Set Apart Christians

Set Apart Christians

Text

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 I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (II Corinthians  6:17-18).

Purpose of the Illustration

  1. To show that the Christian's call is to a life separate from the world.

  2. To indicate that as the cleansing solvent is able to remain separate from and unmixed with the red ink, so the Christian, by God's help, can and does remain "unmixed" with the world.

  3. To indicate that the Christian may work with "the world" and study with it, but he does not become a part of the "world." He may have tribulation, but Christ gives him victory.

Apparatus

  1. Three thin and tall glasses, or three bottles, or similar sets of bottles or glasses.

  2. A glass or bottle containing a small amount of water.

Chemicals

  1. A bottle of red ink.

  2. A similar amount of cleansing solvent.

Method of Procedure

  1. Fill one glass or bottle, or sets of glasses or bottles, about one third full of water.

  2. Slowly add enough red ink to color this water bright red.

  3. Fill another glass or bottle about one third full of cleansing solvent without water.

  4. If glasses are used, pour the red-colored water into the glass containing the solvent and stir thoroughly until both chemicals are mixed completely.

  5. If bottles are used, add the two solutions similarly. Then shake the bottle until the chemicals are mixed.

  6. Let the glass or bottle containing the chemical stand for some time.

Chemical Reactions

  1. The chemical solvent will come to the top and leave the red in the bottom.

  2. The two chemicals will not remain permanently mixed, but because of a difference in density, the heavier will remain on the bottom.

Cautions

  1. Practice the experiment at home to be sure that the type of ink and solvent used will react as indicated in the foregoing.

  2. You can enhance the effectiveness of your experiment by having two or three sets of bottles or glasses: small bottles can represent children, large bot­tles or glasses, adults, and the different kinds or shapes of bottles, various types of people.

Representations

  1. The white solvent represents a Christian whose sins have been washed in Jesus' blood and been made "whiter than snow."

  2. The red ink represents the evil of the world, spoken of by Isaiah thus, "Though your sins be as scarlet ..."

Talk

As you begin talking, set out your apparatus. There are two kinds of people in the world, the good and the bad, Christians and those who are not children of God. A Christian is a child of God, whose sins have been forgiven.

Pour the solvent into the bottle or glass. The heart of the unconverted is black and evil, and that of the world is filled with sin or iniquity. It stands like this red glass—pour the inky solution into your container— for the Bible speaks of sins being "as scarlet" (Isaiah 1:18). So the world and the heart of the sinner are red in God's sight, like this bottle filled with the solution.

The Christian has his sins forgiven, which makes the heart white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:7). John promises that if "we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unright­eousness" (I John 1:9).

These two classes of people, the Christians and the sinners, are completely different. One group has been cleansed from sin by Christ's blood, and the other lives in sin and follows after iniquity. They are spoken of as sons of God and sons of the world, or of evil.

Christians will mix with Christians—you may pour some solvent into a container in which there is already a quantity of solvent—for they are heart brothers. Similarly, the red heart of the world will find a common element in the red hearts of others of the world. But Christians and unbelievers are different, and are commanded to be separate one from the other.

The Bible commands, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate."

Perhaps you will ask, "What if I must associate with boys and girls who are not Christians?" You may ask also, "Can I take a job at an office where there are worldly people?"

Combine the two solutions, the solvent and the inky water. Let's see what happens when a Christian boy or girl must go to school where the boys and girls are not Christians. Shake the bottles or stir the- solutions. See, you can't tell who's who, what is of the world and what is of God. The boys and girls are studying together, playing together, going home by the same route. So you say, "I guess there's no difference between them after all." Set the bottle aside for a while.

Now combine another set of solutions, if you use more than one set of containers. Suppose you work where there are sinners, in the shop, the office or the store. You are the pilot or the stewardess of an airplane, let us say, or the manager of a department in the store or factory.

"Well, here goes," you say as you start for work. "I guess they won't be able to tell any difference between me and the unconverted employees. We're all alike and do similar jobs."

I think you have made a mistake there. Let's shake you up in this job of yours. Shake the combined solutions in another set of containers.

It does look like you are right, after all, for there seems to be little difference evident to the eye. Now set this aside.

I wonder what time will show. Is God able to make us different, to keep us separate from the world, so that the world will recognize we are not of them?

Look at the first container. It looks as if that boy or girl at school is separate, after all. See, the white has come to the top, and will not mix with the red!

Yes, time told the story. God is able to keep a Christian boy or girl at school, at home or play, and others will know that he or she is different from sinful or worldly companions.

Turn to the second set of containers. And what a story time told at the factory, the shop or the office! The born-again Christians stand out, and all can see the difference. Although they do the same tasks as their unconverted companions, they stand forth white, pure, upright for all to behold.

Jesus prayed in His last great prayer for His be­loved children, '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" (John 17:15-16).

In another place He foretold that tribulation would result from mixing or working with the world, 'In the world ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). Shake the container violently. Yes, a man working with the sinful crowd may suffer persecution. They may laugh at his religious songs and his refusal to mix with their iniquity, but Jesus promised a calm for this tribulation, a balm for this plight: "But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world"  (John 16:33).

As He overcame, so He has promised us the source of victory: "This is the victory that overcometh. the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4). The Christian, delivered from the temptations of the world, and kept separate, can shout, "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 15:57)!

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