Wheat And Tares Grow Together – Watch Out For Time Bombs
I know this will not come as a shock to most who read this but it bears declaring to set the right tone for this series of articles. So here goes.
Not everyone is authentic. Many claim to be “christian” for their own benefit, not because they have indeed surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and been born again.
For many, being a “christian” is very shallow and nominal. When it suits their needs or gains them advantage, they profess believing but these same people when pressed in a different environment and with different people would deny even knowing Him.
Being a Christian is more than attending church once in a while, owning a bible, or even acknowledging Jesus Christ. Even the demons acknowledge Jesus Christ, the devil quoted the scripture to Jesus, and demons often attend services … and it doesn’t make them saved.
Matthew 7:23 “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
It is the relationship that you have with God Almighty through the Son Jesus Christ that determines how you will deal with anyone else you encounter. If your relationship is not real, neither will you be.
I have come to see that many people want the benefits of the kingdom without paying due honor to the King. This will not survive the test of time.
While it is true that the unbelieving partner is sanctified by the believer, it is far from ideal and will be a relationship filled with many sorrows.
Relationship Time Bombs
In over 19 years of ministry, I’ve witnessed time and again the devastation that can happen to people that are what the Bible calls “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever. The results are almost always catastrophic.
I have watched as both men and women equally use “christianese” or christian sounding phrases or words to beguile an authentic believer into a relationship. This relationship almost always degrades quickly into a sinful one leaving the believer struggling to reconcile reality from the illusion that started to connection.
Pretty soon all the energy in the relationship is focused on “working on the relationship” which is code to mean, what is happening between them isn’t matching what was advertised to start the relationship.
I call these relationship time bombs. It is generally only a matter of time before the authentic believer realizes that they have been deceived (many times they deceive themselves) and gathers the strength to disconnect the relationship at great personal cost.
The greatest damage seems to come from abandoning the hope that the person they showered love upon would genuinely give their life to Jesus Christ and become an authentic believer.
The shattered reality that comes from the ultimate detonation of the “bomb” is that they are left to recover the fragments of their emotions, disappointments, finances, and many times children, not at all least, their witness.
While on rare occasion the unbeliever can indeed be touched by God, most of the time it is too late. It will be through the pain of the failed relationship and not because of the new-found love as the believer often hopes to their own despair.
Picking up the pieces
As brothers and sisters, we have to refrain from interfering in this process. So many times those outside the relationship can hear the ticking time bomb and try to warn the unsuspecting but this almost always fails.
As friends and family we have to respect the process of discovery to which every person is entitled, and like the LORD, wait until our counsel is sought and even then, answer with love and tender mercy for the damage of these disappointments is great.
We cannot “rescue” our loved ones from this process because it’s a matter of free will and we must respect each person’s right to choose between life and death. For the unbeliever, they are masquerading for the benefit of the relationship.
We have to see that to the unbeliever, the relationship is their God. They will go to church, say the right things, even pray and participate in “christian” events but not from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Instead, this comes as a “sacrifice” at the altar of the relationship itself. It is a form of worship and it is doomed to collapse.
Encountering The Real Thing
By contrast, when a person has an authentic encounter and is transformed by their born again experience to receive salvation, they are fueled by that relationship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.
The relationship with God is not dependent upon the relationship with another person and while being in a marriage may be the goal, it is optional and secondary to the relationship with God.
This authentic difference means that the person is committed to God first, not just for show for the sake of advantage. These are they who bear authentic fruit.
There are tell-tale signs of this authentic relationship with God that will manifest in every relationship this person has.
They will not need anyone to motivate them to follow the Holy Spirit, honor the LORD with the FIRST of their increase in support of the gospel, do good works, pray for the sick, attend gatherings of other believers, lead others to salvation, study to show themselves approved, not to mention the fruit of the spirit.
These are they whom with or without you are going to have their relationship with God. They are not perfect but their love for God is not a ruse meant to get another to lower their guard. Their relationship is authentic and independent of any short term benefit they may obtain in this world.
Some who read this and other articles we will publish may wonder, do I have an “unequally yoked” relationship? If you suspect you do, there are simple ways to deal with it.
You don’t begin by examining your partner. That is far from humble.
Instead you begin by examining your own heart. Is God more important to you than anything? Do you love HIM more than you love anything else? Have you compromised for a “bowl of porridge” in this world?
If you find that you have, the first step is for you to repent and restore your personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Let HIM heal your broken heart and let him deal with your disappointments.
Now can you go confront your partner? No.
Instead, you need to let your own light shine so that others will see your good works and glorify your father in heaven. Don’t try and fix anyone else. Just go do what you know God has called you to do and don’t participate in those things that you know are sinful.
When you finally do have a “conversation” and not a confrontation with your partner, it should be done in love and not condemnation remembering that all need a savior and your new found repentance does not make you better than the other person.
Instead, you should refrain from telling them what to do just as you want others to mind their own business when it comes to your life. You should simply declare what you have experienced and the realization that you have come to.
If you are rededicating your life to the LORD, then just say that. This should never be said to manipulate the other person or you are guilty of witchcraft. Instead, it is just where you are. Speak the truth in love.
Let the other person know that God comes first and all other relationship decisions are going to come through that relationship. If they want to renew their relationship with God, that’s up to them and don’t get involved in that.
Instead, you be real. You walk for real. You pray for real. You cry for real. You serve for real. You lay your life down in prayer for others.
If the relationship survives, it should be because God reconnects the relationship and not because of persuasion, bribery, manipulation, or any other external factor that cannot sustain a true life.
If the relationship disintegrates, it should be done without condemnation or intentional harm but instead a sober realization that but for the grace of God, sin would have continued.
There is no way to come away from an unequally yoked relationship without harm if you’re an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. You’re going to have to come to grips with the reality that it’s going to hurt to walk this out because the relationship has a bad foundation.
Pick a pain, either way you go you’re going to have pain. At least the pain of going the right way means, you’ll rise back to joy unspeakable when the dust settles.