Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. 2 Corinthians 6:17.
Here is a promise to us on condition of obedience. If we will come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the unclean, He will receive us. Here are the conditions of our acceptance with God. We have something to do ourselves. Here is a work for us. We are to show our separation from the world. The friendship of the world is enmity with God. It is impossible for us to be friends of the world and yet be in union with Christ. But what does this mean, to be friends of the world? It is to unite hands with them, to enjoy what they enjoy, to love that which they love, to seek for pleasure, to seek for gratification, to follow our own inclinations. We do not in following inclination have our affections upon God; we are loving and serving ourselves. But here is a grand promise: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate.” Separate from what? The inclinations of the world, their tastes, their habits; the fashions, the pride, and the customs of the world…. In making this move, in showing that we are not in harmony with the world, the promise of God is ours. He does not say perhaps I will receive you; but “I will receive you.” It is a positive promise.
You have a surety that you will be accepted of God. Then in separating from the world you connect yourself with God; you become a member of the royal family; you become sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty; you are children of the heavenly King, adopted into His family, and have a hold from above, united with the infinite God whose arm moves the world.
What an exalted privilege is this to be thus favored, thus honored of God, to be called sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. It is incomprehensible; but still, with all these promises and encouragements, there are many who question and hesitate. They are in an undecided position. They seem to think that if they were to become Christians, there would be a mountain of responsibilities to be borne in religious duties and Christian obligations. There is a mountain of responsibility, a lifetime of watchfulness, of battling with their own inclinations, with their own wills, with their own desires, with their own pleasures; and as they look at it, it seems like an impossibility for them to take the step, to decide that they will be children of God, servants of the Most High.—Signs of the Times, January 31, 1878.