2nd Corinthians 6:17-18
"Therefore “Come out from among them And be separated, says the Lord. And do not touch an unclean thing, And I will receive you.” “And I will be a Father to you, And you will be sons and daughters to Me, Says the Lord Almighty.”
So what does it really mean to 'come out from among them and 'be separated'?
Well I can tell you what it doesn't mean! It doesn't mean that as a follower of Jesus you withdraw yourself from humanity and go live inside a convent!
And it also doesn't mean that you build big buildings and congregate inside them on Sunday, while the rest of the week you look and act just like the world does!
The Greek definition of separated means:
873. aphorizo af-or-id'-zo from 575 and 3724; to set off by boundary, i.e. (figuratively) limit, exclude, appoint, etc.:--divide, separate, sever.
And who is our perfect example of one separated from the world? Jesus is of course!
Jesus was completely separated from the world, yet He could live in the world and co-exist with His creation. He was never ashamed of who He was and He never compromised the word of God!
The first century disciples were called out and separated by Jesus from the world.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
So the truth is, being chosen out of the world and becoming like Christ in all we say and do will inevitably cause the world to hate us!
There are many today who talk about the love and compassion of Jesus, and surely He was full of those two fruits, but they forget what Jesus told His own brothers in John 7:7
"The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil."
Would it be any different for Jesus if He preached the same message and did the same ministry works He did in the first century, in the streets of America today? I think not!
James 4:4 Tells us:
"Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."
2nd Corinthians 6:14-16
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”
Are you trying to do what the world does to win the world? Are you hanging out with unbelievers thinking you can some how win them over for Christ? Don't you know that bad company corrupts good character!
It's not up to us to win or save the world! Only Jesus can save a persons soul! And only the Father can draw people to Christ!
In the first century church the believers were all together and the LORD ADDED to the church those who should be saved. The apostles and prophets were just instruments used by God to do His will and accomplish the works He prepared in advance for them to do.
It's God's will for those in Christ to bear fruits, to be holy, separated, co-laborers with Christ, and to enter His rest.