A Hole In The Boat
Once when taking some guests out for a cruise on my boat, I failed to put the drain plug in the stern before launching. As I returned from parking the truck and trailer, one of my guests had already boarded the boat, but was standing ankle deep in water.
Over the years as I have reflected on that experience, I’ve thought about how efficiently that boat is made to function in the water. However, if the water enters the boat, disaster can certainly result. Much the same is true with regard to the church and those who are members of it. The Lord’s church is designed to function very effectively in the world, but if the sinful attitudes of the world should enter the church, the result is spiritual decay. Christians are to be in the world without becoming a part of it.
This seems to be somewhat the message of Second Corinthians the sixth chapter, where at verses fourteen through eighteen, Paul wrote that Christians are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. It should be noted that in scripture a believer is always regarded as a faithful Christian, and the term is never used to describe one who acknowledges the Lord, yet has not exercised any faith by obedience to the gospel.
To attempt to establish meaningful spiritual fellowship between a believer and non-believer, as the scripture continues, would be like attempting fellowship with righteousness and unrighteousness, communion with light and darkness, concord with Christ and an idol, or, just as unrealistically, finding some means of spiritual agreement between a child of God and one who does not even acknowledge His existence.
That being true, true Christians are called upon to come out from among the sinful elements of the world, having not even touched that which is unclean to the soul. Should a child of God learn to distinguish himself as a peculiar possession of God, he is promised that the Heavenly Father will receive him as a child indeed. While Christians must live a spiritually effective life in the world, they may not be of the world.