(This is a Chapter from the book - 21 Days To Choosing Mr. Right!)
YOU MAY BE WONDERING WHY another chapter on the subject of unequally-yoked relationships is required. To begin, let me state that this is such a massive problem that I believe we must exhaust it to the point where there is no doubt that entering into such a relationship is counter-productive. We have already examined Solomon’s life in the previous chapter, but perhaps someone believes that Solomon’s problem was that he had too many wives. While there is no doubt that Solomon’s numerous wives posed a significant problem, do not underestimate the fact that these women were from nations with whom the Lord had expressly forbidden intermarriage. However, if Solomon’s sinful decisions still do not convince you that an unequally-yoked relationship is a terrible idea, there are other biblical examples where a disastrous outcome resulted from unholy alliances. Examples include Ahab and Jezebel, and Samson and Delilah.
The concept of unequally-yoked relationships is not exclusive to the Old Testament. We are explicitly commanded not to enter into an unequally-yoked relationship in the New Testament, and the Lord provides us with five compelling reasons why we should not do so, regardless of how much we believe that such a relationship would work. Let us consider each of the five reasons why a relationship between an unbeliever and a believer would fail, but first, let us look again at the verse which contains all five reasons:
2 Corinthians 6:14-16a - “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.”
As mentioned in the previous chapter, there is a clear command in the above verses not to be yoked or joined together with an unbeliever. The phrase ‘yoked together’ is derived from the Greek word ‘heterozygeo’, which is a combination of ‘hetero’ which means ‘another of a different kind’ and ‘zygos’, which refers to a yoke that connects two plows into one. When we combine the two words, we get the meaning of ‘heterozygeo’ – two completely different types of individuals joined together but unevenly matched. This is precisely why a relationship between a Christian and a non-Christian will never work – it is a complete mismatch. The Word of God does not hold back any punches here. It commands us to avoid a spiritually-uneven mismatch, and it drives the point home further by asking five rhetorical questions providing five clear reasons why the relationship would not work. Let us take a look at each of them individually.
Reason #1 – Righteousness and Wickedness Have No Common Ground
The first reason given why a relationship between a Christian and a non-Christian would not work is that the two are fundamentally different. The Christian is righteous whereas the non-Christian is described as ‘wicked’ – as someone who has no regard for the Lord (2 Corinthians 6:14). When we repent of our sins and place our faith in Jesus Christ we are changed from wicked sinners to believers who are completely righteous before God. Take a look at how a Christian is described:
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
In Christ, we have become the righteousness of God. We have been transformed from condemned sinners, (those who will face the just penalty for their sins), to righteous before God – all because we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ. Such a person is the only one who has the privilege of being called the righteousness of God. The non-Christian has not believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and therefore stands condemned in the sight of the Lord. Look at what the Bible says:
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:17)
Therefore when a righteous person is joined with a wicked person, one who has no regard for the Lord, you are going to have a mismatch, as they will have nothing in common.
Reason #2 – Light and Darkness Cannot Fellowship
The Christian is described in the Word of God as the light of the world. Take a look for yourself:
“You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
Light is used figuratively in the Word of God to describe the believer as one who reveals the truth, and exposes the deeds of darkness. The non-Christian, on the other hand, is referred to as darkness, implying that they are ruled by the principle of sin.
Light and darkness cannot exist concurrently. They will never be able to fellowship in any way. That is precisely what will occur if a Christian has a relationship with a non-Christian. They will not experience the sweetness of intimacy. When the Christian wishes to speak about the delightful things of the Lord, the non-Christian will not want to listen. Alternately, when the non-Christian wishes to discuss their most recent exploits, it will be uninteresting to the Christian. It is absolutely true that light and darkness cannot coexist. No matter how hard you try, it will never happen.
Reason #3 – There Will Never Be Harmony Between Christ and Belial
A Christian is someone who is positioned or located in Christ. He has been baptized into the body of Christ and he belongs to God. The non-Christian, on the other hand does not belong to the Lord. He is under the control of Satan. Take a look at what the Bible says:
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 2:1-2)
Satan, also known as the ruler of the kingdom of the air, is a spirit who is at work in the lives of those who reject the gospel of Christ. In the Christian’s life, on the other hand, the Holy Spirit is at work. He conforms the believer into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Satan, also called Belial (which means, ‘the one who is utterly worthless due to his vileness’), is directly opposed to the Holy Spirit. He despises Him, hates holiness and is the epitome of evil. There could never be any kind of harmony between them.
A relationship between a Christian and a non-Christian will always be void of harmony as each of their lives is governed by two different spirits. There will be no sweet complementary melodies in that relationship, only discord.
Reason #4 – They Will Never Have Similar Value Systems
A Christian and a non-Christian will never have unity in their relationship as they are so dissimilar. Their perspectives are at odds with each other, their mentalities are polar opposites and they will be hard-pressed to find common ground on anything. Look at the rhetorical question that is asked:
“What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:15b)
There will be absolutely nothing that a Christian will have in common with a non-Christian as their worldviews are at enmity with each other.
Reason #5 – There will Never Be Agreement
The final reason why an unequally yoked relationship would not work is that the two parties would never agree. Take a look at what the Bible says:
“What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” (2 Corinthians 6:16a)
The Christian’s body is the temple of God. Look at what this verse says:
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
The Lord abides in the life of the Christian. The non-Christian, on the other hand, is not blessed in this way. He does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore does not belong to the Lord; he also does not have God’s life-breathing Spirit within him. As a result there will be a significant difference between the two. The Holy Spirit reminds the Christian of God’s Word and uses it to guide the believer into truth. Because the non-Christian’s life is devoid of the Holy Spirit, he does not hold to God’s Word, and as a result, his thinking will be diametrically opposed to it. He will be at enmity with the Word of God. This is why he will never agree with the Christian. In each of their lives, there are two completely different spirits at work.
The Word of God is unequivocal about the futility of a relationship between a Christian and a non-Christian. It will never work. There is no need to waste your time, emotions, or energy attempting to determine whether or not it could work. The Lord has given us ample evidence in His Word of those who have tried it and failed miserably. Learn from their sinful mistakes and do not waste your time pursuing a relationship that is doomed to fail. Wait on the Lord to provide you with a suitable Christian, and allow the Lord to bless you in a godly relationship.
A chapter From
21 Days To Choosing Mr. Right!
Deon O. Thomas
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