Pastoral Exhortation

Why Avoid the Company of Some?

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 17 February 2013

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The biblical admonition to avoid the company of disorderly and disobedient Christians is not, as some might think, an extreme, unreasonable, capricious and unprofitable command. The Bible casts much light on the necessity of this admonition. Consider the following seven biblical reasons for such a command:

Firstly, if we would not withdraw our association with unrepentant ones, this would encourage them to continue in their wrong ways. The apostle John cautioned, “For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 11). Any friendly gesture other than for the purpose of admonition would only embolden the errant person and thus, we become partakers of his evil deeds. Association with those who commit evil will be like rendering support for their evil actions. Hence, we must withdraw ourselves from those who walk in sin. Christians should not appear as patrons and friends of the intemperate and the wicked.

Secondly, it is God’s will that a disorderly Christian ought to feel the shame of his evil deeds; and for that purpose, we ought to disassociate ourselves from him. 2 Thessalonians 3:14 instructs us, “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” If we withdraw from a disobedient person, it will make him aware that his actions are unbecoming of a Christian. This is one way of rebuking an errant brother, which God’s Word wants us to practise.

Thirdly, withdrawal from the company of the disobedient one is necessary to protect ourselves from evil influence. As an old saying goes, “There is no plague so catching as sin.” We ourselves are prone to sin because our hearts are naturally corrupt. So we are warned in 1 Corinthians 15:33 that “evil communications corrupt good manners”. The apostle Paul warned the Corinthians who took glory in keeping fellowship with a fornicator, “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Corinthians 5:6). Those who are unrepentant about their wrong ways will always try to rub their vices on as many people as they can. They would like to see that all behave like themselves. We must guard ourselves from their bad influences by disassociating ourselves from them.

Fourthly, our association with them may drag us not only into their guilt but also into their punishment. Ephesians 5:6 warns us, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (cf. Proverbs 13:20; Revelation 18:4). Enjoying their pleasantries would be like courting God’s wrath against their sins upon ourselves (cf. Numbers 16:26).

Fifthly, even if no punishment comes upon you, yet the association with disobedient persons will be a burden to the conscientious Christian (cf. Psalm 120:5-7; 2 Peter 2:7-8).

Sixthly, our close association with disobedient persons will be a great hindrance to our service for the Lord. They will discourage, distract and deter us from what the Lord is beckoning us to do.

Seventhly, we should not be beholden to those who walk disobediently, for God’s command is to have company only with the godly. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1). Proverbs 9:6 advises us, “Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.” Delight in the company of the wise and godly, and not in those who are foolish and ungodly. Get your hearts off those things in which the wicked abound. So do not be beholden to them. Let them see your courage and resolution to walk away from that which they embrace.

Let us follow the example of the psalmist who said in Psalm 26:4-5, “I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.”

When a person shows that he is no longer worthy to be recognized as a Christian, leave him to himself and his God. Peradventure, God may bring him to repentance.

 

 

 

Email Received

 

Dear Pastor Koshy,

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

May the Lord be praised for His goodness upon The Gethsemane Care Ministry, Cebu. He has sustained the ministry till this day and provided for all her needs. We thank God for using the mother church and The Gethsemane Care Ministry, Singapore, to support TGCM, Cebu.

Currently, there are 8 residents in TGCM, Cebu. We thank God for bringing to us souls that we might minister to them the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We labour to liberate them from the bondage of drugs and vices. The present residents have shown great interest in the Word of God, and are very receptive to the Gospel.

We are happy to report that all of them are now attending the Catechism class. With much prayer, we hope that they will persevere and be settled and established in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We look forward to that day when all of them would become part of the church here in Cebu.

Now and then we receive inquiries for admittance into TGCM. We are praying that we can continue to reach out to more people who are in the bondage of drugs and sins with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.

On a personal note, Pastor, I would like to thank you and the Session of the church for inviting me and my wife, Arlaine, to the 25th anniversary (Silver Jubilee)of the mother church. Praise the Lord for His goodness in providing us with the airfare. All glory be to the Lord. Pastor Reggor had already booked the tickets for us and we will be leaving Cebu for Singapore on 26 March at 7.55 pm. Our return ticket is dated 3 April at 12.50 am.

Looking forward to having fellowship with you, your family and the brethren in the mother church.

Sincerely in Christ,
Eld Eliezer Ortega