Summary: The Church in America today has a crisis - it has not separated itself from the world.
New Hope Community Chapel
Title: Be Separate
Text: 2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1
Date: June 3, 2007
Thesis: Ways the Church looks just like the world and what to do about it.
If I can trust God to save me from my sin, can I trust His Word?
Do I believe that it’s true?
If I believe that it is true, do I do what it says?
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?
15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?
16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: "I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
17 Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.
18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
7:1 Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God. NLT
I wish I didn’t have to preach this sermon.
I mean, I wish it were enough to just read this passage and know that everyone would have heard it, would digest it, and apply it to their lives.
I don’t like preaching these kinds of sermons.
I have struggled over this topic for the last three weeks.
First, not wanting to address it, then not knowing how to address it, even now, fearing the response.
It’s not uncommon that I would give a lot of thought to a message – some more than others – but I have lost sleep over this topic as much or more than any other.
You see, I would much rather preach a salvation message to lost people.
In fact, it’s too bad that I have to take a whole Sunday morning service to teach on a topic that would be clear to every one of us if we loved God’s Word enough to study it daily and apply it to our lives.
There are four kinds of people in the audience this morning:
1. Those who will say, “It’s about time.”
2. Those who won’t hear a word that is said.
3. Those who get mad and stay the same.
4. Those who ask questions, take a personal inventory, and make changes in the way they live.
Last Friday, May 25, Andrew Speaker, became the first person in 44 years to be placed under quarantine in the United States.
Andrew was on his honeymoon in Italy when he was notified by the CDC that the particular strain of TB that he had been diagnosed with was especially drug-resistant and extremely contagious.
He was told to turn himself in to the proper authorities immediately for treatment and containment.
He was especially told, “Not to fly”.
But instead of going to the hospital, Andrew and his bride took a series of flights until they ended up in Canada.
They drove into the United States where the border guard, who is now on leave pending an investigation, assumed that the computer warning that popped up on Andrew was a “discretionary” warning.
Andrew refused to be separate from healthy people and in doing so he put many people in a serious health risk.
The strange thing is, Andrew is a personal injury attorney.
Just wait, he’s gonna be sued by dozens and dozens of people – even if they don’t get sick, because of the emotional trauma that they have been put through as they have undergone testing and isolation.
Even more interestingly, Andrew’s new father-in-law works for the CDC investigating TB cases.
How would you feel if you had been seated next to Andrew on the plane that delivered him across the Atlantic into Montréal?
And yet you are daily exposed to do something that is far more dangerous than TB.
Every day you are exposed to something that has the ability – even the will – to destroy not only your life, but everyone around you.
You’ve been exposed to something so dangerous - it has the desire to destroy your church.
In fact, what you are exposed to on a daily basis not only wants your life and the life of your children, the life of your church, it wants your soul.
Since the fall of Adam and Eve sin has infected and poisoned the human race.
Sin has poisoned the human culture; it has poisoned the way we think, we way we act and the way we live.