Interestingly, Jesus chose 12 young men who did not have a true relationship with God at the time. They lived on the fringes of religion.They were Jews, but they were not born-again believers Jesus Christit never happened rear The death and resurrection of Jesus. Until that time, they were disciples (“students”) and friends of the man they hoped was the Messiah who would redeem them from Roman rule.
Do you find it surprising that Jesus chose an unsaved Jewish-born man as his closest believer? Honestly, that was his intention. He was deliberately sent by God to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). demand Greek language (Zeteo) means “seek, crave”. Jesus deliberately sought and craved relationships with unregenerate people, people who were diametrically opposed to himself, sinless, pure and holy.
The reason I bring this up is that many believers today feel guilty and ashamed of having unsaved friends in their circle of friends. After all, some believers believe that Christians should shun the unsaved. 1 Corinthians 15:33 as justification. But among all peoples we, like Jesus, seek out the unsaved, long for their friendship (though not their influence), and to be ambassadors of the Almighty. With intent and desire to bring these unsaved friends to the light and receive the free gift of grace through their faith.
I have unsaved friends and acquaintances. And based on Jesus’ example to his disciples, I believe it’s a good thing. From my own experience, here are some (non-exhaustive) ways to express your love for an unsaved friend. These also apply to unsaved family members, co-workers, neighbors, and others in relationships who do not know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
1. cherish them
This goes without saying, but in fact, in our culture today, there is so much polarization around issues that we believers, perhaps unconsciously and unintentionally, believe that we tend to “devalue” people with the opposite principle. We give them little thought, ignore them, and even judge them out of self-righteousness and false piety.
But whether we agree politically, morally, religiously, or ethically, there is value in the simple fact that all people are created by and bear the image of God. Even in the state they still carry traces of him. They bear his common mark of grace through the expression of emotion, intellect, and creativity.
So first, respect each unsaved friend as a person created by God and imprinted by God. Ignore their opinions, beliefs and tendencies. Look at them through the lens of creation. Genesis 1:27: “So God created Human race In his image, in the image of God, he created them. Men and women, he created them” (emphasis added).
2. Accept them
Accept them where they are. The unsaved act, well, as the unsaved. Their souls, hearts and minds have not been regenerated. They think, believe and act from their sinful nature. They speak profanely, drink (often excessively), are rowdy, slander, and hate. They act stupid, irrational, and sinful.
Given this, we do not intend to condemn them. Frankly, we should expect them to behave unworthily in their depravity. After all, before surrendering our lives to Jesus as our Savior and the Holy Spirit as our sanctifier, we once did too (Titus 3:3).
Therefore, God says that there is no need to judge friends who think worldly, live worldly, and are unsaved. 1 Corinthians 5:12: “Is it my job to judge those outside the church? Isn’t it my job to judge those inside?”
However, their behavior cannot be tolerated either.we do them Man without admitting their sins choiceHowever, when asked, gently and politely tell them that you do not agree or approve of their actions (1 Peter 3:16), and we take the opportunity to share how we are compelled to live under the guidance of God’s way because of what Jesus has done for us.
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3. Listen to them
Many times we think the best way to show love is to talk, even about God, but really it is to listen. In this case, the old idiom applies: “God gave us his one mouth and his two ears.” When you feel people are listening—TRUE They feel respected, valued and cared for.
It goes without saying that God appreciates a truly attentive listener. “Dear brothers and sisters, please understand this. You must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”Jacob 1:19).
As people, they also have hopes and dreams, desires and aspirations, and pain and long-buried wounds, some of which may have been caused by the church or other Christians. Listening to them helps you build common ground and compassion for them, especially in their suffering.
Listening also fosters understanding. We may not agree with our friends, but listening can help us understand how and why they think and believe the way they do. People want more than anything else to be understood and valued for their opinions, values, and beliefs, even on the side of others.
Another benefit of listening (which was new to me) is that it builds patience for us, the listeners.In which Mental Health Training says podcast“It’s hard to sit and listen to people you disagree with. You’re going to have to have patience. If you are struggling with an activity, remember that you are listening to learn something new. You can also listen as if you were going to do it, which allows you to focus more carefully on what the other person is saying.”
So listen, learn and understand. We listen to show respect and value. Listen to cultivate patience and compassion.
On the other hand, you can also earn by listening you right to hear. Tit back, so to speak. Then you will have the best opportunity to speak the truth of God, and your unsaved friends will be more likely to listen.
4. Pray for them
Someone once said, “Prayer is work.” That’s true. Prayer is a behind-the-scenes job that every believer should engage in. Prayer is a witness to the gospel and a search for open doors to build the kingdom of God. James even said, “The prayer of the righteous is mighty and effective.”James 5:16).
Regarding your unsaved friend (or the one the Lord has burdened your heart with):
- I pray that their hardened hearts will be softened (Romans 2:5)
- Pray that God will plant in them a new, humble, pure, pure, believing heart (Ezekiel 36:26, Matthew 18:4, Psalm 51:10, Matthew 5:8, Romans 10:10).
- Pray that their darkened hearts may be enlightened to understand God’s truth, renewed, transformed, and focused on what is above (Ephesians 4:18, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23, Colossians 3:12).
- Pray that the blind may suddenly “see” the light of this saving world and the glory of God and His goodness (2 Corinthians 4:4, Luke 4:18, John 3:3, Psalm 34:8, John 8:12).
- Pray that your clogged ears suddenly “hear” the good news (Romans 1:1610:14, 17).
5. Show Grace
Jesus was the grace of God personified. He did not come to condemn, but to show grace to those who least deserve it – sinners. He extended a helping hand to the afflicted, spoke kind words to those in despair, spoke the truth when needed, and faced sin with love. Grace upon grace.
We should demonstrate God’s grace even to our unsaved friends. We may be the only ones to show them grace when they fail or sin badly. Our extending grace to them when all others are judging and dismissing is what they need to experience in order to finally understand their need for a Savior, repent, and receive salvation. There may be something.
As believers in Christ, yes, we are called to remain holy in our actions (“separation”) and not conform to the world. But that does not justify withdrawing from the world or its people. Quite the opposite. Distancing yourself from the unsaved is not an option, nor is it biblical. Rather, Jesus told His disciples and us to “go” (“to all nations”) into the world and make disciples. And more often than not, it happens when we deliberately and prayerfully form true friendships with the unsaved.
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Denise is a former newspaper reporter and now a freelance writer. She has been featured in numerous online and print publications. She is also a former teacher of women’s Bible studies. Denise’s passion is using her writing to bless, encourage and inform others. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and her two children (her one is grown and flying). Dennis can be found at: denisekohlmeyer.com.