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COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, November 13, 2016

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:17-18).


“Come out from among them.” That means to leave those who live in sin. That is what “separation” means, “Come out from among them.” Separation is one of the most important teachings in the Bible. Separation is important because you cannot become a Christian without it. Separation is important because you cannot live a victorious life without it. You cannot live an overcoming life without separation. Separation means not being bound in friendship with unbelievers. Separation means not loving the world. The Bible says, “If any man love the world, the love of [God] is not in him” (I John 2:15). Again it says, “Whosoever…will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). Someone quoted Jesus to me, to correct me, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). But who was He referring to? Not to unbelievers. He was speaking of disciples loving one another. Shakespeare said, “The Devil can quote Scripture to his purpose.” Our text makes it plain,

“Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (II Corinthians 6:17).

Why is separation from lost people so important?

I. First, separation is important because it is taught throughout the Bible.

Lot’s wife lost her soul by not separating from her sinful friends in the city of Sodom. God told Lot that He would destroy that city. He would destroy it because the people there were so sinful and worldly. God said to Lot, “Get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city” (Genesis 19:14). Lot told his wife they should leave Sodom. She started to follow her husband as he left. But she didn’t want to leave her sinful friends. She started to leave with her husband. But “his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). Dr. Charles C. Ryrie said, “Her heart was still in Sodom. She did not want to separate herself from her sinful friends. She looked back and turned to go back to her lost friends. As she looked back to return to her sinful friends ‘she became a pillar of salt.’” The fire and brimstone that God sent down on Sodom covered her. She was covered with the fiery brimstone. Brimstone that God poured out over her body. She was encased in a molten pillar. She was burned alive because she did not want to separate from her sinful friends in Sodom. She lost her soul and went to Hell. And Jesus said,

“Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32).

If you leave the church and go back with your sinful friends that will happen to you. You will be destroyed in the fire of God’s judgment!

“Remember Lot’s wife.”

John Bunyan, our Baptist forefather, gave a similar story. A man left the City of Destruction. He did not look back as he ran after Christ. Two of his unsaved friends ran after him. They told him to go back to the City of Destruction. But he did not listen to them. They told him to come back to his lost friends. But he did not do it. He separated from his lost friends and was saved (paraphrased from Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan).

If you start coming to church and want to be saved the same thing will happen to you. Your lost friends and relatives will usually do all they can to get you to go back. To go back with them to a sinful life. The friends of Bunyan’s man said, “Will you leave all of your worldly friends?” “Yes,” said Bunyan’s man, “Yes, I will leave them all, for that is the only way I can find salvation in Christ.” It was true of Lot’s wife. She went back toward her sinful friends and was burned alive in the fire of God’s judgment. It was true in Bunyan’s day as well. And it is still true today! Separation from sinful friends is the only way you will ever be saved. Leave your sinful friends when they try to stop you from coming to church. Leave them behind and come to Jesus. That is the only way to become a real Christian.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…And [I] will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:17-18).

Come out from among them! Separation is required. You must leave sinful friends if you want to be saved by Jesus from sin and Hell. You must leave sinful relatives and lost friends if you truly want to be saved from sin by Jesus. The Bible says,

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14).

Dr. John R. Rice gave this comment. He said,

One of the plainest doctrines of the Bible is the doctrine of Christian separation. It was the one teaching that God pressed daily, repeatedly, eternally, upon Jews…When the Hebrew farmer hitched up his team, he said in his heart, “God commands me not to plow with a mixed team. I may plow with two oxen or two donkeys; but I cannot mix them. I cannot mix them because God wants me to remember that I am not to mix with those who are not God’s people” (Dr. John R. Rice, The Unequal Yoke, Sword of the Lord, 1946, pp. 4-5).

Separation from friendship with unbelievers is taught from one end of the Bible to the other.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14).

II. Second, separation takes you out of fellowship with the world
and into the fellowship of the local church.

Listen to Jesus in John 15:19. Jesus said,

“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).

Focus on those words, “I have chosen you out of the world.” Say those words out loud, “I have chosen you out of the world.”

In John 17:6, Jesus said that again,

“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world…”

The Greek word translated “world” in both of these verses refers to lost mankind. Jesus said,

“I have chosen you out of the world” (John 15:19).

This means separation. We are chosen “out of the world.”

The Greek word translated “church” in the New Testament is “ekklesia.” It means “the called out ones,” from “ek” out of, and “kaleo” to call (Vine). So, the word “church” means “the called out ones” (Scofield, note on Matthew 16:18).

Listen to Acts 2:47. Here we have a description of what happened at the local church in Jerusalem. It says,

“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).

Jesus said,

“I have chosen you out of the world” (John 15:19).

In modern English it is very clear,

“And the Lord added to the church [the called out ones]” (Acts 2:47).

Thus, we are called out of the world and into the church.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…” (II Corinthians 6:17).

Biblical separation takes you out of fellowship with the world. Separation takes you into the fellowship of the local church. You leave the world behind, and you make a whole new set of friends in the church.

III. Third, separation is a matter of the heart.

Please turn to James 4:4. It’s on page 1309 of our Scofield Study Bible. Let’s stand and read it out loud,

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

That is a clear statement! “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” You may be seated.

Jesus was kind to lost people. He even ate with publicans and sinners. But His close friends were the Disciples, Mary and Martha, and Lazarus. His friends were all true Christians – and He calls you to follow Him. Make sure all your close friends are real Christians! Give up all friends who are not real Christians. That is what the Bible teaches!

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:17-18).

Albert Barnes gave these remarks, based on those words in the Bible. He said,

      They who [want to become Christians] should resolve to separate themselves from the world. [Christianity] cannot exist where there is no such separation, and they who are unwilling to forsake [unbelieving] companions…and to find their friends and pleasures among the people of God [cannot become real Christians]…There must be a line drawn between the friends of God and the friends of sin…While we do not refuse to mingle with them as neighbours and citizens… still our chosen friends and our dearest friendships must be with the people of God. For, God’s friends should be our friends; and our happiness should be with them, and the world should see that we prefer the friends of [Christ] to friends of lust, ambition, and sin (Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, II Corinthians, Baker Book House, 1985 reprint, p. 162).

The world should see we don’t want what they want!

Barnes told us, “We should resolve to separate ourselves from the world…and to find our close friends and pleasures among the people of God” (ibid.).

John Bunyan said this to those who tried to pull a man back from seeking salvation. He said,

“You live in the City of Destruction…and all who die there will sink lower than the grave into a place that burns with fire and brimstone. Be convinced, and come to Christ with me.” “What!” exclaimed [the man who followed him]. “And leave all our friends and comforts behind?” “Yes,” said [the man seeking Christ], “for all that you [give up] is not worthy to be compared with…that which I seek…For I seek Christ – not sin” (John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress in Today’s English, retold by James H. Thomas, Moody Press, 1964, pp. 13-14).

You are called out of the world to Christ. The person who refuses to stop looking for friendship and comfort in the world will not come to Christ. You cannot look in two directions at once! “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). A “double minded” person will not come to Christ!

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate…and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you…” (II Corinthians 6:17-18).

Christ wants you to stop trusting the world and trust Him instead. As the old hymn puts it,

“Give me thy heart,” says the Saviour of men,
   Calling in mercy again and again;
Grace more abounding is mine to impart,
   Have I not died for thee? Give me thy heart.
“Give me thy heart, Give me thy heart,”
   Hear the soft whisper, wherever thou art;
From this dark world He would draw thee apart,
   Speaking so tenderly, “Give me thy heart.”
(“Give Me Thy Heart” by Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851-1920).

When John Cagan was a teenager he hung out with some bad church kids. Kids who came to church but laughed at what I preached. They told dirty jokes. They talked about sex and drugs like marijuana. But John Cagan began to see that they were wrong. His heart was convicted of sin. He felt that his sin was pulling him into Hell. Finally John turned away from those bad boys. He left them completely and gave his heart to Christ. He made friends with good Christian young people in our church. Soon he was converted. Those bad boys that laughed at my sermons are nearly all gone from our church now. But John Cagan trusted Christ and was saved. Not only was he saved – but he is now going to go to seminary and become a pastor. When John preaches you can feel that his heart is filled with hatred of sin and love for Jesus. He left the bad church kids and gave his heart and life to Christ alone. I am proud to say that John Cagan is now one of my closest friends. John and Julie Sivilay went with my family to have dinner and see a play to celebrate my boys’ birthdays last Friday evening. When the bad boys left, God gave John a new set of friends. Friends like Aaron Yancy, Jack Ngann, Noah Song, and this old preacher. We are all very proud to call John Cagan our friend because now he is a friend of Christ – and is no longer a friend of evil “church kids.” He came to Christ. He came to us. How glad we are that he will some day be the pastor of this church. He will be preaching here when the bad church kids are burning in the fire of Hell for all eternity.

Will you come away from sinful friends? Will you trust Jesus, the Son of God? Will you come to Him, and be washed clean from your sins by His Blood? John Cagan and his father, and I myself would like to talk with you about that here in front of the pulpit. You come, while Mr. Griffith sings that song, “Give Me Thy Heart.” You come, while he sings it.


WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Noah Song: II Corinthians 6:14-18.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Give Me Thy Heart” (by Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851-1920).


THE OUTLINE OF

COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:17-18).

(I John 2:15; James 4:4; John 13:35)

I.   First, separation is important because it is taught throughout
the Bible, Genesis 19:14, 26; Luke 17:32; II Corinthians 6:14.

II.  Second, separation takes you out of fellowship with the world and
into the fellowship of the local church; John 15:19;
John 17:6; Acts 2:47.

III. Third, separation is a matter of the heart, James 4:4; 1:8.