We have established the fact that Jesus was a friend of sinners. We saw that truth in Luke 15 where “the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” (Lk. 15:2). Other examples could be given that show the Lord spending time with lost people. He declared that He did not come to “call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Lk. 5:32).
We need waste no time proving that many, if not most, Christians are NOT friends of sinners. Why not? What do we fear? How do we engage ourselves if we are not becoming friends of sinners? What does it mean to be a friend of sinners? What are the risks and dangers of such a “life-style”?
The Myth of Godliness
Our dog Scrabble one day stopped eating and drinking. I mean, completely! For days — and
then weeks! I took Scrabble to a local pet store and the vet said he thought Scrabble had pancreatitis. Scrabble still wouldn’t eat or drink. We had to syringe water down his throat.
In desperation we took our dog to a friend who is a vet and it turns out Scrabble had swallowed three rubber nozzles from some gardening equipment. We don’t know why. But they had blocked his lower intestine and he was going to die. Our vet friend did surgery, removed the three items, and gave us back out dog. Scrabble is doing fine now, if you’re wondering.
Many of us have swallowed a lie. That lie, as Steve Brown says, “smells like smoke and comes from the pit!” The lie is simply this: We believe that the fewer non-Christian friends we have, the godlier we are. That is a lie. Godliness does not come to those who isolate themselves from a lost world.
A simple study of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 ought to shock us out of our stay-away-from-the-world mentality: (to be continued)