When we started the Quarantine series, we were excited because there are so many specific Scriptural guidances for what we should avoid: the love of self, the love of money, ungratefulness… these are all easy topics to talk about because they’re so important and so… pointed, singular, and clearly defined.

“Unholy.”

That’s a little harder to narrow down. So let’s start with how Scripture defines what is Holy:

  1. Without Sin
  2. Set apart

So we see how God defines holiness, but we also see God ‘encouraging’ His people towards holiness over and over:

  • Leviticus 11:44 – I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy.
  • Deuteronomy 7:2-4 – Make no treaty with them… do not intermarry with them… they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods.

Okay, “so don’t worship other gods” and “be holy like God is holy,” that’s fine, we’re all on that sanctification journey, being made new… yeah, Lord, we’re working on it. We won’t worship other gods, got it. Easy, right?

… but God doesn’t stop there. Holiness, being set apart, isn’t just for religious purposes. It’s for attitudes and lifestyles, too:

  • Proverbs 22:24-25 – Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be misled: “bad company corrupts good character.”
  • 1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him… The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

What do we love? Our sports? Our foods? Our money? It sounds obvious, and we guard against the obvious temptations, but it’s a subtle slip as well; it’s a gentle glide from “ALL of that is bad” to “most of that is bad” to “parts of that are okay” until a final “this is fine.”

This is playing out especially in the younger generations. Sunday used to be known as a holy day, set apart… but if you have kids in school now, being pushed to fit in ball games and training sessions on Sunday mornings. When 15 other kids and their parents are coming out, the peer pressure to conform is strong. “Do not be misled…”

How do you know when you love the world?

Well, there are a few litmus tests:

  1. If you know heaven will be great, but you’re not ready to go there yet; the bucket list isn’t finished yet
  2. If love for your family is greater than your love for God and His ways
  3. If you are storing up treasures on earth instead of treasures in heaven, i.e. you’re working overtime so you can buy more toys instead of spending time serving or building up your faith

Sidebar for a moment: the most important ‘thing’ in life is (the set of) everything that prepares you for the next life. In 150 years, your workout program will not matter. Your 401k will not matter. Your best friend’s poker night won’t matter. How well you knew God will matter. Does matter. More than anything and everything else. Everything… and everyone. Including:

Quarantine from Some People who call themselves Christians

There are some branches of the Christian church who are approving of things that God clearly states in His Word are sinful. Look, we would all be happy if we could do whatever we want and decide that God was wrong to say that, and that times have changed, and it’s not applicable anymore. We don’t get to make that call.

So we’re stuck with verses like Romans 1:32 that says “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

Quarantine with Jesus

Naturally, we don’t place ourselves as judges over anyone’s salvation — only God can decide that. But when Jesus says “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me,” we have to accept that everything Jesus taught is everything God wants, so when Jesus defines marriage, that’s what we hold to.

So if we’re quarantining away from sins and those who repeatedly practice them, we can choose to quarantine with someone. Who better than the way, truth, and life?

Isolate from the distractions of the world and spend time with Jesus. Talk with Him. Listen for Him. Read His Word. He is the only one who makes the unholy holy. How does He do that? As He prays:

John 17:15 – My prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one.

We are called to be in the world, but not of it. We have a job to do: like ambassadors for the Kingdom of Heaven, we live here and share the Good News of how incredible Home really is, and help those who want citizenship there apply for it here. 

Our church’s name is Light of the World. We take seriously the call to let our lights shine so that people see our lives of faith and give glory to the Father in Heaven.

In closing

We remember the encouragement in Romans 12:2 — Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

May we now (and every moment from now on) be transformed, and be renewed, by the Spirit of God as we pursue His Word, His plans, His purposes, and His values. May we see things and people the way He sees them. May our hearts be tied to His, and may we maintain a holy, set-apart mindset and lifestyle, abstaining from the slow, creeping death of unholy tendencies.

See the whole sermon here:

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