II Corinthians 6: 14 Do not be [KJV adds unequally here] yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
We know from our most reliable examples, Jesus and Paul, these verses mean something more than turning your back on unbelievers. These two men were real evangelists. That makes this Scripture passage thought provoking. The word comparisons are easy. We know righteousness and wickedness have nothing in common, nor do light and darkness or Christ and idols. “Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.” What is this separation that protects righteousness, fellowship and harmony so it’s clearly the antidote to wickedness, darkness and idols? What is the concern about being “yoked” together?
The idea of a yoke sounds helpful. My definition of a yoke is a device that enables two separate animals to pull together to purposely lighten the weight of a load and accomplish a specific task. If you look at my definition as a believer coming along side an unbeliever to “yoke” up with them to deal with a load of sin and accomplish the specific task of salvation it might seem to be a reasonable definition of evangelism. But…
What if Paul’s warning is for us to recognize the reality that being “yoked” is only a forced restraint of the fundamental incompatibility of purpose and task for the unbeliever. The Lord’s reality is that righteousness, fellowship and harmony come from the unyoked evangelist who has the courage and the strength to lead that unbeliever “As God has said: Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate.”