The unequal yoke
One of the most sordid realities of life is that true believers in Jesus Christ, true christians who have made up their minds to serve only Jesus Christ and live a pleasing life before him cannot get along with out and out unbelievers who do not want to live for Jesus Christ.
This sad fact is precipitated upon not because of self-righteousness by the believers as many unbelievers claim.It is just that dramatic changes have taken place within the believer when he accepts Jesus Christ and this makes it almost impossible for him to get along with the unbeliever who wants to remain in sin.It is very unfortunate that it should be so,but it is a reality of life that has lived with us for ages.Some of the reasons why true believers in Christ and the ungodly cannot get along are :
1.The Christian’s life goals have changed
Chapter 3 of the Book of Colossians manifests this change that has come on the believer.Verses 1-2 state : “If ye then be risen with Christ ,seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand side of God.Set your affections on things above , not on things on the earth.”The man who is truly saved has died to this world and risen with Jesus Christ.As a result of this, his life’s goals have changed completely.His affections are no longer set on things of this earth but on things in Heaven.
The unbeliever who does not want any part of the saved life with Jesus Christ , on the other hand, has all his affections set on this world.He wants to enjoy all the things that this fallen world offers–the sultry, beautiful women or men, as the case may be ; the night clubs, liquor and ganja; all the fleeting and uncertain wealth, power, fame ang glory of this world .He has no interest in God or holy things.Infact he scoffs at them.When he sits down, that is all he thinks about and talks about.On the other hand, the true Christian used to enjoy all these things but he does not have interest in them anymore.When he sits down, all he thinks about are how to please God, how to praise Him or pray to Him and how to preach His word.Given such fundamental and radical differences in their life’s dreams and goals, it is not possible for the True Believer and the man who is not ready to change to see eye-to-eye.
God recognizes this fact.He knows that those who truly love him and want to live for him on this earth cannot get along with those who do not want to hear his name.That is why the Bible warns in 2 Timothy 3:12 ,”Yea,and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted”. The unbeliever persecutes the christian in many ways.The most common way is that he will capitalize on the mistakes of the believer to make his life miserable.As we all know, nobody is perfect.Though the believer has given his life to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is now in him and helping him to live a godly life,the christian now has the divine nature but he is not sinlessly perfect.Only Jesus Christ was ever sinlessly perfect.There are times when he will err and these are the times when he will become fair game for the unbeliever who does not want to follow Christ, and who wants to cause him trouble.
There is another subtle way that the unbeliever persecutes the Christian.He finds needless faults with him.It is a ploy akin to that used by the husband who no longer loves his wife. Ask that drunkard BBC reporter in London Solomon Sesay has been writing about. Suddenly, the woman for whom he was once crazy and who was the best in his estimation becomes sloppy in appearance, rude, impolite, cannot cook well and is unloving .Because they are no longer seeing eye-to-eye, the unbeliever will seek every means to amplify the faults of the believer.It is all just a hidden excuse to get at the believer because of his stand for Jesus Christ.
This situation happens in homes among families and siblings but even so in the church.In the House of God, we have those who are known as the mixed multitudes.They are members of the church and just that.Unlike the truly dedicated christians,they are not ready to submit their lives fully to the authority of Jesus Christ and the gospel.They still want to be in the church, but they will also still be seeing their girlfriends,balling and drinking in night clubs,and engaging in sinful life-styles incompatible with their callings as Christians.These half-baked christians who are seen all around us will not like the true christians who are making every effort to live for God and to obey Him. These mixed multitudes will try to persecute the true children of God.Therefore, you can have persecution even in the House of God.This often manifests itself in statements like : “Oh, he thinks he knows too much about the Bible; he feels that he has a direct line with God; he is too self-righteous ; we are all in this God business ,but he is really going overboard.” The unbeliever may also spread false stories about the believer , for instance accusing him of being involved in fornication or adultery, the most common accusations.Many good men and women have had their names sullied by unbelievers , who out of malice for their strong christian stand, have spread wicked lies about them. Please note that not everybody who goes to church is a christian.Many darken the doors of the church on Sundays, but they are Enemies of the Cross of Jesus Christ.The true believer in Christ will no longer live in sin.Though no man is sinlessly perfect, if a man is truly born again, it will show in the kind of life he is living.Those whose lives have still not changed in accordance to the will of God will persecute the true christians in the church .
To be a christian is therefore not an easy .That is why the Bible warns us in Joshua 24:15 : “Choose this day whom you will serve”.Since the christian life is not easy because we will be needlessly antagonized by sinners, we have to really make up our minds to go out and out for God if we are to complete the race.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK