It’s not good to be alone (Genesis 2:18), BUT its just as bad or even worse to be with the wrong company.

 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled:“Bad company corrupts good character.” (AMP) Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character

Have you ever been influenced by bad company?

God is leading you into his perfect plan for your life BUT, if you are around the bad company, you will be misled- away from that plan. It will delay or even take you away from His divine plan. God has alot to say about who we hang around with. (and you thought it was just your parents) Please know that, even if you are saved, if you do not set rules and boundaries for your relationships, you can fall victim to being “corrupted”.

2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV) 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

In other words, what business do you have hanging out to those who don’t really care about God. Please note that this isn’t just the people outside the church, this can also mean so called Christians inside the church. (the Gibeonites)

Have you tried to invite your old friends to church? What did they say?

We need to learn to manage our relationships. If you are with the wrong group, they will pull you under, and away from God. There is a reason why God is telling you, the believer, His child, His responsibility, NOT to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. What does this mean? Don’t be spending too much time with unbeliever, especially if it is by choice.

You might think, well so and so is so nice and caring. They understand me, they get me. God understands you better, and He is telling you what to do about it for a reason. He sees what they are going to do to you 3 years down the line.

You might say, well they believe in God.  It doesn’t matter what they say or claim about God. James 2:19 19 You SAY you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without works is dead?

Are they living for Him or are they living for themselves? Believe isn’t just in intellectual observation its something that carries a weight in your heart thats results in work (action, verb). It’s something you DO. You live different than the world, you act different and according to the Word of God. A real believer goes to church and seeks after the things of God and keeps his Word. If they have no desire for this, its time to let go of that relationship. You can still pray for them and love them from afar.  I know you think this is harsh or mean, but it isn’t. God loves you so much, and cares for you that He is like your parents telling you not to play with those crazy kids. The bible says the devil works in the sons of disobedience!! And you want to go run with them? Or maybe you are one of them.

What are some distinguishing marks of a real believer?

This is what repentance is all about. We need to turn away from these old friends, old associations, family, old ways, old mindsets, traditions, and reach for Gods things. If we cant win them to Christ, its time to move on. There are many people out there who need Him. I know you care for them, but you cannot force them to love God, not even God can do that, its their choice. The best you can do, is pray for them and separate yourself from them before they pull you under. Ask God for help in this because this can be very difficult.

The people we allow in our lives are gateways to darkness or light. There is no middle ground. If they do not worship God, love God, live for God, are committed to God, cut that yoke, even if it’s within the church. The common bond of rebels is sin. The common bond of believers is God and His Word.

Example of Abraham leaving his relatives to receive the promise of God.

 Gen. 12:1-4 –The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” Heb. 11:8—In this first step of faith he only left one: his country. Therefore, he progressed only halfway to the land of his promised inheritance.

  1. Step 2: Leaving Harran: Gen. 12:4–5; Acts 7:4—Through his father’s death, Abram was able to make the second release, from his father’s house. But he still had his kindred, Lot, with him.

Many of us want to get to the promised land, but we want to take father (our relatives, or relationships) with us and can only make it halfway and get stuck. What is father to you? It can be many different things from the past. Traditions, Habits, Associations, Relationships, Religion, Finances. The most common thing is our relationships or old friends. Don’t take father along if you want to get to the promised land.

What if I work around these people, or we have to be yoked. Stand your ground. Represent Jesus to them. Don’t be a closet Christian. You will have to explain a lot less of who you are if you let people know who you are with from the beginning.

Does everyone you deal with in the world know that you are a Christian?

Establish Boundaries – Be careful who you let in your life (even Christians) and how intimate you become with them. When you get to the border of most countries, you have to deal with border control. The borders of every country has armed guards. When you try to enter, they question you.

Everybody who wants to be your friend, doesn’t have a right motive – You need to discern quick if they’re gonna add to your life, or subtract to it, because its one or the other. It can’t all be one sided. If it is, people get worn out real quick. Alot of the reasons we get hurt, are just because we are DUMB. “Well I can’t believe you did that to me” If you had your eyes (discernment) open you would have seen it coming 3 years ago.

1 Corinthians 5  (AMP) I wrote you in my [previous] letter not to associate [closely and habitually] with unchaste (impure) people— 10 Not [meaning of course that you must] altogether shun the immoral people of this world, or the greedy graspers and cheats and thieves or idolaters, since otherwise you would need to get out of the world and human society altogether! 11 But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person. 12 What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]? 13 God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside. Drive out that wicked one from among you [expel him from your church].

If you have a friend who knows it’s bad to gossip, or maybe they don’t, regardless, you need to lay down a boundary. If you don’t, you’re not gonna keep yourself safe. If you keep opening your heart up to a person who keeps poisoning your spirit to gossip, you’re gonna end up in a trap based on those things. Your gonna have to confront. We’d like to avoid confrontation, nobody likes it, but it’s necessary sometimes. Let people know where you stand with God. If they can’t take the hint, then tell them straight up, I can’t be hanging out with you.

Cultivate the right relationships and you wont have to worry as much about the bad relationships. Your number one relationship to cultivate is the one with Jesus and also Fellow Believers. Do the Do’s.

1 John 1:7 But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].

One provision of the precious blood of Jesus is cleansing In this verse, there are three verbs in the continuing present tense: walk, fellowship, and cleanse. We must take note of that. If we continue walking in the light, we continue having fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us. It is very important to see that this is conditional. If we continue to walk in the light of God’s Word by obeying what it says, then the first result is that we have fellowship with one another. If we are not walking in the light, we will not have fellowship. And if we do not have fellowship, we are not walking in the light. But, if we walk in the light and have fellowship, then the blood of Jesus continually keeps us clean.

When you do not have fellowship with other believers, that is evidence that you are walking in darkness.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the blood of Jesus. I proclaim that I continue to walk in the light, have fellowship with other believers, and receive cleansing from sin. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, continually cleanses me from all sin. Remove the relationships that are keeping me from you. Expose them, remove them, and I will follow through. In Jesus Name. Amen.