God will test the fidelity of His people. Many of the mistakes that are made by the professed servants of God are in consequence of their self-love, their desire for approval, their thirst for popularity. Blinded in this manner, they do not realize that they are elements of darkness rather than of light. “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]. These are the conditions upon which we may be acknowledged as the sons of God—separation from the world, and renunciation of those things which delude, and fascinate, and ensnare.
The apostle Paul declares that it is impossible for the children of God to unite with worldlings: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” [verse 14]. This does not refer to marriage alone; any intimate relation of confidence and copartnership with those who have no love for God or the truth is a snare.
The apostle continues: “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said: I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” [verses 14–16]. In consideration of these facts, he exclaims: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate” [verse 17]. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
If we comply with the conditions, the Lord will fulfill to us His promises. But there is a work for us to do which we should in no wise neglect. In the strength of Jesus we can perform it aright. We may press ever onward and upward, constantly growing in grace and in a knowledge of the truth.
The children of the light and of the day are not to gather about them the shades of night and darkness which encompass the workers of iniquity. On the contrary, they are to stand faithfully at their post of duty as light bearers, gathering light from God to shed upon those in darkness. The Lord requires His people to maintain their integrity, touching not—that is, imitating not—the practices of the ungodly.
Christians will be in this world “an holy nation, a peculiar people,” showing forth the praises of Him who hath called them “out of darkness into His marvelous light” [I Peter 2:9]. This light is not to grow dim, but to shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. Christ’s standard-bearers are never to be off duty. They have a vigilant foe who is waiting and watching to take the fort. Some of Christ’s professed watchmen have invited the enemy into their stronghold, have mingled with them, and in their efforts to please have broken down the distinction between the children of God and the children of Satan.
The Lord never designed that our college should imitate other institutions of learning. The religious element should be the controlling power. If unbelievers choose this influence, it is well; if those who are in darkness choose to the light, it is as God would have it. But to relax our vigilance, and let the worldly element take the lead in order to secure students, is contrary to the will of God. The strength of our college is in keeping the religious element in the ascendancy. When teachers or professors shall sacrifice religious principle to please a worldly, amusement-loving class, they should be considered unfaithful to their trust and should be discharged.
The thrilling truth that has been sounding in our ears for many years, “The Lord is at hand; be ye also ready,” is no less the truth today than when we first heard the message. The dearest interests of the church and people of God, and the destiny of an impenitent and ungodly world, for time and for eternity, are here involved. We are all judgment bound. “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain [unto the coming of the Lord] shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4:16, 17. Christ will then be revealed from heaven, “taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel” [II Thessalonians 1:8].
These momentous events are nigh at hand, yet many who profess to believe the truth are asleep. They will surely be numbered with the unfaithful servant who saith in his heart, “My Lord delayeth His coming” [Matthew 24:48] if they remain in their present position of friendship with the world. It is only to those who are waiting in hope and faith that Christ will appear, without sin unto salvation. Many have the theory of the truth who know not the power of godliness. If the word of God dwelt in the heart, it would control the life. Faith, purity, and conformity to the will of God would testify to its sanctifying power.
Testimonies, vol. 5, 14, 15.