Two things are certain – every one of us is a sinner – and only through the blood of Jesus Christ can we find peace with God.
When Jesus walked the earth, the pharisees falsely deemed themselves “righteous” based on their attempts to keep the law. Thus, Jesus focused His ministry on those who would take His message of repentance to heart.
While Jesus dined with sinners and talked to the “outcasts” of His time– He did not join them in their sin. This distinction is crucial for those of us trying to reach the lost with the Gospel – and here’s why.
Some well-intended Christians are determined to reach the lost by doing whatever-it-takes.
While reaching the lost is noble, what-it-takes often leads believers to sin, forsaking the very purpose of Christ’s life and death.
These Christians mistakenly misinterpret becoming “all things to all people” to mean doing what their friends do in order to “win them to Christ.”
Remember that when Paul discussed becoming all things to all people – he meant becoming for the sake of the Gospel and to the glory of God.
Paul did not mean we are to compromise the integrity of the Gospel or that we should sin with unbelievers in order to “fit in” with the world.
In fact, we are called to just the opposite – as God commands us to be “salt and light” to a dying world.
We should look and act differently than our non-believing friends.
Relating to your friends is one action – but choosing to sin with them is another.
Whatever we do – in word or deed – must be for the glory of God.
Think about it.
Does getting drunk with struggling friends glorify God?
Or does your drinking further empower these friends to keep drinking, making them believe their actions are ok since their Christian friend (you) is drinking also?
If your high-school friend is lost and trying to “find her way” – should you encourage her to “do what makes her happy” or to “follow her heart” because that’s what she wants to hear?
Or should you introduce her to the Great Shepard – the one who guides our path through life?
Jesus modeled the correct behavior perfectly. He met people where they were – yet while loving them, He always pointed them to the truth – and did not excuse, condone, or join their sin.
Jesus is the perfect balance of truth and love, and we are called to follow in His footsteps, not those of our fellow sinners.
As Got Questions points out:
“The goal of a Christian is to be inoffensive in every way except in the matter of the cross. The message of the cross of Christ naturally gives offense, but we cannot water it down.
“The preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Jesus warned us not to be shocked when the world hates us—it hated Him first (John 15:18). Our message is offensive to human pride and contradicts the sin nature, so our behavior and our attitudes should not give offense.
When we strive to follow Paul’s example and become all things to all people, we must be willing to humble ourselves, let go of our “rights,” meet people where they are, and do whatever Jesus calls us to do. He died to save them. We must love them enough to tell them that in ways they can understand.”
If we can truly follow Jesus’ wishes – we can dine with sinners and live with them – without compromising our faith in order to fit-in.
The wages of sin is death – but if we live our faith and share the truth of the Gospel, we can point our non-believing friends to the only one who saves and provides eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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