5.4.16

Who Has Our Friendship?

"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

The Scriptures furnish abundant evidence that it is safer to be joined to the Lord and lose the favor and friendship of the world, than to look to the world for favor and support and forget our dependence upon God....

The Lord Himself has established a separating wall between the things of the world and the things which He has chosen out of the world and sanctified to Himself. The world will not acknowledge this distinction. . . . But God has made this separation, and He will have it exist. In both the Old and the New Testaments the Lord has positively enjoined upon His people to be distinct from the world, in spirit, in pursuits, in practice; to be a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they may show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. The east is not farther from the west than are the children of light, in customs, practices, and spirit, from the children of darkness. This distinction will be more marked, more decided, as we near the close of time. . . .

There is an element called love which would teach us to praise and flatter our associates and not to faithfully tell them of their dangers and warn and counsel them for their good. This love is not Heaven-born. Our words and actions should be serious and earnest, especially before those who are neglecting their soul's salvation. . . . If we unite with them in lightness, trifling, pleasure seeking, or in any pursuit which will banish seriousness from the mind, we are constantly saying to them by our example, "Peace, peace; be not disturbed. You have no cause for alarm." This is saying to the sinner, &"It shall be well with thee."

If we profess to be sons and daughters of God we should pursue such a course toward the unbelieving that our souls will be clear of their blood when we meet them in the great day of final reckoning.

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