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  • Writer's picturePastor Bowler


Take to heart the words of the Lord Jesus in John 17:11-17. This is the high priestly prayer that the Lord Jesus offered. “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

It is not God’s will to remove us from the world. If He removes us, who is going to witness? The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, “Be not equally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?…”

“Fellowship” means “what we have in common.” If a man disgraces the name of Jesus Christ cares nothing for the Bible, cares nothing for the church, and is filthy in his conversation, what fellowship can a Christian have with someone like that? We must love the lost. We should win the lost, but this cannot be done by living like the lost. The Bible continues, “…and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

God says we should be separated. This is two-fold—separated to the Lord and from the world. Separation does not mean isolation. The Lord Jesus said He does not want us isolated. He does not want us removed but separate. There is a difference. We are not to stay out of the world; we are to keep the world out of us. As the world gets worse and worse, the New Testament church will mean more anymore to the children of God. This is a very dark word. and we must determine to live right and make a difference.

We notice, not only the call to live right, but we notice the cost of living right. The Christian life must never stand still; if it does, it will go backward. A house left to itself falls apart. The apostates are in the business of tearing down, but each Christian must be involved in building up — first, his own spiritual life and then his local assembly. It costs something to live right. It costs the loss of personal freedom. I am not my own; I belong to Christ. The saddest thing I hear from some Christians is the expression, “It’s my life.” Then for whom did Christ die?

If we belong to the Lord, we are to yield our personal freedom and say, “I want Thy will to be done.” Living right will cost us social standing. When working, we need an hour’s work for an hour’s pay. If we have an opportunity on the lunch break to share the gospel with someone who is interested, we should do it. You should be a witness at work, but you will lose your testimony by not doing an hour’s work for an hour’s pay. Live the Christian life. Be on time. Show up for work. Identify strongly with the Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s alright to live for the devil as far as the world is concerned, but it is not all right to live for God. Do you know why? Because we are living in a world so wrong that they call darkness light and light darkness.

Disciples are all in, or they’re not in. Jesus said, after he laid down some pretty high costs, “You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14). In other words, “There is no cost that you can pay in following me that won’t be made up to you a thousandfold in the resurrection.”

We must count the cost in order to be a disciple. The cost is total in principle and may be total in actual experience. In the end, having Jesus means gain, like Paul says: “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” — Romans 13:12

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