Daily Devotional, Year 3 – February 3 (Come Out From Among Them, Part 2: “Making Friends With Unbelievers”)

By admin On March 23rd, 2016

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“Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

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Daily Devotional, Year 3 – February 3

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Come Out From Among Them, Part 2: “Making Friends With Unbelievers

To read part 1, go here…February 11th (Come Out From Among Them!)

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“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ”

2nd Corinthians 5:20

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.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dutch_family_bbq.jpg

There are many Christians who are confused about whether or not to have secular friendships.

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After all, so many fellow church-members have no problem maintaining secular friendships.

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And even the pastor encourages the parishioners to strike up friendships with unbelievers, with the hope of one day converting them to Christianity.

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Barbeque – Dutch family – Wikimedia – Share-alike License

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.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Magnifying_glass_on_book_icons

But what does the Bible say? Does the Lord encourage us to go out and make friends with unbelievers?

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Magnifying Glass – Wikimedia – Share-alike License

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“COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM”

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Well, in Part 1 (click here), this question was focused on. And various Bible verses were http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Handshake_(Workshop_Cologne_%2706).jpegoffered in support of avoiding secular friendships.

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No, the Bible has some pretty strong warnings against making friends with unbelievers…

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And the Reader is encouraged to read Part 1 (click here), to maybe get a better understanding of what the Bible has to say about having unbelieving friendships.

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Handshake – Workshop Cologne – Wikimedia – share-alike license

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“AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST”

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But today’s devotional is about a very important aspect of the Christian’s heart, which will have a profound impact on the Christian’s social life.

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This aspect is found in the following verse…“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ” 2nd Corinthians 5:20

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Yes, God has chosen us to be goodwill ambassadors for Christ, sent out into all the world!

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And as this painting shows, Jesus sent out His disciples, two-by-two, to spread afar, the Good News of the Gospel!

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Brooklyn Museum – Jesus sends disciples out two by two – by James Tissot – US Public Domain

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A BRAND-NEW HEART!

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And so, just why does a Christian begin to have this fiery new desire for evangelism?

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You see, when God puts His Holy Spirit within the heart of a true Believer, that person becomes a, “new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2nd Corinthians 5:17

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Now, that new Christian no longer thinks like the world.

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In other words, God has now, “given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” Verse 18. 

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This simply means that our great desire has now become to call all others to also begin to follow Jesus up that narrow pathway that leads Heavenward!

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Bible Study Group – Wikimedia – Share-Alike License

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SHARING HEAVENLY MANNA…

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OR JUST SHARING WORLDLY FARE?

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And while unbelievers are not to be considered as “unclean” when it comes to evangelizing them into Christianity; they are definitely considered “unclean” when it comes to Believers sharing in their worldly and ungodly ways.

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-photo/jeastty/3/1303829593/mall-witnessing.jpg/tpod.html

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The Bible clearly commands to avoid such fellowship with unbelievers…

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“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]” 2nd Corinthians 6:17

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Does the distinction become clear between evangelizing and fellowship? When evangelizing, we are trying to get them to eat of the Bread of Heaven. But when fellowshiping with unbelievers, we are partaking of their worldly fare: hence we are as though eating the unclean meat of sin!

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Mall witnessing, Panama City, Panama

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“EVIL COMMUNICATIONS CORRUPTS”

1st Corinthians 15:33

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Now, as already mentioned, there are many churches that encourage their parishioners to make personal friendships out in the world, so as to hopefully convert these unbelievers to become new church-members…

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Well, that’s a nice-sounding idea!

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cheers!_(3162940696).jpg.

But listen to God’s warning to Old Testament Israel…“But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks (slivers) in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.” Numbers 33:55

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Yes, as this Old Testament verse warns, there is a price to pay for not maintaining a distance between a Believer and an unbeliever. And because Israel refused to obey this command, their nation was eventually destroyed.

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And likewise today, those Christians who think they can convert their unbelieving “buddies”, will most likely find that they themselves are the ones who become converted: converted back into the world!

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Hands Toasting Drinks – Cheers! Wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

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NO SECULAR FRIENDSHIPS

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Here is something to consider. Do we ever read anything about secular relationships with our three greatest Christian role-models, Jesus, Paul & John?

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No we don’t!

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And yet they evangelized more successfully than any other persons on this planet!

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These three role-models for the Church, were so busy with their spiritual life (and daily duties), they had no time for secular entertainment, even had they wanted to!

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And their only secular associations were with those who were seriously wanting to follow Jesus!

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St Paul Preaching in Athens (Raphael, 1515) Wikipedia US public domain

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“FOR ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST”

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Listen to Paul… “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PaulT.jpg

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Does this type of total devotion to Christ by Paul sound like something that would attract worldly friendships?

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No, Paul’s only desire in life was to transform his own life into the exact image of Christ, so that his evangelism could be more perfect! And for an abject unbeliever to hang out with Paul would become far too distasteful! (see 2nd Corinthians 2:15, 16)

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Paul the Apostle – Artist – Valentin de Boulogne or Nicolas Tournier – circa 1500s – Wikipedia – Public Domain

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JESUS ON THE TIP OF OUR TONGUE

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And so, no longer do we have any desire to carry on worldly fellowshttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:At_a_loss.svghip.

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But now, because of the Spirit that indwells our heart, the glorious Gospel of Christ is always on the tip of our tongue. And we constantly must restrain ourselves from speaking about Him when in their company!

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And just like Paul, we now have become evangelists to a world-in-rebellion against Heaven.

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:At_a_loss.svg

But all those in the Church who do not have this burning flame for evangelism must ask themselves the painful question, “Have I truly become a new creation in Christ? Or am I still just a person of the world? Am I really just kidding myself about my Salvation?”

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Question Marks – At a loss – svg – Wikimedia Commons – Share-Alike License

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GOOD NEWS! TIME FOR CHANGE!

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Well, the very Good News is, that there is still time to turn to God, and ask Him for this wonderful Spirit of evangelism. There is still time to plead for a fiery new heart that burns with the desire to be an https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USMC-081218-M-4507D-001.jpgambassador for Christ!

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And those who truly desire to become an evangelist, like Paul, should not cease crying out for such a wonderful gift until they actually do receive it!

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And then, once that wonderful day arrives that we receive that same fervent Spirit that Paul had, all our questions will then be answered concerning whether or not we should maintain secular friendships. 

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And anyway, if God does actually bestow upon us the same fervent Holy Spirit that Paul had, the chances that any unbeliever would ever want to, “hang out” with us will be, at best, slim to none!

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Prayer – USMC – Wikimedia – US Govt. Public Domain

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“I SAT ALONE”

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“I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of Thy hand: for Thou http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ThomasCole-Pilgrim_Cross_End.jpghast filled me with indignation.” Jeremiah 15:17

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As this above verse exhorts, the Christian too, will often experience loneliness or sadness, even as Jeremiah did, as he (or she) also refuses to join in with the mockery and folly of today’s world.

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But as a “stranger & pilgrim” sojourning through this hopelessly dying world, the Christian must fix his eyes upon the heavenly Prize, knowing that one day soon, he will cross over that Black River, and into that Promised Land which rings with the sounds of singing, and with innocent laughter, and with everlasting joy!

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Study for The Cross and the World…… Brooklyn Museum Thomas Cole – US public domain

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TO READ PART 3, GO HERE…Daily Devotional, Year 3 – February 5 (Come Out From Among Them, Part 3: “Making Friends With Unbelievers, CONTINUED”)

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, Help me to study out this topic in the Bible. Let me not be immersed in the corrupting influences of today’s society…

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Revelation 12 Woman & The Narrow Gate Stars (Orion’s Gate to Heaven)”

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THE END

 

.Orion Constellation at Eagle Ridge

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

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WIDE & NARROW GATES IN THE HEAVENS

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As the opening verse says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

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Revelation 12 Woman chooses Narrow Way

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So what are these two gates all about? And how can I choose the right door? Well, just read this article and these questions and more will be answered.

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This sketch, while not 100% accurate, gives a fair portrayal of how this constellation group appears at winter’s end and even into June, when above the western horizon.

 

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… Revelation 12 Woman & The Narrow Gate Stars (Orion’s Gate to Heaven)

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TOMORROW:

 February 4 (He That Hath An Ear To Hear, Part 2: World Without Ears!) 

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20 MINUTE+ AUDIO BIBLE STUDY IN JEREMIAH 

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YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN FOLLOWING THIS 650+ AUDIO BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH EACH DAY ON THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL.

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YOU CAN ALSO GO TO www.familyradio.org TO LISTEN TO OR DOWNLOAD MORE OF THESE JEREMIAH STUDIES.

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THIS STUDY #34 IS PRESENTED BY THE LATE HAROLD CAMPING OF FAMILY RADIO…

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above picture: Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.org – Public Domain

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