THE DANGER OF EVIL ASSOCIATIONS
[Deuteronomy:7:1-6]; [Proverbs:1:8-19]; [2 Corinthians:6:14-18].
"Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt good manners"
Sometimes the sinners do not recognise God’s “princes in disguise.” They make fun of the person who lives for God and who has no part in the worldly amusements. But God is watching His own and He is happy to see His children keeping themselves from sin, living holy lives. He makes His people happy, too, right in the midst of the trouble that surrounds them.
The Psalmist answered the question, “Who is the happy man?” He said, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” [Psalms:1:1-2]). The Psalmist said that the man is happy who is not mingling with sinners nor doing as they say, but who loves God, and enjoys doing what He tells them to do.
The Christian continues to live in this world with the sinners. Jesus does not take His people to Heaven as soon as they are saved. When He prayed for His disciples, He said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shoudest keep them from the evil” [John:17:14-15]). It is possible for the children of God to live in this world amidst all the sin and wickedness and yet be kept separate from the evil that contaminates sinners. The secret of being a Christian is being in the world and yet not of the world.
Item 1: What do we mean by evil associations? [Proverbs:1:1-2]; [Ephesians:5:11]; [2 Corinthians:6:14-18].
Item 2: What are the dangers of evil associations? Evil associations will
(a) create snares for a Christian. [Deuteronomy:7:4]; [Joshua:23:12-13]; [1 Kings:11:4-11]; [Judges:16:4-5], [Judges:16:18-19].
(b) make him lose his son-ship with God. [James:4:4]; [Judges:16:20-21]; [1 John:3:7-8].
(c) bring God's wrath and disfavour upon him. [Proverbs:1:24-32]; [Revelation:18:4]; [2 Chronicles:33:10-11].
Item 3: How can a Christian avoid evil association? By
(a) abiding in Christ. [John:15:4-7]; [Colossians:3:16]; [Psalms:119:9-11]; [1 John:1:7]; [Psalms:27:4-5]; [Philippians:4:13].
(b) not keeping bad company. [2 Corinthians:5:33]; [2 Corinthians:6:14-18]; [Hebrews:10:25].
(c) prayer and consecration. [Luke:18:1]; [1 Thessalonians:5:17]; [Philippians:3:7-8]; [Luke:21:36]; [Romans:12:1]; [1 Corinthians:9:27].
Item 4: In what ways can a Christian be a shining example to the world? He should
(a) live a holy life. [Titus:2:11-14]; [Hebrews:12:14]; [1 Peter:1:15]; [1 Peter:2:5], [1 Peter:2:9].
(b) be an example of good works, conversation and conduct. [1 Timothy:4:12]; Colossians:1:10; [Titus:2:7]; [Philippians:2:15]; [Ephesians:4:29]; 1 Peter:2:12.
(c) be a light and salt of the earth. [Matthew:5:13-16]; [Colossians:4:6].(d) keep company with those that love God. [Psalms:119:63];[Psalms:1:1];-6; [Malachi:3:16-18].
God’s people have a unity and fellowship among themselves that the people of the world know nothing about. There is inspiration in speaking of the things of God, and there is a love that binds their together. “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name” [Malachi:3:16]).
Many so-called Christians seem to feel perfectly at home in this world. They get along well with everyone, and think they are going to be a help to the sinner by associating with him. We hear the expression, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” But that is not God’s Word. Rome was a very wicked city; one of its poets said, “All evil flows to Rome.” Yet Paul could say when he wrote to the Christians in that wicked city, “Beloved of God, called to be saints”; not sinners – but saints, separated from the ways of the sinners. The spirit of the world is enmity against God; and we cannot feel at home among sinners unless we have some of their spirit in us.
Challenge: Are you a companion of them that fear God?