Our true friends are those who love Jesus. They are those who do great and small deeds to advance the kingdom of God. They are those who love God. For the Christian, friendship is always based on the gospel. We should never limit our friendships to our denomination, to our race, to our musical preferences, or to any other human definition. Godly friendship extends beyond all of our cultural boundaries. True friendship is based on shared experience of Christ’s work.
But true friendship and true acceptances is not blind. We are not called to accept and to befriend all who claim the name of Christ. In Mark 9:42, Christ says,
Whoever cause one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
Jesus wants false teachers to die. While we should befriend all who follow Christ, we must not befriend all who claim Christ. We must not entrust our souls to those who malign the Word of God. We must not trust those who do great works for the poor while looking the other way when men have affairs and when homosexuals ask to be church members. We must not befriend those who paint houses but deny the deity of Christ. We must not entrust ourselves to the pastor who tells great stories but proclaims that all roads lead to heaven. God is unified. God never approves of sin. And the one who claims Christ while simultaneous denying the power of the gospel should not be our friend even if she looks like us, goes to our church, and loves our denomination. God does not look lightly on errors. He does not excuse sin or condone some lawless. No, God wishes such people dead, laying on the bottom of the ocean.
And when David was confronted with the choice of whether or not he should trust the soldier who claimed to have killed Saul, he thought about this exact thing. Back in 2 Samuel 26:9-11, David and one of his trusted soldiers had a chance to kill Saul. They had a chance to take the throne of Israel, and to take who God had promised David. But notice what David said and did.
But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.
David knew and understood that those who love the Lord obey the Lord. Those who are trustworthy never sin to attempt to get good things for themselves or for others. God has no place in his kingdom for situational ethics. The end does not justify the means. All who love God understand this axiom and obey God. David knew what he had to do. He killed the dishonorable soldier. David knew that the soldier should not be trusted because he boasted in his sin. In the same way, we must not partner with those who excuse and embrace sin in the name of Christ. God is unified. Those who love God will obey him.
Moreover, we must check our hearts. We must be sure that we are not one who causes other people to stumble. We must guard against leading others to sin sexually, against encouraging our kids to curse angrily, and against minimizing our pride. If we share blogs, send text, or have conversations that lead God’s people away from God, we are in danger. God doesn’t want your influence to grow. He wants you at the bottom of the lake. God will not tolerate those who cause others to walk away from truth. Do not be such a person.
Be a good friend. Workout your faith with fear and trembling and befriend those who are doing the same. Our friendships will shape us and influences us. What kind of friends do you have? What kind of friend are you?