Sin separates us from God because it is the wilful action of going against God and His righteous ways. Since God is the creator and giver of life, to be separate from Him means to experience eternal death (Rom 6:23; Eph 2:1, 4:18). This separation can only be resolved through Jesus Christ's sacrificial death, yet effective only for those who accept the offer of salvation (Jn 1:12, 3:16-18; 1 Tim 1:15; Heb 9:22).
Any unconfessed sin in the ongoing life of a follower of Jesus will create a sense of separation from knowing the reality of His presence and power in our lives, although He will never depart from us (Isa 59:2; Heb 13:5). God does not leave us, but the light and warmth of fellowship is cut off when we choose to sin. While we do not loose our salvation, we forfeit the love, joy, and peace of the Holy Spirit when we persist in living apart from God; the closeness of relationship is restore through repentance (Ps 32:3-5; 1 Jn 1:9).
God desires we keep ourselves from being polluted by adopting the world’s standards. We cannot ‘serve two masters’ – if there is a conflict of loyalties we must follow God (Lk 16:13; Act 5:29; Jas 1:27). We are not to isolate from sinners, for Jesus prayed that we should not be not taken out of the world but be protected from the evil one. Rather as we mix in everyday life with unbelievers we are to be as lights and salt – making them thirsty for God and pointing them towards the true light (Mt 5:13-16; Jn 17:15,16).
What the Bible clearly teaches is we are not to go along with their ungodly ways nor enter into marriage or close business relationships with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14-7:1). The separation is from unbelievers and to Him.
Am I separated from sin and separated to God?
The Bible states, nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39). Thank the Lord. We can however choose to withdraw from Him.
Although Jesus mixed with sinners He was not influenced by their ways, instead, He impacted their world and many of them became His followers (Mt 9:10-12; Mk 2:15). When He interacted with those outside the Kingdom He never left without giving a thought provoking challenge about eternity. As we are involved in the world of non-Christians we can speak into their lives, loving the sinner but not their sin. We are to be detached from what pulls down, shuts down or turns us away from God, but vitally connected to what uplifts, encourages and fosters our relationship with the source of our power and strength – Jesus. ‘In Him’ we will be strong enough to withstand the pressures and temptations, yet we must exercise caution and wisdom so we don’t offend people or cause weaker Christians to stumble (Mk 9:42; 1 Cor 10:32; 1 Jn 2:10).
Satan tries to bring division and isolation between Christians through doctrinal issues, different standards, work pressures and personality conflicts. While the Bible says don’t forsake the coming together as a corporate group of believers, for there is strength in unity, it also teaches we should distance ourselves from those who claim to be Christians yet indulge in sins specifically forbidden in Scripture (Ps 133:1; Mt 18:20; 1 Cor 5:9-11; Heb 10:25). Other tactics Satan uses are enticing us to sin, becoming engrossed in the world, and causing us to live independently of our life source.
On judgement day, all people will be separated into two groups – those who love Jesus, obeying His teachings, and those who don’t. The saved who are walking with Jesus will enter into the glories of heaven, while the unrepentant sinners will be doomed to hell because of their sin (Rom 6:23). Each individual is the master of his or her own destiny. God desires all people to be saved but He will not override the freedom of choice. As Christians, we should be living righteous lives and speaking for Christ, testifying what He has done for us while praying the spiritual eyes of sinners will be opened (Jn 12:40; Act 26:18; 2 Cor 4:4).
It is not God’s desire that marriage partners separate and divorce, but in some cases it may be advised if reconciliation is not possible and there is continual, violent abuse (Mt 19:6; 1 Cor 7:15,16).
The expression 'separating the wheat from the chaff' refers to distinguishing between the valuable and worthless; it is based on the end
time event when the believers will be safely gathered in while the unsaved will face eternal damnation (Mt 3:12, 25:31-34,41).