A member comments – WHY AM I SEPARATE FROM THE WORLD?
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim 1 v15). All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3 v23). Through wondrous mercy I am one of the sinners Jesus came to save. He loved me and gave himself for me (Gal 2 v20). He has saved me from the coming wrath (1 Thess 1 v10), saved me for glory (Rom 9 v23) and gave Himself to deliver me out of the present evil world (Gal 1v4). The cost has been tremendous – His precious blood was shed to cleanse me from my sins, bear my guilt and set me free in the presence of God (Rom 5 v6-10). Now as a lover of Christ I want to live for HIM, please Him and serve Him. The glorious outshining of God in the gospel has been unfolded in the Scriptures which I believe to be His inspired word and so I look to the Scriptures for guidance.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed Son of God, was the true light which came into the world to lighten every man (1 John 1 v9). God’s love, mercy, grace and goodness shone out towards all in Jesus in the few years of His public service here. He was Israel’s Messiah but was not received (John 1 v11). For His love He received hatred (John 15 v24-25). He suffered from men; scorn, mockery and hatred were His lot right through His holy pathway. This led up to His total rejection, coming before Pilate, the unrighteous judge, and being condemned to death (John 19v16).
The cross of Christ showed up the heart of man for what it was in cruelty and violent hatred. The world had rejected Christ – the Jew and Gentile all represented there. This world’s judgement stands recorded. The world He had come to save! As dear Mr J.N.Darby said in his “Sufferings of Christ” the awful truth had come out that if God was to continue to interest Himself in the race it would have to be not through a mighty deliverer but through a dying redeemer. The great work of atonement was accomplished by Jesus on the Cross – the wrath of God endured, He the blessed substitute, His precious blood shed – a work complete. He died, went into the grave and rose again – Satan’s power annulled, him who had the might of death (Heb 2 v14-15).
According to His promise He sent the Holy Spirit (John 15 v26) to indwell the believer. Now I have another blessed Divine Person to give me power, strength and wisdom to render a testimony and be faithful to the One who has died for me. I have an adversary in Satan who wants to entice me away from Christ and engulf me in the world where he has dominion (Rom 6). Then I find what works within me by way of lust and my utter weakness when it comes to fulfilling my deep desire to serve Christ (Rom 7) and I look for and long for deliverance. I look to Christ – He who loves me and I find Him as the Deliverer, not now only from the wrath to come and this present evil world but from this body of death (Rom 7 v24-25). He is also the merciful and faithful high priest able to help me (Heb 2 v17-18) and He intercedes for me (Rom 8 v34). But even more! I have the Holy Spirit’s help to put to death the deeds of the body (Rom 8v13) and live. I have joy and peace in believing and hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 15 v13). What a wonderful gospel!
Now what is to be my path here through this world where Christ has been rejected and is not wanted? Again I can look to the Scriptures for guidance. The great apostle Paul unfolded the truth of Christ and the assembly and teaches us conduct that is to govern the believer. Departure came in early, religion became infected with man’s ideas and Satan found ways to link the professing body with the world. By the time Paul wrote his last epistle, the second epistle to Timothy, all in Asia had turned away from him (2 Tim 1 v15). In that epistle he clearly set out our charter, the course for the believer to pursue. There is a “great house”, Christendom, (2 Tim 2 v20), and I am called upon as naming the name of the Lord to withdraw from iniquity (2 Tim 2 v19). This means Christ or the world. I must separate from vessels to dishonour and be a vessel to honour, sanctified, serviceable to the Master, prepared for every good work (2 Tim 2 v21). Then the call is to flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, with those that call upon the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Tim 2 v 22).
The “with those” of 2 Tim 2 v22 means I can have fellowship with others committed to the same path which is a precious provision in our pathway. Our course is in the world but not of it. We prove the blessedness of the Lords own words “where two or three are gathered together unto my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt 18 v20). We seek to answer to the Lord’s request to remember Him by celebrating the Supper each Lord’s Day (Luke 22 v19). This was also confirmed to Paul (1 Cor 11 v24-45) so it a very special and holy provision. How could I partake of the Lord’s Supper, partake of the one loaf and drink out of the one cup and be going on in sin or some affiliation with this world that has rejected my Saviour? It cannot and must not be. We would love all believers in the Lord Jesus to be with us and we hold the ground proper to our calling for all of them The Lord knows those that His (2 Tim 2 v19). Our path is marked out for us and the ground has been held in faithfulness throughout this long dispensation but distinctively in the wonderful recovery of these last 180 years. It is for each of us to continue in faithfulness until the end when He will come (I Thess 4 v16-18) or call us to be with Himself. The increase of lawlessness in the world proceeds at a pace and this will culminate in the man of sin appearing (2 Thess 2 v3) and the believer knows with assurance that the Lord Jesus will consume with the breath of His mouth (2 Thess 2 v8).
How thankful we can be for a call to be separate from the world.