Relationships, What Does God Say?
Shep Johnson
Sunday, July 2, 2017

There are many relationships in life which are very important.  Of course, the most important relationship we can have is our relationship with God.  But let me take a few moments to talk with you about our key relationships with other people.  For example, here is a list of some of the most important key relationships.

¨    Best friends.

¨    Business partnerships.

¨    Mentoring fellowships.

¨    Dating relationships.

¨    Marriage relationships.

  All of these are close relationships.  Many of these can be lifelong relationships.  God has some valuable and wise counsel for us when it comes to establishing and maintaining such close relationships.  Listen to His words from 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (NASB95);

“Do not be bound together (yoked together) with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?  Or what harmony has Christ with Belial (the worthless one, the useless one, Satan, or the ally of Satan), or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.’ Therefore, ‘COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,’ says the Lord. ‘AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; and I will welcome you.  And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

  In this text the Apostle Paul makes five things clear:

1) We must not form close and long-term relationships with unbelievers.

2) Righteousness and lawlessness cannot function together without righteousness being compromised.

3) Believers and unbelievers do not share the most important things in common.

4) We are to maintain a distance from unbelievers when it comes to forming close and long-term relationships.  That doesn’t mean we are to be unkind to unbelievers.  That doesn’t mean we are to refrain from working with unbelievers or associating with them.  Certainly we must share the Gospel with them and minister to their needs.  But we are not to be “bound together with unbelievers.”

5) We are “the temple of the living God” and we must not defile His temple with unclean things and relationships.  For that reason we are to remain unstained and uncompromised by the world.

   One of the important takeaways from 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is that we must decide today that we will not  form close relationships with unbelievers which could detract from the cause of Christ.  Young believers must refrain from dating unbelievers.  Those contemplating marriage must be committed to marry a true believer.  Those seeking wise counsel should seek out a Christian mentor.  The importance of this spiritual principle cannot be overstated.

  I completely surrendered to God’s call in 1981 when I entered New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  Since that time I think some of the most tragic situations I have encountered in ministry involved believers trying to build close personal relationships with unbelievers.

Save yourself some heartache; “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.”

Bro. Shep