Today is the day of salvation!
1 As God’s partners, we beg you not to reject this marvelous message of God’s great kindness. 2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.
I heard these verses used hundreds of times – and have used it myself – when witnessing. How powerful they are.
4 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.
So what is Paul trying to say here? Isn’t this a contradiction? Didn’t Paul tell us many times before about carrying out Christ’s command to tell people about salvation. How can we do this if we aren’t even allowed to associate with unbelievers? What about in 1 Corinthians 5, where he tells us that he wasn’t talking about disassociating ourselves with unbelievers who commit sins, but from believers. In 1 Corinthians 7, he urges Christians to stay with their spouses, even if they are unbelievers.
Confused? It struck me kind of odd, too, so I took a closer look. Here, I think Paul is warning of business relationships with unbelievers – and marriages that have yet to take place. He is warning us that faith compromises may occur for the success of the business – and Paul warns against putting ourselves in that position.
Have you ever had to face the choice to compromise your faith to “get the job done” or “go along with the crowd”? Perhaps the potential rewards of “teaming up” with unbelievers is not worth the risks.
Continue to show us, God, where there are situations that might cause compromise. Help us to avoid such situations with Your guidance and Your Holy Spirit. Give us discernment – make us wise as serpents. Help us to stop and listen for Your voice – call out to You before any decisions are made – so we can live in harmony with the plan You have for us. And, may You get the glory,Lord!