On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people, and therein was found written that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God forever. Nehemiah 13:1

Unlike the Edomite and the Egyptian, who could come into the congregation after three generations, the Ammonite and the Moabite was forever barred from the congregation. If we read the portion in Deuteronomy that is referred to here, we find that the Ammonites and Moabites refused hospitality to God’s people as they made their way through the wilderness, and they hired Balaam to curse the Israelites.

The Lord told His disciples that the world would hate them because it hated Him. But that is not an excuse for their hatred. The Lord will not and does not excuse the world’s hatred and evil treatment of His own. Undoubtedly a major reason why so many perish in their sins is their despising and cursing of Christians. Mark well those who speak evil of the Lord’s own children; they will not escape punishment for their words and deeds.

Something important happened when this portion of Scripture was read. The people took notice, and separation occurred. The mixed multitude found itself on the outside. This should come as no surprise, because a careful and accurate reading of Scripture always produces separation. God makes a difference between the holy and the profane, between the redeemed and the unrepentant, between the worshipper and the despiser, between the believer and the blasphemer. And He marks that difference clearly, and expects his people to do so as well.

We have become slack concerning the mixed multitude. Those who do not appreciate the things of God are allowed to dabble in those things. Let us be careful that only those with a clear profession of faith and a genuine love for God’s truth and presence enter into the holy place of our worship. Ours is a blood-bought right to be there. Outsiders have no right. -Jim MacIntosh

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