“‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15 NKJV
If we were not allowed to spend time with unbelievers, then it is likely that those of us who are Christians would not be saved. Of course we are to share the Gospel with those who do not know Christ; however, there is an understanding that must be met when spending time with those outside of Jesus Christ.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1 KJV). This verse reveals to us that blessed is the man that does not indulge and partake in the way of sinners. “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8 ESV). When we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, we become a new creature. “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).
When you claim you are a Christian, people will be watching the way you live, how you talk and how you act. If you are doing the things that you know you should not do simply to please the flesh and appease to the likes of men, then you have to ask the question if you are truly all out for Jesus. When we spend time with the non-believer, we need to be extremely cautious that we do not become influenced by ungodly conversations or conduct. For as we once were indulgers of sin, we now have experienced the glory and joy and peace that is found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Questions to ponder before hanging out with a non-believer:
Am I spending time with them to truly minister to them?
Am I going to be placed in a position of pressure or temptation?
Will the people I spend time with be able to see Christ in me?
Is the setting appropriate?
These are the questions we must ask ourselves, honestly. The Lord Jesus Christ always had meals and spoke with non-believers; but, when reading the Bible, we never saw him in clubs or in settings that would have others question His conduct (from a sinning perspective). He was never in a private setting alone with the opposite sex, nor was he indulging in drinking for the sake of socializing. This is not a blog post for or against drinking; but it’s simply to address the reality that we need to assess our motives and check our hearts for the true reason as to why we are spending time with non-believers.
May we stop spending time with sinners, if it’s for any other reason than winning them to Christ. May Christ forever be seen through the way we live. May others see the transforming power that has taken place in our lives by His redeeming grace. “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6 NIV).