means. Some define it as completely removing ourselves from everybody else as in complete isolation. Others have told me it is as simple as just removing one thing in our lives such as staying pure for marriage. I have heard it used by so many people or not applied at all that I realized it is something that should be looked at in more detail.
In John 17:13-18 Jesus talks about being set apart in a way that is both exciting and scary. In this passage he talks about how we are definitely set apart in his name and just from that alone we receive joy. Jesus goes on to say that also because of this we are also hated by the world.
I can understand how some people can become jealous or in extreme case hate us because it is in our nature to want what others have, whether that is happiness or possessions. If this is our nature and we see people who have joy in spite of their circumstances it can cause some serious reflection. In some people it will cause a great dislike or hatred because it goes against our nature. In others though it causes them to ask questions, like how do they have joy in spite of their circumstance?
Jesus goes on to say though that he does not ask for us to be removed or “set apart” from this world. What Jesus does ask for is that we receive protection from the evil one. Jesus clearly defines the set apart as “They do not belong to this world any more than I do.”
If Jesus wanted us to be completely set apart from the world he would call us home right away or would have asked for us to be completely set apart from those who do not follow him. Instead Jesus just asks for our protection against the evil one so we can go out into the world. This means we are to follow His example of how to live in this world. It means where the word is clear we are to take a stand no matter what the world says we are because of this stand. I have been called many things for claiming the word from stupid to weak from homophobic to hater.
I will not give up ground on the clear teaching of the word no matter what people have to say because this to me is being set apart. It means when the world argues against the word because it does not fit into the new culture I will still stand strong and set apart. I will not hide in a hole or retreat to a building but instead boldly confess my faith when challenged with culture. I will not be rude or spew hatred from my mouth but instead I will speak love and truth whiling reaching out to the lost. I will be shunned by many and this is the world trying to change me but I will stay strong. I will stay set apart but not hidden from the world because I am part of the light now spreading the truth. I will remain set apart until I am called home or He returns.