It’s wild, how some people who attend church and hear the truth about depravity, still are unable to grasp that everything they did before salvation was sin. It’s so hard to explain to these people, because they’ll admit they did some bad stuff in their pasts, but cannot recognize that they did nothing good at all before faith in Christ.
It’s a real dilemma because when we try to practice discernment of others, we can wrongly assess their spiritual condition if we’re unable to see what is and isn’t sin. The Bible says that everything that isn’t of faith is sin. That’s enough for me. There’s no room for error in a statement like that. Literally no good comes from an unregenerate person, because they never live their lives for Christ in faith.
Yet, we have a tendency to cushion their presalvation spiritual state, and trick ourselves into thinking, “well, they’re not that bad.” Yes they are. They’re only bad, because nothing good resides in them if they don’t have the Holy Spirit.
Practically, misunderstanding this can lead to spending years of time patting sinners on the back and making them our “best friends” and most regular company. I do believe that these relationships demand a purely evangelistic core. Meaning that we can have friends who aren’t Christians, but that we should be regularly calling them to repentance.
Otherwise, we’re entertaining sin, faithlessness, and congratulating it by saying, “It’s okay, I tolerate your hatred of Christ, and I’ll always be your best friend even if you hate God.” Which, if we care at all about them and their relationship with Christ, is something we should never do. We should never soften the truth and allow them to believe the lie that faithlessness isn’t that bad, because faithlessness is bad and it is sin. We shouldn’t keep openly sinful company. We should engage their faithlessness and plead with them to repent and live for Christ in faith.~Matthew Hagen
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.~Ephesians 5:11,12
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?~II Corinthians 6:14
Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on.…~Proverbs 4:13-15
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers…~Psalm 1:1
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?…~James 4:4,5
The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.~Romans 8:7
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.~I John 2:15
Where does your heart lay? It is shown by who’s company you keep. One cannot serve two masters. You are a slave of the one your objective actions show you seek after. Christ or the world and it’s dead. There is no middle ground.
Love Jesus. Give the gospel to those who are of the world. If you notice, Jesus didn’t keep hanging out with sinners who rejected Him. He hung out with those who were His. He has not changed. By your daily choices you are either rejecting Him or inviting His company. You are either His friend or you are His enemy. Not both. It is one or the other. So…what are you to God? Take an objective look at your life. Your days. That is who you truly are. If a new creation, the world should hold nothing attractive to you. Resurrected souls are like that. It is a foretaste of heaven.