Address: 8071 Old Auburn Rd. Citrus Heights, CA 95610

Believers must watch their relationship with unbelievers. Believers are in a spiritual war. Christians are trying to make unbelievers like Christ through the Gospel, and unbelievers are trying to make Christians like the world through lust. Believers tend to dismiss this struggle or think they are safe when they are not. The Old Testament warned Israel about becoming like the Canaanites. Christ warned believers about losing their salty taste and hiding their light (Matthew 5:13 – 14). James warned believers about friendship with the world (James 4:4) and Paul is warning the Corinthians about being ‘unequally yoked’ (NKJV, ESV) with unbelievers. To be ‘unequally yoked’ with an unbeliever means you have some other goal in the relationship other than to evangelize. Paul had a difficult relationship with the Corinthians. The Corinthians did not trust Paul. Although he planted the Church (Acts 18:11) and evangelized many (1 Corinthians 4:4), they were closed to him because their loyalty was divided: they were bound together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:13 – 14). 1 Corinthians reveals that the Corinthians struggled with lawsuits (6:6), prostitution (6:16) and loitering and eating in places of pagan worship (10:14). They had an exaggerated sense of Christian liberty. In 2 Corinthians, Paul charges them to give up close relationships with unbelievers other than to evangelize them (6:14). Worldly relationships not to evangelize damage one’s intimacy with God. When a believer is ‘unequally yoked,’ or has a relationship with an unbeliever without the motive of evangelization, it damages one’s intimacy with God. In the Old Testament, God forbade the Israelites to plow with an ox yoked to a donkey (Deuteronomy 22:10). In similar fashion, believers and unbelievers are different animals. They differ in their standards of conduct, their nature, their Master, their worldview and their spiritual commitments (6:14 – 16). For a believer to associate with an unbeliever without an evangelistic motive means that the primary motive in that relationship is not God, and the unbeliever will use that ungodly motive to pull the believer in the wrong direction. A believer should never let an unbeliever entice him to violate his primary allegiance to God. Believers must be separate from unbelievers. How separate? The Bible doesn’t say whether believers must refrain from sports events, parties or certain activities with unbelievers. However, the Bible does mandate certain ways that believers must remain distinct. These areas include: dress (1 Timothy 2:9 – 10); gender distinction (1 Corinthians 11:4 – 7; 13 – 15); mind (Romans 12:1 – 2); speech (Ephesians 4:29 – 31; 5:4); work (Colossians 3:22 – 23); leisure (1 Peter 4:3 – 4; 7 – 11) and relationships with other believers (Ephesians 7:21). Never use Christian Liberty to Damage your Intimacy with God!