When we associate with or take delight in the company of people with worldly morals, we run the risk of mimicking their behaviors, their language, and their habits. Before long we are no longer of Christ, but of the world with its denial of absolute authority, its rejection of the Bible as the Word of God, and its ideology of relative morality. This is especially pertinent to young people who are generally easily influenced by their peers.
Young people are desperate for the approval of others. So motivated are they by the need for acceptance that godly wisdom in decision-making can go out the window in the face of peer pressure. Therefore, it is crucial for parents of young teens especially to be on guard against the influence of bad company. So, what are we to do? Let nothing move you. As parents, we stand firm against ungodly influences that may corrupt our children. As Christians, we stand firm against those who would corrupt our walk with Christ.
As church members, we stand firm against false teaching and watered-down gospel presentations that lead others astray. Of course if she goes to the public schools she doesn't have to go very far, because she's mixing with them every day of her life since she's five years old. She learns the morals of the people of the land and becomes like them.
You see the same thing with Lot's children who grew up in Sodom. Lot's daughters had no morals. None whatsoever. Lot was a righteous man. He was a godly man, a man whose righteous soul was vexed from day to day with the unlawful deeds of the wicked who were all around him, but his daughters were just as godless. They had no morals.
Why not? Well, because they were raised in Sodom. Now I'll tell you this, and I have seen it: some of the best men I know, living today, some of the best men I know, the godliest, the most true-hearted, and zealous and devoted Christian men I know, preachers of the word of God, have some of the worst children I know. And I know the reason for it also: because evil communications corrupt good manners. They didn't learn that evil from those good, godly, zealous, devoted fathers. They learned it in the schools, or out on the playgrounds, rubbing shoulders day after day with ungodly children.
Now if you want to save your children from hell, keep them from evil communications. Keep them from all the ungodly children, and that may mean keeping them away from some of the children in the church also. I've been doing it ever since I've had any children, and I know it's hard.
Once upon a time, before my oldest child was born, we lived down in Madison. Another couple that we knew was at our house talking to us. Thank God that your little girl doesn't have any friends. If it's a choice between having no friends and having ungodly ones, you'd better thank God your little girl doesn't have any friends, and you'd better make it your business to make sure she doesn't have any, if you want to keep her in the path of virtue and of righteousness—if you want to keep her soul out of hell.
I had some friends when I was a boy, and they led me into the paths of sin. These were not close friends, either, but just acquaintances at school and church. They led me into sin. I was quite willing to be led, but that's the way the flesh is; and your little child is quite willing to be led into the paths of sin also.
The flesh is the same in all of us. Now let's go back to I Corinthians They really think that they may associate with the ungodly, fellowship with them, be friends with them, and influence them. But it doesn't happen that way. Now if you go to them as a prophet of God, for the purpose of preaching to them, you may influence them; but if you go to them on their level, as an equal, to dialogue, and to communicate, and to have fellowship, and to do their things with them, they will influence you.
You will not influence them. You have already stepped down from your high and holy calling, even to maintain such a relationship, and in so doing you have put yourself in the place of weakness. When God sent Israel in, he said, Exterminate them, put them to death, drive them out, have nothing to do with them, make no league, make no covenant, make no marriage, or you will become like them.
The effect of it is going to take you down from this high and holy calling that you have, in which you are striving to run the race, that you may obtain the crown incorruptible. Why die daily? Why fight with the beasts at Ephesus?
No reason to. It doesn't make any difference what we do. There may be some people who call themselves Christians who deny the resurrection, but nobody here is in danger of listening to them. So we're going to have to bring this up to a little higher plane to get any application from it for ourselves. Doctrine influences life. Perhaps not in every case. Some people manage to live a good life, in spite of their bad doctrine; but usually bad doctrine brings bad life.
Now let me give you some examples. There's such a thing as Arminianism, and there's such a thing as low Arminianism. Low Arminianism is the kind that says that every time you sin, you're lost, and you have to get saved over again; and I've told you before about Richard Weaver, who walked with God and was a powerful evangelist for six months after he got converted.
He had canceled his scheduled prize fight when he got converted, and that was a very difficult thing to do, of course, because his pride was at stake. And he walked with God for six months, until he was walking home from a Methodist meeting one night, with the young lady that he was engaged to, and some ruffians began to abuse her.
I'm lost. I have given up my salvation. It's all over with me. You want to know the test of evil doctrine? This may not be the only test, but any doctrine that produces carelessness of life is evil doctrine. It's false. It comes from the devil. Any doctrine which does otherwise is evil doctrine. I don't think most of us are in danger of listening to cultish doctrines, listening to modernism, or things like that; but we might be in danger of something of a lesser degree, but of the same kind.
You should be careful what you listen to, and you should be careful what you read. If you want to know what is wrong with Fundamentalism today, I can tell you that it has exactly the same problem that Neo-evangelicalism has. That problem is evil communications. The Neo-evangelicals have been imbibing the spirit of the world, and the Fundamentalists have been imbibing the spirit of the Neo-evangelicals.
Almost everythingwhich Fundamentalists read today, or listen to on Christian radio programs or recordings, is Neo-evangelical. The major Christian publishers and broadcasters are all Neo-evangelical, or worse.
And almost all Fundamentalists feed upon these things day after day, and week after week, and its influence will tell. So long as this state of things continues, I frankly have no hope for the future of Fundamentalism. It is high time for those who aspire to be Fundamentalists to throw those modern books and magazines and tape recordings in the trash can, and put the radio in on top of the heap.
I know, good, sound Fundamentalists can read and listen to all of this Neo-evangelical propaganda, and think they can see the evil of it. And you know what I say to that? Most of them might see one fourth of the evil, and the other three fourths, which they can't see, becomes part of them, and pulls them down.
Evil communications will be the demise of Fundamentalism, or of what is left of Fundamentalism, as they were of Neo-evangelicalism. You don't need to be a prophet to see this. It is happening before your eyes.
Above all, you should be careful with whom you associate. You develop a friendship with a person who is of the wrong sort—and by the way that doesn't necessarily mean openly ungodly, but unspiritual—and unless you are very strong, that person is going to draw you the wrong way. Maybe imperceptibly, maybe just a little bit at a time, so that from day to day you don't know what's happening, but that's what makes it dangerous. It took forty years for Neo-evangelicals to drift to where they are today.
Of course they drifted very little by very little, but still they are where they are. It didn't work. Evil communications corrupted good manners. Now, the thing that we need to do is look upon ourselves as always ambassadors for Christ in every relationship that we have.
I'm not here for fellowship. I'm not here for a good time. I'm not here to dialogue. I'm here to be an influence—to bear a testimony—to preach a message. You don't necessarily have to tell the other party that, just so you know it yourself, and act upon it.
If you tell the other party that, that might be the end of the contact. They will figure it out soon enough anyway, if you mean business about it. Now I'm not sure I can explain all of this.
I'm not sure that I can explain why it always happens that a rotten apple spoils the whole bushel, and why the good apples don't save the bad one, but it happens that way. One rotten apple spoils the whole bushel. It's the pressure to conform—a very powerful thing, but I'll tell you, it usually doesn't involve any pressure at all. The pressure comes from within—from a depraved heart that would rather please its ungodly companions than a holy God—rather gain acceptance with them than acceptance with God.
This is what corrupted Solomon. The Bible says there was no man that was so beloved of his God as Solomon was, and he was a wise man too. God gave him wisdom beyond what anybody else ever had. Perhaps he was the wisest man that ever walked the earth. Certainly one of the wisest, and yet by evil communications his heart was turned away from God. His wisdom, however great, did not save him from the evil effects of evil communications.
He loved idolatrous women, and married them, and of course must please them also. Didn't Solomon have enough strength to stand up against the influence of those women? They pulled him down. They made an idolater of him. He was building high places and shrines for idols all over Israel for his idolatrous wives, and his heart was turned away from the Lord his God.
Now if Solomon didn't have enough strength to withstand evil communications, who does? Your business is, stay away. Keep clear of evil communications.
I'm not saying, Don't have any contact with the ungodly, but you make sure that you're there as an ambassador for Christ. You're there as a prophet of God, not as an equal, not as someone in fellowship and dialogue, sharing, and giving and taking, and having a good time together, and so forth.
There is some weakness in the human race that makes us extremely apt to learn evil. I see it in my children.Would we triumph in that solemn and important season, we must now submit to his rule, accept his salvation, and live to his glory. Evil is head of the estate where the brothers work - that Calum is evil and dangerous. Some people manage to live a good life, in spite of their bad doctrine; but usually bad doctrine brings bad life. Theother students did. And any saint of God who puts his daughters in the public schools should not be surprised if they turn out as the daughters of Lot did, for there is certainly no difference between Sodom and the public schools of America. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory most often ascribed to the philosopher John Stuart Mill.
Determinists have come to the conclusion that we are governed by the laws of science, that there is nothing we can do about ourselves being evil because we naturally are. As a result, their moral outlook on life influenced the rest of the Corinthian believers. They made an idolater of him. Some argue that human beings are the perpetrators of evil. Genesis thirty-four, verse one. One of the first principles of the service of God is separation.
This is always what happens.
Evil communications corrupted good manners. Low Arminianism is the kind that says that every time you sin, you're lost, and you have to get saved over again; and I've told you before about Richard Weaver, who walked with God and was a powerful evangelist for six months after he got converted. This question is presented through symbolism It's false. Go with good friends, win people for the LORD, and let them prove they have changed, be friends with them in the ministry.
And it is as plain to us that Christianity would be a foolish profession, if it proposed advantage to themselves by their faithfulness to God; and to have our fruit to holiness, that our end may be everlasting life. No reason to.
A very easy thing to do, by the way. Let all young persons unite themselves to those whom God has touched by His Spirit, and is guiding, under the convoy of the Captain of salvation, to eternal glory.
There are some kids from Christian homes that go through the public schools and come out basically pure, but there are not very many of them. Not only do the seeds of evil continue to grow in Middle Earth, but also the dark conditions in which they grow continue to spread.
Paul is telling us that in associating with false teachers, we will be adversely influenced by them. Get out from your kindred. Young people are desperate for the approval of others. And God says if you go in and make leagues with them, they will turn away your heart from following the Lord your God. As such, it is critical that we are careful whom we form relationships with, especially those outside the church because unbelievers can cause even the strongest Christians to waver in their faith and adversely affect their walk with Christ and their witness to the world. This is what corrupted Solomon.
You see the same thing with Lot's children who grew up in Sodom. They are also a bridge between cultures and lifestyles. Consequently, we That's why I'm here. Let them repent first, show a proof of change, be involved in the ministry and then you can be friends with them. When we associate with or take delight in the company of people with worldly morals, we run the risk of mimicking their behaviors, their language, and their habits.