Summary: This message takes a look at the themes that runs throughout the book of First Peter - separation and suffering.
Are You A Separatist
As I was putting together my notes, it brought me back to when I was in grade school. I can remember my teacher, as we were learning how to spell different words, she would say “Sound the word out and then go look it up in the dictionary.” As many times as I sounded the word out, I misspelled!
Now, once I learned how to use the dictionary, you get to a word like the one you see here. The title of the message is “Are You A Separatist?” I know what the word means but I decided to go to the dictionary to look it up.
The dictionary says a separatist is someone who favors separatism. (Laughter) So, now you look up separatism. It’s a belief in, movement for, or state of separation. How many of you know what separatism means at this point? Not a clue. (More laughter) I have to look up one more word to find out what it means to be a separatist.
I have to look up the word separation. It is the act or process of separating or it’s the state of being separated. What do we know about about being a separatist? Absolutely nothing. And this is from the dictionary. We finally find out what separation means with the next definition: it’s a point, line or means of division.
So, being a separatist means that you’ve drawn a line in the sand on an issue and you’re standing on one side and others are standing on the opposite side.
The title of the message again is “Are You A Separatist?” We’re going to start in First Peter and put a marker in Exodus 19.
When you read the book of First Peter, you see two dominant themes throughout the book. One is separation. God has called us to be separate from the world. That’s the first dominant theme. The second dominant theme in First Peter is suffering. Ooooh. We don’t want to suffer. Sorry. That’s part of living the life of a disciple. Separation and suffering go hand in hand when it comes to your walk as a son of God.
And this is something that has been on my heart for quite a while because, when you think about the state of our country – and many people my not agree with this – but we have the country that we have right now because the Body of Christ, the Church, has given it to us. Tomatoes. Onion. If you want to throw them at me, that’s fine. But we have the country we have right now because of Christians.
If you want to know where a person stands, in their hearts as it relates to what the Bible says, talk about politics. You will find out real quickly if a person’s heart is aligned with God’s heart. And I will tell you this, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to you, the heart of most Christians is not aligned with God’s heart. Just listen to how they talk about President Trump. And, unfortunately, I made this same observation four or five years ago when Christians were saying things about former President Obama. God was not pleased then and He’s not pleased now.
And yet, the verse we’re going to read, they will claim that verse very quickly. And just because that verse is in scripture and God says that is who we are, it does not mean we are living who we are. Now before I read this, I want to share something with you that I posted on Facebook. And I know some of you have already seen this because you are friends with me on Facebook or at least you were yesterday. (Laughter)
The title I gave the post was “A life most are not choosing.”
“I’ve been meditating First Peter over the past few weeks and two words rise up in my spirit time and time again: separation and suffering. In First Peter God calls us to separation from the world. “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16) First Peter says “as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind…” What mind? We have to get it settled in our hearts that we will suffer in the flesh just like Jesus did if we are truly following Him.”
This is the condition – if we are truly following Him. Now most of the body of Christ have abdicated their responsibility and authority to live and walk for Jesus. Much of the church preach tolerance and acceptance. Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to be, you can be very unhappy with Barry Johnson right now. God does not teach tolerance. God does not teach acceptance.