Differences between the believer and unbeliever arise from having different value systems. Therefore, the apostle Paul warned, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Because of the big gap in ideals and conduct between the Christian and non-Christian, to enter into any binding relationship, whether in marriage or in business, confronts the Christian with the alternatives of abandoning principle or enduring difficulties. For this reason, the counsel in 2 Corinthians 6:14 is necessary to heed.
Separateness from sin and sinners is explicitly taught throughout the Scriptures and not just the New Testament (Lev. 20:24; Num. 6:3; Heb. 7:26; etc.). No other principle has been more strictly given by God. Throughout the history of God’s people the violation of this principle has resulted in spiritual disaster. The believer needs to ask himself: whose influence is likely to prevail, that of Christ or that of the evil one? When it comes to a binding relationship such as marriage, the Christian that loves the Lord should not unite with an unbeliever, even in hope of winning him to Christ.
The person that does not accept Christ as his Savior, and His teachings as his standard of belief and conduct, to him, the ideals of Christianity are undesirable and foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18). And because of his outlook, the unbeliever often finds it most difficult to tolerate a pattern of conduct that tends to restrict his own ways of living.
But Paul does not forbid all association with unbelievers, but only those associations that would tend to diminish the Christian’s love for God or to lead him to stray away from the right path. The believer is not to shun his relatives and friends, but to associate with them as a living example of Christianity and lead them to the truth (1 Cor. 5:9, 10; 7:12; 10:27). His motive of association should not be the seeking of temporary pleasures in the world but rather for witnessing.
In His service,
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