Summary: For 4 years I worked in a printing company where my boss was an atheist. He had no love for spiritual things at all, and yet I had to obey his orders and cooperate with him as a Christian

One of the perpetual questions in the life of a believer is, what

should my relationship be to unbelievers? Can a Christian be a real

friend with a non-Christian? What if his beliefs and actions are

obviously contrary to Christian values? Is the often-quoted verse

for separation to be our guide? It says, "Come out from among

them and be separate says the Lord." Does this verse mean we

ought not to have fellowship with the unbeliever? These are

questions of such a practical nature that we answer them in living

regardless of what conclusions we come to theoretically.

Everywhere I ever worked I had to get along with

non-Christians. I had to work along side of them in a common

effort. For 4 years I worked in a printing company where my boss

was an atheist. He had no love for spiritual things at all, and yet I

had to obey his orders and cooperate with him as a Christian. I

debated the faith with him often, and I had much in common with

him even though I was a child of God, and he was a child of

darkness. We were opponents and yet we were also friends. He did

not care for my beliefs, and I did not care for his, but we were

friendly enemies.

It would be foolish for me to believe theoretically that a

Christian can never be friends with a non-Christian, for in actuality

I have already been friends with them. Does this mean I do not

believe in separation? Not at all! These men I worked with had

many evil habits, and they lived for material and sensual pleasures,

which was especially evident at the annual Christmas party. It was

no problem at all to be friends with him and still be totally separate

from their non-Christian living. Every Christian who works has a

similar experience. There is no contradiction at all in being separate

from sinners an at the same time being friends with sinners.

Jesus was a friend of sinners, and yet He was totally separate

and undefiled. Separation is not isolation. Jesus associated with

publicans and sinners, and He won them to Himself without ever

participating in any of their sin. This ability to be friendly with

those outside of the kingdom of God without forsaking that kingdom

yourself is a major characteristic of those people whom God uses to

reach the world.

The two men in the Old Testament who had the most

outstanding ministries among the Gentiles were noted for this

ability. Joseph rose to a top position of leadership in Egypt because

of his ability to work in harmony with those who even worshipped

false gods. His brothers were hard to get along with event though

they were of the same faith. But he knew how to win friends and

influence people among pagans, and God used him in a mighty way.

His God given ability to interpret dreams was the key factor in his

rise to power, but without the ability to be friends with men of false

faith he may never have been given the chance to use that gift.

Daniel's life is a close parallel to that of Joseph. He was not sold

into captivity like Joseph, but he was carried away by enemy forces.

He too rose to a position of leadership in a great pagan empire, and

did so by means of his God-given power to interpret dreams. He,

like Joseph, gained the opportunity to use his gift because of his

ability to get along with his pagan captives. Daniel was determined

to remain undefiled by pagan practices, and one might think that a

man with such deep conviction would probably be unable to get

along with anyone who does not see eye to eye with him on

everything. But Daniel was not this way at all. In fact, the paradox

is that Daniel needed and got pagan help to remain loyal to his God.

This, of course, was all in the providence of God, for God brought

Daniel into favor with the prince of the eunuchs. Here was a

friendship of a believer and a pagan that was not only approved by

God, but appointed by God.

Just as I am sure that Jesus did not get people to love Him by a

miracle, but won them by His own friendliness, so I am sure Daniel

won the favor of this pagan by his friendly nature. Daniel was the

brilliant, yet humble clean-cut, kind of young man that would take

personal interest in another person, and just naturally win their

friendship. Daniel was a worshipper of the true God, and yet he was

a friend of one who was an idolater. The result of this was that by

this pagan's help he was able to maintain his standards without

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion