Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Which Father is Yours?

Matthew 23:9 NKJV — “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”

John 8:44 NKJV — “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

What is a Father?

Obviously, a biological father is one who produces children naturally.  All of us who are born into this world have a father.  Some of us have never met our earthly fathers and some don’t even know who they are.  However, being a father in the Bible is often a position or a function.  For example in 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 we read, 

“Therefore come out from among themand be separate, says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.

I will be a Father to you,

And you shall be My sons and daughters,Says the LORD Almighty.”

A natural father does not always function as a father should.  However, the Lord wants to function as our father.   But for God to function as our father we need to be separated from unbelievers.  What does that mean?

Old Testament Failures

Solomon married heathen wives that caused Him to worship their Gods.  He didn’t change his wives’ behavior, his wives changed him.  We read in Nehemiah 13:25 and 26, “Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin.”  God could not “father” Him because of his disobedience.

Nehemiah had to deal with this issue with the remnant that had been allowed to come back to Jerusalem during the revival starting with the decree of Artaxerxes to allow Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:5).  Israel as a nation was constantly unfaithful to Jehovah.  They seemed to find pagan Gods more attractive than the worship of Jehovah,  and as a result the, the Lord was not able to function as their father.  

Our New Testament Father

In order to have God as our spiritual Father, we must have a new birth.  This is explained to Nicodemus in John 3 and it is explained by Peter in 1 Peter 1.   It is faith in Christ that produces that new birth (John 1:12-13).   Yet Christians still seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to worshiping God as a father.  Based on our passage that we have quoted in 2 Corinthians 6, we are told that God cannot function as our father if we are going to be yoked (the KJV says unequally yoked) with unbelievers.  What does that mean?  It means that we cannot be in relationships with unbelievers where they can be a bad influence on the decisions we make.  Granted some of their decisions may be the same as the ones we should make, but usually they are not.  And, again, yoking with unbelievers with the intention of changing them simply does not seem to work.  Instead they change us.  Remember, the unsaved are making decisions based on the will of their Father the Devil.  We who are saved are supposed to be marching to a different drummer.  The question is, “Are we?”

In the World but not of the World

As the Lord prays for His own in John 17-14-15,  He makes it clear that we who are saved are not going to be taken out of the world, but He prays that we will be preserved from the evil one who is Satan (our adversary).  

It is possible to overcome the peer pressure of a world that is organized by Satan to oppose the will of God.  Daniel and his three friends did that.  It is quite clear that the early disciples and the early apostles did that, even when the result was martyrdom.  How do we know when a relationship has developed into an unequal yoke with unbelievers?  Frankly, I think most of us know when we are agreeing or having fellowship or sharing in an unscriptural intimate way with unbelievers.  

Whenever peer pressure is causing us to make decisions that do not please our Father we have entered into a relationship that is unscriptural.  When our friends (even saved friends) start setting aside clear principles of Scripture with regard to a holy life and with regard to our ceremonial life as churches, we need to ask, “Why?”  Is it because we want to be “like the world” rather than being “separate from the world?”   We need to be careful when the people we work with, play with and worship with start encouraging us to violate clear passages of Scripture, particularly those passages found in the epistles.


I know how easy it is to be caught up in bad situations in business environments and in religious environments.  But to the best of my ability, I want to be serving “My Father which is in heaven” rather than the Father “who murders and lies.”

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of October 1, 2023

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