KEYWORDS: jesus, salvation, things, people, lord, christians

Be Not Unequally Yoked with Unbelievers

Karen Zerby

Maria #98DO 25354/89

—By Maria

—Lessons from David & Techi's Experience with Neighbourhood Kids.


1. I was explaining to Techi about our neighbour's children & I said, "Honey, you know the Bible says 'Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers.'—2Cor.6:14. It's a sacrifice that we have to make, as Christians, to keep pure for the Lord & not get corrupted & contaminated by the World. And because of our selah situation, we can't exactly openly witness about Salvation to our neighbours. …" I explained, "I know that those children are supposed to be Christians. You mentioned that the girl had a cross around her neck & that they go to church. But that's all we know about them, they didn't say they'd even received Jesus or anything like that.

2. "But let's assume they're Christians. Let's assume they have received Jesus." I asked her, "How much are they really believers? It doesn't take very much belief to just accept Jesus' free gift of Salvation." It takes a momentary, instantaneous reaching out & accepting‚ & enough faith to believe that Jesus loved you enough to die for you. For children‚ that doesn't take much, & they often receive Jesus immediately.

3. So in that sense of Salvation, they are "believers" in Salvation. But as far as being true believers in the way we mean, & in the way the Bible talks about it, it's a whole different thing. The Bible is talking about both, of course. But the true sense of the Word‚ & the application for us is, that "believers" means believers & receivers of everything the Bible has to say‚ & practicers of it as well.—Believers in the Bible who then act on it & do it!

4. Believing it is doing it!—That's the kind of real believers who believe in the whole way of life for Jesus, & all aspects of doing what the Lord wants us to do.—Not just believing that you have Salvation, that's not going to go very far. It'll get you to Heaven‚ but that's about it.

5. So I said, "I'm afraid we can't really class them as 100% believers." (Fam.: So many of our backsliders have received Jesus & are going to go to Heaven, but look at the way they live—some of them worse than total heathen, some of them even sold-out to fighting those who are serving Jesus fulltime!) Yes, that's a good illustration.

6. But Techi wasn't convinced yet, as she brought it up again. … [W]e had to come up with some very good reasons why not in order to satisfy her. Sometimes it takes awhile for children to understand. You have to keep asking questions & explaining the subject from different angles until you've answered to their satisfaction.

7. It's not always because they don't really believe it. They often just want to hear it said over & over & from different angles until they really are convinced & able to accept it for themselves. (Fam.: In a couple of days she'll say‚ "Well, you really were right," after she's convinced in her mind & has thought out the details. She wants to make her own decision‚ her own choice, then she admits, "You were right all along.")


8. "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new."—2Cor.5:17. Now there are quite a few Christians that I know of, in fact, the majority of the Christians‚ for whom old things have not passed away & all things are not become new! So is the Bible wrong, or what is the problem? Well, we know the Lord's Word isn't wrong, so it must be our interpretation of this verse. When we're trying to lead people to the Lord, or after they have prayed with us, we use this verse & tell them, "Look what it says here, that if you receive Jesus your life will be completely changed." But how many of them do completely change?

9. It says, "If any man be in Christ." Now we usually say about Salvation that Christ is in you, that when we pray, "Jesus come into my heart," Jesus comes into us. But I think it takes considerably longer for us to get into Jesus, "in Christ!" It's like we talk about getting in the Word, not just getting the Word in us.—In other words, not just having Jesus come into our hearts, but us getting into Him, getting immersed in Him, rooted & grounded in Him & into His Word & becoming completely enveloped in it. Then the more we do that, the more it's true that old things pass away, & behold, all things become new!

10. But that's a big change & a big process, & it takes time. So I don't think that that verse was necessarily written about Salvation. We often use it for that, but we all know that that's not the case, that when you get saved everything old does not immediately pass away & all things suddenly become new! Now some people, granted, have a very spectacular change, & in many respects their life shows a very dramatic‚ instantaneous change.

11. But for many many others‚ it doesn't happen that way, although they've probably received just as good a dose of Salvation. When you pray & ask Him to‚ Jesus comes into your heart, & if in one case there's a dramatic change & experience, & in another case there's not, the one is not just half a Salvation & the other a whole Salvation! It's all genuine bona fide Salvation.

12. A lot of people don't have such an instantaneous, dramatic change. Some people have been instantly miraculously delivered from drugs, alcoholism or cigarettes. A lot of people in our Family have been delivered from these things probably because we all had the faith for it & they were going partially by our faith.

13. But for a lot of us, & perhaps for most new Christians, they have to battle certain things they carry over with them from their past lives, & it takes awhile. It takes quite a long while for some people to get cleansed enough by the Word that they show enough change that they can say, "All things have changed."

14. I mean look at all of us, we're all still working on it! So all things definitely didn't immediately become new, but thank the Lord‚ they're a lot newer now than they were before!

15. So I'm pretty much convinced that that verse really wasn't meant to be applied to Salvation. I think using it for Salvation is in some ways a little misleading‚ because when you talk to somebody you've just led to the Lord and show them 2Corinthians 5:17, they'll expect to have this dramatic immediate change in every area. If it doesn't happen, they may doubt the Word.

16. It's true that Salvation is the most important decision you make in your life, the most important step. It is passing from the old life into a new life, & everything will be, or should be different.

17. But it takes time. You don't just automatically say "presto" & you're completely different from that time on. So I don't think that should be one of our major Salvation verses that we harp on‚ because I can certainly see where it could be a little misleading or confusing to people.

18. Many people when they first get saved, don't even feel differently at all! Others, like "the Jews (who) require a sign" (1Cor.1:22), have some kind of dramatic revelation to show them that Salvation in Jesus is the way. But some people just have to accept it by faith without feeling anything at first. In fact, many don't even feel different for a long long time until their spiritual processes are activated, until they start actually getting in the Word & start praying & obeying.

19. People can go to something like a Billy Graham crusade & get saved & go home & maybe for years not know what it all really meant. If they don't have spiritual guidance & don't even realise they're supposed to read the Word, or even if they try, but don't really understand it, & they don't have any fellowship with believers‚ then their lives go on pretty much the same as ever, until at some point the Lord intervenes & does something. He has kept on their case & He knows that they belong to Him, so He finally makes some of them particularly desperate at a certain point, where they really do then search for a closer walk with Him. Then things start to change in their lives.

20. A lot of spiritually retarded Christians have been almost like they're on ice for years & aren't even particularly hungry—they just got saved & they thought, "How nice!—Now I'm going to go to Heaven!"‚ but that was about the end of it. So they just continued to live the way they always lived.

21. In some cases, if they were pretty good people already & there wasn't necessarily anything that they were doing that was so bad that their conscience hurt them, they just go on, business as usual. In some ways they really don't have any ripples until the Lord intervenes & something major happens in their life & they're sort of spiritually activated & brought to life & things do start changing in their lives.

22. Others even live & die without anyone even knowing they ever accepted Jesus! Perhaps when they were young they got saved, but their spiritual training won't start in earnest until they die & go to be with the Lord.

23. (DAD'S CONFIRMATION!:) Amen!—I've often said most churchy Christians are like retarded children!—They're still on the floor playing with toys, & haven't learned much & are even undernourished because they haven't been fed much!—They don't even know they're supposed to grow up & have a job to do!

24. It's much like the way modern parents raise their spoiled & rotten brats of today! The preachers have spoiled them by telling'm all they have to do is "Go to church—& bring money, & I'll do all the rest—I'll preach the Gospel & win the souls.—It's just your job to support me!"—Sad!

25. So the churches have raised a pitiful houseful of weak, undernourished, retarded, spoiled brats who aren't even sure they're saved!—No wonder they have so much trouble with'm!—They don't spank'm or tell'm the Truth, & they let'm get away with everything except not coming to church!—I guess they'll have to learn all the rest in the Millennium!!

26.That's why I had to go out & get you & teach you from scratch!—These over-churched babies were already too handicapped! God bless you & keep you working for Jesus!