“But run away from the evil things that young people long for.” 2 Timothy 2:22 (NIRV). “… so you could escape from the evil in the world. That evil is caused by sinful longings.” 2 Peter 1:4 (NIRV).
We would think it wasn’t necessary to tell Timothy this, but Paul would not have told him if it wasn’t necessary. The people who run away from sin are weak in themselves but trust in God. They hate the sin in their own human nature.
We cannot touch something that is unclean without becoming unclean ourselves. Therefore, it is written, “Do not touch what is unclean!” 2 Corinthians 6:17. The Bible writes a lot about the fact that we must cleanse ourselves from everything that makes our body and spirit unclean, and to work hard to become completely holy because we fear God. (2 Corinthians 7:1.)
What do you fill yourself with?
We are exposed to all kinds of filthiness or unclean influences all day long, and it is impossible to keep ourselves clean or pure unless we hate it. Many people are curious about the affairs of others, they like to know what is happening. It is impossible for such people to keep themselves pure; therefore, they will never come to godly nature, or become holy as is written in 2 Corinthians 7:1. The best they can do is control themselves.
We read in Revelation 2:24 that some people brag about knowing the deep things of Satan, as they say. But Jesus says that He knows what everyone thinks, and He will repay each one for what they have done. (Revelation 2:23.)
We already need to work hard to keep ourselves pure from temptations that come outside our control. So why would we then choose to look at something or read something that will wake up the desires in our sinful nature? “Instead, live like the Lord Jesus Christ did, and forget about satisfying the desires of your sinful nature.” Romans 13:14 (GW).
Run away from sin: Run for your life!
“Yes, when Christ died, he died to defeat the power of sin one time - enough for all time. He now has a new life, and His new life is with God. In the same way, you should see yourselves as being dead to the power of sin and alive with God through Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:10-11 (NCV).
This has mostly to do with our thoughts. If we want to come to godly nature, to become holy, then we must be faithful in our thoughts. If we keep thinking about the things we are tempted to, we are not running away from it! We don’t hate it. But if we hate it, it leads to us getting godly nature in this area! We cannot live this life unless we stand before God’s face and live in the Spirit.
“The LORD … says, "Ask the priests what the law says. Suppose someone carries holy meat in the clothes he is wearing. And the clothes touch some bread or stew. Or they touch some wine, olive oil or other food. Then do those things also become holy?" The priests answered, "No." So I said, "Suppose someone is made 'unclean' by touching a dead body. And then he touches one of those things. Does it become 'unclean' too?" "Yes," the priests replied. "It does."” Haggai 2:11-14 (NIRV).
Here we see how fitting the warning is to run away from sin! When God is near and we have been blessed at a prayer meeting or through reading God’s Word, then it is very important that we do not let our eyes and thoughts go around in every direction afterwards. We cannot keep “holiness” in our hearts and our thoughts if we do not run away from everything that is unclean; if we don’t take it so seriously, we will become unclean by what we see and listen to. Israel had become like that. Everything they did, and what they offered, was unclean.
Even strong and God-fearing people, like those John who wrote to, need such warnings. (1 John 2:13-17.)