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Doing a 180

1 Peter 4.4-5
With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Christians are an odd bunch. They don’t plunge into every party. They go to church when other good people play sports, enjoy the sunshine, or catch up on sleep. They give money away when other fine people struggle along to maximize investment potential. They pray about matters that normal, reasonable, levelheaded people would gladly sue over. They step out when the party heats up. They seem satisfied with monogamy. How quaint!

A person whose life changes radically at conversion—doing a 180 degree turn—may  experience contempt from his or her old friends. He may be scorned not only because he refuses to participate in certain activities, but also because his priorities have changed and he is now heading in the opposite direction. His very life incriminates their sinful activities.  This is because unsaved people do not understand the radical change that their friends experience when they trust Christ and become children of God. And Peter says the unsaved may judge us, but one day God will judge them (see 2 Corinthians 5.10).

What are we to do? Instead of arguing with them, we should pray for them, knowing that the final judgment is with God. This was the attitude that Jesus took (see 1 Peter 2.23) and also the apostle Paul (see 2 Timothy 2.24–26). Our priority must also be to fear God and not people (see 1 Peter 3.13–17). At the same time, mature Christians should help new believers resist such pressures of opposition by encouraging them to be faithful to Christ—just as Peter exhorted the believers of his day to remain faithful to the Lord.

What unsaved friend can you pray for today? Is there a brother or sister in Christ that you can call and encourage today to remain faithful to the Lord in the face of opposition? Go ahead and do it. Your prayer and call will come at just the right time in their lives. God will see to it.

Pastor Jeff
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