Thesis: To caution and constantly remind Christians respecting their associations and affections with the surrounding world.
1. The Bible repeatedly cautions, the children of God, concerning their associations and desires for the surrounding world.
2. Both Testaments of the Bible address the danger of associating with the sinful world.
3. Some of these biblical warnings are positive directives, whereas other biblical warnings are negative prohibitions.
4. Our God has our best spiritual interest in His mind.
I. Companionship with sinful people leads to apostasy from God.
A. The principle of the corrupting influence of the ungodly upon the godly is a well-established principle in the Old Testament.
1. God prohibited the nation of Israel to intermingle with the heathen nations of Palestine because of their corrupting influence toward God, Deut. 7:1-6.
2. The multitude usually pursues evil, Exod. 23:2; Matt. 7:13-14.
3. The companionship of sinners often influences the godly to sin, Prov. 1:10-16; 4:14.
B. The principle of the corrupting influence of the ungodly upon the godly is a well-established principle in the New Testament as well.
1. The New Testament repeatedly cautions the children of God about the corrupting influence of the ungodly world, 1 Cor. 15:33 ASV; Jam. 4:4.
2. Christians are forbidden to fellowship ungodly brethren because of their corrupting influence, 1 Cor. 5:6; 2 Tim. 2:16; 2 Pet. 2:18-20.
3. The calculated result, known ahead of time, for fraternizing with ungodliness around us, is that the children of God will imperil and quite possibly lose their souls, 2 Cor. 6:14-18.
II. Companionship with faithful children of God guards against spiritual apostasy.
A. The Old Testament charged the people of God in those past ages to seek the company of the godly.
1. This is first accomplished by seeking to serve God foremost, Josh. 24:15.
2. Old Testament Scripture also admonishes the children of God to associate with faithful children of God rather than ungodly children of God who will lead one to destructive ends, Prov. 13:20.
B. The New Testament charges Christians to prefer fellowship with other Christians.
1. Christians must exhibit the highest form of love for the brotherhood, 1 Pet. 2:17.
2. Christians must demonstrate brotherly love toward fellow Christians, bestowing esteem upon and giving deference to them, Rom. 12:10.
3. Though Christians should conduct themselves kindly toward all of humanity, Christians are obligated to esteem brethren in Christ first, 2 Cor. 9:13; Gal. 6:10.
1. If we sit down with dogs, we will rise up with fleas!
2. If the children of God spend more time with the ungodly world than we do with the people of God, the children of God will be infected with the sinful ways of the ungodly world.
3. If the children of God love the world, the world will corrupt them and make them also the enemies of God, 1 John 2:15-17; Jam. 4:4.
4. We must determine that though we live in the world we will not be of the world, knowing full well that the world will hate us, John 17:14-16.
1. Jesus will return one day exclusively for his faithful followers, but who will be ready, John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18?
2. However, if we sit down with dogs, we will rise up with fleas!
3. Erring Christians and unbaptized believers alike need to be cleansed from the fleas of sin, 1 John 1:9; Acts 2:38.
By Gary Murphy
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