The Ballestero Blog

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Are We Mistaken About The ‘Separation From The World’ Concept?

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Are We Mistaken About The ‘Separation From The World’ Concept?

That’s a strange sounding question from a holiness minded preacher! Hear me out.

The intriguing story of Abraham’s journey with God begins with his being called out and away from his homeland. His walk of faith is carefully chronicled for our spiritual guidance and strength. He staggered not at the promises of God and we honor him as the father of the faithful, and rightly so.

Today, it seems we wish to identify with Abraham only up to a certain point. The present day generation does not wish to leave the world behind to follow Jesus. We desire to live the same as always, and yet claim to be different.

The idea of coming out of the world and away from the old life of sin is found throughout the Word of God. It’s nothing new.

  • Israel came out of Egypt.
  • Elisha left father and mother to follow Elijah.
  • Ruth left her people and her gods to follow Naomi.
  • New Testament disciples heard Jesus speak the words Follow Me and they did just that.

These and other stories serve as types and illustrations for Holy Ghost believers. These examples aid us in our desire to leave the world behind and follow Jesus.

The saints of old sang choruses like, “I’m Leaving All To Follow Jesus.” Sadly, today many do not wish to give up much to follow Jesus. They sang:

I’m leaving all to follow Jesus,

I am turning from this world away.

Oh, I still rely upon His promise,

And all I have is His today.

Some of the old saints had to walk away from their families. Some had to leave their jobs. Jesus said unless you love me on this level, you are not worthy to be my disciple.

The word church in the Bible means, called out.  That’s what we are supposed to be, called out! We are called out of the world. All that are a part of God’s church are called out.

Most of my generation grew up hearing preachers and old saints quote scriptures like:

2Cor. 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you

Rev. 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Why is it we don’t hear verses like these quoted anymore? Evidently it’s just not comfortable to the ears of those who feel they are living in an age of spiritual enlightenment.

There is a lesson to be learned here from Israel. When they wandered in the wilderness, they never seemed to stop complaining.

  • They complained about the leadership.
  • (They still do that today.)
  • They complained about the food.
  • (That’s common today too.)
  • They complained so much that God sent fiery serpents among them.

Yet I fail to find where they ever complained about what God gave them as dress codes or dietary restrictions. Actually, they seemed to revel in their lifestyle. They never complained about their ‘holiness’ standards. They lived a much more conservative lifestyle than the world around them.

Today, holiness is the first thing worldly-minded saints complain about. It makes one wonder if we even know God as well as Israel did in the wilderness? Why are so many turned off by the word holiness? Whatever happened to “be ye holy even as I am holy”? We sing popular choruses about God’s holiness and often our life and dress don’t match the words we sing.

We tell our selves that we are separated from the world. We pride ourselves in not doing things the world does. Yet while we brag about our separation, we seem to be getting more and more distant from Him in the process.

How is this happening? What’s going on here? Why is it that Pentecostals who have been baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost, do not wish to live holy? They want the Holy Spirit, but don’t want the holy living.

There was a day when modesty was accepted and expected in the church as well as the world. We call it holiness today; our grandmothers called it common decency back then. That’s how far we’ve gone down hill.

God is constant. He never changes. The world, on the other hand, is on a fast slippery slope going away from God.

For as long as I can remember, we have used the world to gauge our holiness lifestyle and standards. Therein, I’m afraid, may be part of the problem. We judge our spiritual condition by looking at the world, and then looking at our distance from the world. We think that by not doing what the world is presently doing we are justified.

It is very unsettling to see church folk doing today with good conscience what sinners looked down upon years ago. What has happened is that while we’ve attempted to keep the world at arms length, we’ve gotten our eyes off of Jesus and have unwittingly distanced ourselves from Him. The world is sliding down a slippery slope. I pray we don’t follow.

The World drifting away from God


The Church drifting away from God but separated from the World


The Church separated unto God

What would happen to us as the body of Christ if we like Paul separated ourselves unto Him rather than separate ourselves from the world? What if we turned our eyes upon Jesus and only looked at Him. What if we determined within ourselves to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified?

Are we hung up on the concept of separation from the world only? If we are, I am afraid we will continue to drift farther and farther away from Him. Let us all stand with the Apostle Paul and choose to be separated unto God regardless of what the world does!

God is going to have a church that loves holiness. I plan to be part of it. Will you join me?

Rom. 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 14, 2011 at 12:01 am

9 Responses

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  1. Divinely inspired and masterfully penned. I appreciate your insight & stand for the Apostolic doctrine.
    Also, I’m glad to say I have friends like you and your dear family.

    Gerald Adams

    May 14, 2011 at 10:21 am

    • Thank you for the kind words, Bishop. Your friendship means the world to me. Your name is always spoken with love and honor in my home. Blessings.

      Martyn Ballestero

      May 14, 2011 at 11:58 am

  2. Love It! This is a great illustration of how modern Pentecost judges its degree of separation!

    Jeni Mayes

    May 14, 2011 at 11:24 am

  3. As my friend Steve Epley would say, “somebody hold this mule while I shout”!!!!!

    Kenneth bow

    May 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

  4. As my Pastor Bro. Copeland says, “When a person says that they are as far from the world today as they were ten years ago, they are still on their way to hell. It just means they will get there a little after the world does.”

    Jimmy Kyle

    May 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm

  5. Very well said, Bro Ballestero. I remember seeing charts like these in the ’70’s shortly after coming into the Church. Because of the changes in society and in our assemblies (on the average), those concepts are more applicable today. Your statement, “We judge our spiritual condition by looking at the world, and then looking at our distance from the world,” was on target. Thanks for writing this.

    Steve Ryerson

    May 14, 2011 at 11:30 pm

  6. I love it! This reminds me of the poem dad used to read about the Church walking with the World. This past week a lady met me in Cracker Barrel on my way back to CA. She asked me if I was Apostolic Pentecostal. I said I was. She said she was too. She was involved in a Jesus Name Pentecostal Church. I would have never known.

    Nila Marxer

    May 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

  7. Totally enjoyed and agreed with your blog. Keep up the good work, the churches today need more of this type of teaching.

    Cherry Price

    May 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm

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