Summary: Trying to avoid contact with those who don't share our faith in Christ is a mistake that Christians have often made throughout the centuries

(Jim and Sue are sitting in the living room after dinner. Jim is reading the paper; Sue is knitting -- or something.)

JIM: (Starts to put down the paper.) Well, Sue, I'd better go to bed. I want to get to the office early tomorrow morning.

SUE: Oh, Jim, I'm so glad you like your new job. Isn't it great to be able to work at a place where everyone is a Christian?

JIM: Well, I'm not sure we all are. I know five of the six people in the office are solid believers, but Frank Smith goes to that church over on Oak Street. He says he is a Christian, but I'm not sure they really preach the Gospel there.

SUE: Yes, but I mean it must be wonderful to not have to listen to anyone swearing, telling dirty jokes, or talking about how much money they won at the casino over the weekend. It would just give me the creeps to have to work all day with people who are pagans.

JIM: That's sure true. You know, at my old job Mark Thompson came to work drunk one day. And do you remember Tom Nelson? He was actually living with his girlfriend when I left the company. I am sure glad I don't have to associate with those guys anymore.

SUE: Jim, what makes me happiest, though, is that your bigger salary will make it easier to pay the kids' tuition. I'm so glad we have been able to send all three kids to the Christian school each year. The money will also help when Jimmy goes to college in two years.

JIM: It is hard to believe that our son is almost ready for college. Do you think he will be going to Faith Christian University, Sue?

SUE: Well, I would hope so. It is a solid evangelical school. After all, you and I both graduated from there. My dad went there. And a lot of people from our church have attended there over the years. I'm sure a lot of Jimmy's friends from school will be going to Faith.

JIM: That's good. Oh, Sue, I almost forgot. Marge Kramer called while you were at the store. She said there is going to be a church social committee meeting at 8:00 tomorrow night.

SUE: OK, that will work out. I have to be there for Sunday School teachers' meeting at 6:30 anyway. It will be the fifth night in a row that I've been at church, but I guess that is what serving the Lord is all about.

JIM: Yeah, you're right. Say, do you know what I heard today? Frank Smith told me that the Bremmers may be putting their house up for sale.

SUE: The Bremmers? Who are they?

JIM: That is the family that lives two houses down the street. They moved in about three years ago.

SUE: Oh, yeah. I guess I never met them. Are they the ones who had that heathen music blaring out their window one night last summer?

JIM: Yes, but I was thinking. If they put their house up for sale, maybe Joe and Kim would like to buy it.

SUE: Oh, that would be so cool! Just think, Jim, if that happened, then four of the eight families on our block would go to our church. That will really give us some good chances to witness for the Lord. Every time we have the people from church come over to grill out, the non-Christians on the block who walk by or look out their window can see we are having a great time, and there is no beer or booze around at all. I think that is a real good testimony of how Christ brings joy to our lives.

JIM: That's true. Boy, we sure have been blessed by the Lord to have so many wonderful Christian people around us. Well, I'm off to bed. (Jim leaves.)

SUE: (Getting up and following Jim out.) Oh, I'm going to come too. I have to get up early and go to my Christian Aerobics class tomorrow morning.

Let me ask you a question: What grade would you give Jim and Sue for serving the Lord? An A? Maybe an A+? Now, maybe you don't want to be judgmental, but they are two pretend characters, so just pretend you give them a grade. I think Jim and Sue seem like a very nice couple. It would be great to have them as members of this church. Yet, even though they have a lot of good things going for them, I think they have one serious flaw. They appear to be trying to live the Christian life, trying to serve the Lord, without ever associating with people who are not believers in Jesus Christ. Though Jim and Sue are fictional characters, I know there are plenty of real-life Christians who end up doing pretty much the same thing. I think that is a mistake. Can we really serve the Lord without associating with people who are not believers in Christ? Should our goal be to make it through the week without having to talk with someone who is not a Christian? I don't think so, but I'm afraid that some of us have only a very limited contact with these folks. Let's pause and pray that God would help us better understand how he wants us to relate to the people around us.

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