next letter, at least his third letter on the subject, gave these instructions for us so that we do not become too involved with those who would be detrimental to us spiritually:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion [fellowship] 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."  (2Corinthians 6:14-16)

Paul, then, gives God's clear instructions to His people to keep their distance as far as associating on intimate terms is concerned.  We are not to "enter their world," and they cannot enter our world - unless called by the Father.  In a spiritual sense, we are to guard our minds and keep our distance, because there is a clear and present danger to us when we interact on their level.  "Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee."  (Proverbs  2:11)  Business and social interaction is okay to the extent that we fully uphold God's Truth in all that we do.  When friends in the world ask that if we "give a little," and they give a little, too, to meet us half-way - it is a trap!  Certainly, it seems reasonable to them - but it is not acceptable for us. God says we must continually uphold His highest standard. "Be ye holy, [set apart] for I am holy," God says.

"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. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."  (2Corinthians 6:17-7)

“…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”


Sermon:  "Touch Not the Unclean Thing"