Sunday, January 29, 2023

A People Called To Be Separate


Praise Jesus. It is a blessing to be part of His true church, to hear His voice and to be sustained by the love of our Father in heaven through His Holy Spirit. And we know that if we call on the name of Jesus, it is His blood and His sacrifice that pays for our sins that we may not continue to sin, but that we can be made new, new in our mind, our heart, our actions, that we can walk in the newness of life.

Jesus will never force you to be different. He will never force you to repent. A lot of people have it stuck in their mind that they will always be as they were, that they don't have to change, that Jesus doesn't require them to change. And they're expecting some kind of miracle in their life, for God to come down and give them what they would say a sign. But because they care about the signs of the world more, they're focused on the things of the world, the news, the media, their music, their movies, all their fornications, they never have a sign from God.

Remember that God has given each of us free will. He allows us to make our own decisions. He allows us to make good decisions and very poor decisions. But then at the end of our life, when everything comes to a close, we will be judged on our words and our actions. Jesus Christ judges each of us according to our works. The Christian Church has stopped teaching that. They forget that Jesus says that He will judge everyone according to their works. And they go around saying that they were saved by faith alone.

What do they think faith means? Does faith and believing just mean believing that Abraham Lincoln existed and that Jesus Christ one day died on the cross? Does it mean just believing that the Prophets existed and that the Bible was recorded by men who at one period of time in history loved the Lord? What does it mean to believe? According to James, belief means actions, just as love means actions. And just as your body is dead without your spirit or your soul inside of it, so faith or belief is also dead without works. The whole Christian Church has taken works and twisted it with the salvation by work's Gospel that the Apostle Paul was speaking of. What the Apostle Paul was speaking of is the works of the law, such as circumcision. And we know that no one is saved by going out and getting circumcised on the 8th day. We know that no one is saved by not eating pork or by keeping the law of Moses, which is the Old Covenant.

Jesus came and He offered us a new way. That is the new covenant, that if we receive Him, that is His blood, His resurrection, and we walk in the newness of life, not just believing that He did certain things, but showing our belief by our actions, that then we will be saved by walking with the Lord to the very end of our life.

Following Jesus is a day in and a day out commitment. You have to be changed. You have to be made new. That is why it is like compared to being reborn, it is your rebirth. A lot of Christians go around saying that they are born-again believers. But what have they been changed from if they are still sinning, if they are still living ungodly, still trying to justify smoking pot, committing adultery, looking at porn, listening to a very vulgar music, if they're not separate from the world, and if they want to be like the world, obviously they haven't been reborn. They're not born-again Christians, they're not changed.

So I am speaking to those of you that want to be changed, that want to be separate, and that's what we're talking about today, a people called to be separate. Being separate is a difficult thing, because we all know from grade school that you want to fit in. You want to look like other people. You want to be cool. You want to be accepted. You want girls or boys to like you. You want to feel appreciated, valued. You only want to be different enough, that people appreciate your differences and look up to you. But you don't want to be different in the way that people look down at you and despise you or think you're strange or bizarre or weird. Now, when I was younger, I did a bit of home school. My parents homeschooled me, but not in high school, this was when I was younger, and during the time of high or junior high or younger, I felt pressure as a young person to try to fit in. And because homeschoolers are being raised in their home at school often time they're made fun of. And I saw a lot of people including myself trying to work extra hard to be like the world. So I would try to find music that was like the world, watch movies that were like the world. I would try to do everything in order to be accepted by my peers.

Unfortunately, though, a lot of us don't grow out of that. Instead of giving up those childish ways and childish mindsets, we continue into our adulthood, trying to look like the world, trying to look like the world in our workplace, trying to be accepted in the world by others. And instead of being separate for Jesus Christ, and being willing to take persecution or division for the sake of Jesus, we push Jesus out of our life a little bit, or a lot of bit, to be accepted in the professional realm.

So I want to speak to those of you that do want Jesus in your life, that you do want to be different, I want to encourage you to receive Jesus into every aspect of your life and not to be ashamed of Him because we know that Jesus is our only hope of salvation. So if we are ashamed of Him, and we're pushing Him out for money, or for friends in the world, or to keep a good relationship with our mother or father, what will that benefit us in the end when we're on our deathbed? And then we stand before the Lord and He says, “you loved your mother and your Father. You cared about the relationships with them, but you didn't care to stand by the truth.” What benefit will it be that for 50 years, or however long it was until you died, that you tried to maintain good looks in the world before men, but that you rejected your only hope of salvation.

Jesus says, “what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits or loses his own soul?” It doesn't matter at the end of our life how much money we made, how nice of a house we lived in, how many children we had, if we were married or unmarried, all of it is going to be worthless if we did not surrender everything for Jesus Christ. And a lot of people refused to surrender. I'm not saying that we have to become a homeless bum in order to follow the Lord, because that's also wrong. Jesus just calls us to surrender everything that we have. And as we go with Him, He tells us to go left or right, He tells us to go this way or that way. And if we're fully surrendered to Him, then He gives us clear direction in our life. And as we walk by faith in Him, our faith develops and grows.

 I want to bring attention to the fact that this has been a problem for a long time in history, that is, people not wanting to be separate from the world, people wanting to look like others in the world. The nation of Israel, E.G., had a big problem with this. God called the nation of Israel when they were in bondages, the Hebrews to Egypt. He called them out, and He did many signs and wonders for them. He parted the red sea. He brought water out of the rock. He healed those that were sick and He led them through the wilderness, even though they were rebellious for 40 years. And then, as time went on these same people that saw all these wonders from God, they rebelled against God again. But in the early days before King David, they had this prophet, Samuel. And for a period of time, the nation of Israel had no leadership in a king except God Himself. And He used His prophets, you know, people like Moses Joshua, Aaron, He used people like this to lead His children. But as time went on, the people no longer wanted just God to lead them. That seemed too elusive to them, too disconnected. And because their hearts were rebellious, they looked to see what the other nations were doing.

I want to read to you just a portion of what this looked like, how the nation of Israel rebelled against God to want a king. If you look at 1Samuel chapter 8, the people of Israel say, this is verse 5. “Look, you are old. Your sons do not walk in your ways.” That's Samuel's children. 6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.

So you see here that it was never the plan of God to give Israel the nation a king. God did not want them to have a worldly king such as Saul, or even David, or any of the other kings of Israel. God Himself wanted to lead His children and have an intimate relationship with them. But as you look on, you see that the children were rebellious. They had evil in their heart. And because they were evil, they wanted a king. They wanted to look like the other nations. They wanted to look like the world. They say in Verse 20 that they say, “no, we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 

They didn't want God to fight for them. They didn't want to trust in the Lord. They wanted a worldly king such as all the other nations. And this was the beginning of a lot of sorrows for the nation of Israel. The prophet warned them of what would happen, saying that the kings would make slaves of their people, their daughters, their servants, he would take their land. But all the people said “just bring it upon our heads. We don't care. Make us slaves, take our children, enslave us. As long as we have a king, as long as we look like the world, we'll be okay. We don't trust God. We don't want to try to hear from God. That's too hard. It's too difficult to follow Jehovah. It's too difficult to follow His precepts. We would rather just have a worldly king.” 

You can continue to read about this in chapter twelve. I'm going to see if I can find another example here. So I'm looking at 1Samuel 12 verse 17. "Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the Lord, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking a king for yourselves.”So Samuel the Prophet continues to warn the people that it's evil, it's sinful in the eyes of God to ask for a king to rule the nation. But the people continue to say, yes, we want to be evil. We want to be putting ourselves into slavery. Bring it all on. Bring us a king. And they say, for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking for a king for ourselves.

So God gave them what they want, and even in what they want, God wanted to bless them. But they continued to make themselves like the world. And what God says to them is, in the day after you have a king and you've turned your heart away from me, He says, I will not hear your prayers. He talks about turning His face away from them, that their prayers will not be answered. And that's exactly what happened. And in this nation and the generation that we live in today, in America and across the whole world, people have rejected Jesus Christ as their king. They have set up for themselves their own kings, their own presidents, their own governments, which God never sponsored. And they have made their governments their provision, their safety net, their security, their rock. So God will not answer people's prayers. He will not come to them when they ask for help.

 And all the world wonders, where is God? Why is He not speaking? Well, long ago, their forefathers rejected God, and they set up for themselves kings that are not true kings, shepherds that are not true shepherds, and people to look after them who do not care for their needs. And because all the people said in one accord that they wanted to be like the world, God gave them over to the world.

So if you want to break free from this bondage to the world, you have to prove to God that you will be different. You won't be like your forefathers. You won't be like those who want just security from the government, security from the economy, security from everything in the world. God wants to bless us. He wants to give us everything that we need. But we have to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. A lot of us have been in bondage to the sins of our parents and our family. And because our parents wanted to be like the world, worldly jobs, connected to everything worldly, we have taken on the same sins of our parents. I took on the sins of my parents and my parents the sins of theirs. But when I wanted to get right with Jesus, I had to confess those sins and repent of them. If you continue in the way of your parents, if your parents were into drugs or alcohol, pornography, addicted to their TV, or whatever the case was, if you don't break free, you're continuing to be bound by those generational curses and sins.

The only way to escape that is to confess those things and to get rid of every sort of sin and idol that's in your house. Get your TV out, get everything that is sinful and ungodly out of your house. Get rid of ungodly clothing. Whatever that is in your household that you know is not of the Lord, be quick to take it out and burn it or take it to the dump, because those things will keep you in bondage to the world, and you will not be free to serve Jesus Christ. So it's a big thing, guys, to break the cycle of sin that comes from your parents. Because of us, if not all of us had parents who served the devil one way or another and they were in bondage to sin, so if we want to be the children that are separate and free to serve the Lord, we have to cut our ties with ungodliness. I know that it is recorded in the scripture, honor your parents, but it is also written, children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. So if your parents are calling you to do something that is against God, to serve false gods, to do things that you know are sinful, how can you obey your parents in the Lord if your parents are against the Lord? Well, you have to honor your parents, and all you do is be respectful. But you can also keep yourself from being polluted by the things your Father or your mother does. Is your Father into drugs and pornography? Does He chase after women? Does that mean that you have to? Of course not. You can keep yourself separate from the world, even if your parents are into this stuff.

And if you are of age, if you're already 20 years old, you have the choice to make your own life and to even completely be separate from your parents. I had to make the choice after I got married to separate myself both financially and spiritually from our parents. Because at the time of my marriage people in my family did not want me to be separate spiritually in order to follow my God. They wanted us to follow the ways of our elders, that is, in their churches. And so we had to confront our parents and say, “we want to be both financially independent and spiritually independent. We will not follow your gods. We will not follow the ways of dead religion and your church. But we will come out of church. We will be separate from the Baptist Church, from the Catholic Church, from organized dead religion.” And as you can imagine, this created a lot of strife. We changed our cell phone numbers. We moved away from the house that we owned, so that even our own parents did not know where we were going. And we did that in order to be right with Jesus, not because we hate people in our hearts, not because we hate or dishonor our parents, but because we love the Lord first.

So if your parents are causing you to do things that are sinful, you cannot honor them by honoring their false gods. You have to choose to come out and be separate. A lot of this is about being surrendered to the will of the Lord. If you're not surrendered to God, like the nation of Israel was not surrendered to God, you will want to take charge of your own life. For years of my life, I was not surrendered to God. I wanted to prove that I was the man of my own life. I could find a wife for myself. I could have the girlfriend of my choice. I could have the apartment or the house of my own choice. I could do the things that I pleased. And I was convinced that I only needed God at my convenience. But when I finally surrendered to the Lord, and I said, “Lord, I realize that I've made a wreck of my life, and I need to surrender my whole life to you." It wasn't until then that I could then be separate from the world and be filled with the Holy Spirit and become a true disciple.

So, a big word here is surrender. If you're not willing to surrender your heart, your soul, your mind, the direction of your life to the Lord, then you can't count the cost as Jesus said. Remember that He compares it to a man going into battle or into war. And Jesus says, wouldn't you first count the cost to see if you're able to come against him that has, you know, such and such amount of men, and you only have such and such of an amount? So first, we have to count the cost. Is it worth going with Jesus to us? Is it worth denying ourselves? Is the life with Jesus worth it? Because if it's not worth it to you, you'd be better off not calling yourself a Christian. You'd be better off just living in the world until your death.

But for those of us that want to inherit everlasting life, that want to count the cost, then we have to count the cost of being separate even from father, mother, children, brothers, sisters, even our own life that was our life of sin in the world. We have to count the cost to walk with Jesus and be separate even to the very end. We are a unique people. We are a people group that is like no other in the world. We're a people that has been called out of the world by Jesus Christ. We are special in that there are no other people like us. Those that choose to follow the Lord are made clean, they’re washed new, they’re given revelation, they’re led supernaturally, not as the mystics are of this world that are led by demons and their own imagination. But we're led by the Holy Spirit that is able to give us everlasting life.

So I want to encourage you that God has a plan for your life, Jesus has direction for you, and we need to care what God thinks of us more than others. A lot of people are so concerned about what people think of them that it just stunts their whole life. They're concerned about being accepted in the world, and because of this they cannot follow the direction that God has for them.

One last thing I wanted to speak about before ending here is that I had this thought the other day. You know how people talk about how God is outside time, and that is true, but for us, we are inside time. And what's also important to know is Jesus Christ is Emanuel, God with us, and He is inside time, and His time is also perfect. You've probably heard people say God is outside time, but you've also heard people say God's timing is perfect. Well, how could God's timing be perfect if He's outside time and time is irrelevant? God made time, and He placed us here for a purpose, for a time, and it is God's time that matters. And the more I walk with the Lord, I realize that Jesus is never in a rush. Everything happens in His timing. It is us who are in a rush. It is us who are concerned about getting everything done in time. And I've been guilty of rushing things, doing things too fast, being in a hurry. And what I realize is my Father in heaven, He's never in a rush. He's never pressed for time. Everything happens in His perfect timing. And He is inside time, because he's Emmanuel God with us. He's with us in this time. And if we learn to cooperate in His time, then we will be people that are more patient. We will be people that are separate for His purpose, not just trying to achieve things in our time and upset that the Holy Spirit, that He's interfering or causing an interruption in our time. We will be more willing to understand how God is operating in Spirit and in His truth.

So as I grow in the Lord and want to be separate from the world, I want to do better at being in God's time. It's one thing to just say God is outside of time, but it's another thing to realize God is also inside our time. Jesus came into our time. He knew what it was like to have time, and He also knows what it means to take His time. And so if you are waiting on the Lord for something, if you are waiting for the right person to come into your life, the right relationship, the right situation to get out of debt, whatever the case may be, that you're waiting on the Lord, know that God has perfect timing, and if you continue to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and stay separate from world, then the Lord will see your faith, and He will guide you. But in everything we do, we have to wait on the Lord and just come before Him humbly.

We can't boss God around like how the Pentecostal Church does. You can't take verses from the Bible and use it as a witchcraft saying, God has to do this. He has to make me speak in a new tongue. He has to give me the voice of prophecy. He has to give me the seed of faith. We cannot boss God around and twist His arm and force Him to do our will in our time. If we are His children, we are separate from the world, but separate to do His work, to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. And if we humble ourselves before Him and just say, “Lord, I give you my life to that you may mold me to your image, that I may be the person you want me to be, just give me the gifts that you think I need in your time.” If we start praying like that, then we will be ready to accept the things God has for us as He has it for us, instead of just always looking into the future, thinking that it will be better in a few days. We will learn to take hold of the present time for the Lord and give Him glory in our present time, we don't want to let the day that is right in front of us escape us that we get to praise the Lord today and worship Him today and honor Him today, to take a captive every thought in every word today to give Him glory.

So I want to encourage you, as the true body of Christ, as the Lord's true Church, to really be separate. Be separate from worldliness. Be separate from the deception of having to fit in to look like other people. You know, a lot of missionary kids, they get back from Africa, or they get back from wherever their parents were ministering, and they're just so eager to fit in, to look like the world, to dress like the world. My mom was a missionary kid, and a lot of her siblings wanted to fit in in the world,and because they became fruitless for the Kingdom of God. And I refuse to be fruitless. I want to make sure that I'm bearing good fruit for the Kingdom of God, not just about my own business, not just about making money in the world for my own pleasure, but that I truly can raise my children for the Lord, that I can spread the gospel, that I can live by faith in humility and in righteousness and be a light to the world.

And I want to encourage you as well to be separate from the world. Be separate from the false dreams and false hopes that the world has, that you can be different. Don't fall into the same trap that Israel fell into, thinking that they needed an earthly king, earthly security, all the safety nets that a king and a nation could offer them. Set up Jesus Christ as the king of your heart, the king of your life. Allow Him to cleanse you, to purge you, to purify you, to get sin out of your life. And then make sure you clean up your house. Go around your house, get rid of everything that is sinful in your house, and just throw it away and burn it. That way you can be sanctified, purged, purified and cleaned. On the day that you meet Jesus face to face, He will not be ashamed of you. He will not say, away from me you who commit evil, but that He will accept you as His son or as His daughter.

May the grace of Jesus be with you.