|Should a Christian have friends who are not believers?|
Should a Christian have friends who are not believers?
Answer – Did Jesus have friends who were unbelievers? One of the greatest lines that the Lord’s critics could come up with was really a reflection on what was good and honorable about His mission to seek and save the lost…
Balanced with this attitude of reaching out to sinners, eating and receiving them is the preservation not to be enticed by them to commit sinful acts.
When a person is first saved, he may need to sever harmful relationships. Negative personalities, partiers, drug users all can be powerful anchors that drag a person down into destructive patterns of living. But after a time, a person becomes strong enough in his choices to be able to go back and try to help the former friends. Such a relationship is similar to the demon-possessed man who wanted to follow Christ.
More commonly, there exists a class of believers whose parents raised them in good homes where love was strong, finances were stable, vices were rare and living was wholesome. This class of believers especially needs to intentionally find needy people and make them their friends with the goal of leading them to Christ. What better way to demonstrate your Christianity?
Here are four reasons why you need to form positive relationships unsaved friends.
1. You will fulfill the Lord’s example.
Be like your Lord. To him, serving meant far more than serving a meal to family on Sunday or at Christmas. Being kind to lost people is exactly what he wants us to do. Is your car too nice to pick up dirty kids to ride to Sunday school with you? Is your dining room too nice to have visitors who are poor? Is your time too valuable to lose on lost people?
2. You will maintain a proper perspective on the lost world.
Jesus said, “look”! May we never fail to see what he sees. Outside the village of Sychar near the well where he met the Samaritan woman, he saw physical wheat fields still far from being ready to be harvested, but perhaps he saw the white clothing of the villagers above the rows of immature wheat.
The disciples learned a powerful lesson that day in the following verse:
Instead of being caught in non-productive Christian debates, having a lost friend in need keeps us focused on the lost. Our debates sound less important when we are busy with reaching the lost. You have the discussions like these in your group: “Which Bible is best? What clothes to wear? What music is good? Which man is a better speaker?”
3. Your prayer life will improve.
A burden for someone who is lost will keep you dependent on the Lord. What better subject in prayer can one have than to mention the names of your Sunday school class? The names of men at the jail you visit? The guys you play basketball with? Paul had a prayer for his own countrymen, the Jews.
4. It helps the local church grow
Who is going to be part of the next generation of people at your church? Is it just the young people who are in your families? Why not get some new blood and invite the lost into your life and homes. Give them the space they need to grow in Christ and the church will grow too. Fulfill the great commission.
A parable from Christ about unsaved friends
An interesting, and difficult to interpret parable, is the story of the Dishonest Manager, or the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13). The main point of the story is that something as misused and abused as money (translated “Mammon” in the KJV) can be used to buy friends. You can convert money, something temporary, into souls, which is eternal.
Warren Wiersbe (Be Compassionate, Be Courageous) in his commentary on Luke’s gospel gives the explanation on the parable this way:
Bad influences can ruin your life. Don’t go after friends who will entice you to neglect God, reject his word and sin. Instead, be strong in the Lord’s ways and seek to help others who are lost by forming relationships with them that will help them see what Christ did for them at the Cross.
Shad David Sluiter
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