The Seperatist Tendancy


“I pray for them.  I do not pray for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.  And all mine are Yours, and Yours are mine, and I am glorified in them […] I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17: 9, 10, 15 – 16.)


God chooses some out of the world to be his disciples; those who are chosen are given to Jesus Christ as a personal possession.  They are heavenly representatives who exemplify the character, quality, and nature of God.  Despite receiving salvation, those who are called remain in the world.  They undergo the same human experiences Christ himself endured; temptations, tribulations, persecutions, pain and suffering.  As foreigners, and strangers, God’s disciples bring light in to the darkness; they are never called to retract from the world, or to remain hidden.  Jesus Christ has said, “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house” (Mathew 5: 14 – 15.)

Some years ago I began frequenting a coffee shop in my local community.  God had blessed me with full time work on the weekends, which enabled me to do ministry during the week.  I met with people in the café; I counseled those who were confused; I prayed for those in need; and I preached the gospel to those who were lost.  However, despite being used by God in powerful ways, this place was not without temptation; there were vast numbers of women coming and going (many were dressed inappropriately.)  As a man, it took great effort and a work of the Holy Spirit to control the lust of my eyes.  One day I was speaking to another minister about these temptations.  He told me that he frequented a coffee shop down the street that was virtually empty.  After a few visits to this new coffee shop, God spoke to my heart and condemned my separatist behavior.  To flee from a place because of temptation would be to abandon the people that God desired to reach the most.  To detach myself from the world for the sake of personal comfort was a selfish and ungodly act.  I returned to my place at the crowded coffee shop, and even today, God uses me to reach out to the lost, and to be a light to those who walk in darkness [Note: Wisdom is required; for example, a recovering alcoholic should not frequent bars and clubs.]

This world is full of evil; but in the darkness, a great light has shown; that light is the body of Jesus Christ, and it remains in this place.  God’s representatives must never retract or remain hidden; instead we are to carry His message (in word and in deed) to those who walk in darkness.  If we only fellowship with Christians we have become useless.  If we shun those who struggle, how can we help them to endure and to overcome?  When we are more concerned with our own personal comfort ahead of the salvation of souls, we have forsaken the first calling of God.  Give your lives to Jesus Christ, and reach out to the lost.  Carry the message to those who are dying, and you will know eternal life.  Bring the light of the Lord in to the darkness, and God will bless you beyond measure.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask for boldness and courage.  May we never retract from the world; instead, may we be a light in the darkness.  May others look at our good deeds and see Your Glory.  Strengthen us that we may endure temptation and suffering willingly for the sake of those whom You desire to reach.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless

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