Should I fellowship with those who I know are in sin even though society calls that sin acceptable?



Should I fellowship with those who I know are in sin even though society calls that sin acceptable? Good question; It is a good question because the line of what is right and wrong has been blurred. Blurred for one reason only; people no longer know what God says on the matter. Society has been allowed to call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!) because Christians, in name only, do not know what the word of God says or simply don’t care.

As with most of my articles I build the case for the biblical view on any topic. So make sure you read the whole article before drawing a conclusion.

Society for over the last 30 years has worked tirelessly to promote immorality as acceptable. This incorporates a wide slate of biblical basics; such as: sexual immorality, sex before marriage, foul language, homosexuality (sodomy), wrath, jealousy, drug dependency, alcoholism, giving false witness, cheating and more. You only need to watch a TV show to see this compromise in immorality in a positive light, you can see it walking down the street, in politics and even being taught liberally in schools and universities. While society has been dictating what is acceptable; what has become unacceptable is speaking out against it.

Identify sin the way that God does.

In order to better answer our question we need to look at sin the way God does. We have all said: “the little white lie won’t hurt”. Humanity has long held that there are differing degrees of transgressions such as a murderer is worse than stealing or that stealing was worse than lying. But this is mankind’s establishment of actions verses punishment; God views sin a little differently. In the Old Testament all sin had a punishment; some punishments were severe. In the New Testament we find that the sin/punishment degrees have changed. This is because we are not under the law but under grace.

When we look at the many supporting verses that lists transgressions in the Bible (see verses Romans 1:29-32, 2 Timothy 3:2-5, Galatians 5:19-21, Colossians 3:5-6, 1 Timothy 1:8-10 listed below) we quickly see that God places murder in the same category as a whisperer (gossip), same as one that is disobedient to a parent. God sees sin as sin… The Bible tells us that: Proverbs 24:9a The thought of foolishness is sin… So when examining what is acceptable vs. unacceptable in our Christian walk, perhaps we should see sin in God’s way vs. the world’s (society) way.

Note: What is your final authority? For a Christian is not our final authority to be the Word of God? Christians for generations now have sacrificed their stand on the Word of God for political correctness and to feel accepted by the world. The world has launched an effective campaign on those who would oppose their worldly view labeling and attacking; using words like racist, homophobe, bigot, close minded, extremist, fanatic, zealot and sexist to shame Christians away from their beliefs.

The end result is a purpose without power, a water downed version of Christianity that attempts to cherry pick those beliefs that fit the mainstream. (2 Timothy 3:5a Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:) The Word of God was never established to make the world feel good, but it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: teaching and molding a person to be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (paraphrased)

This world will always hate and fight against the Word of God. When Christians stand the world, the world sees it as foolishness, because they simply do not understand…

1 Corinthians 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The world has gone as far as creating societal laws that are in direct contradiction to the Word of God… literally forcing Christians to accept the very sins that God hates.

The matter at hand

Rather than focus on one specific transgression I will instead use the Bible in context to answer the question:  Should I fellowship with those who I know are in sin even though society calls that sin acceptable? To answer this question properly I will explore the two main schools of thought so that you can understand what the Word of God says and how to better incorporate it in our lives.

1. Be ye separate

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Corinthians 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

The first viewpoint we will look at is the biblical view that Christians are to be separated from the world. There are many verses that prove that God does not want his people to fellowship with those we know are either not believers or believe, but still live in worldly sins. This is across the spectrum of the Old Testament and the New. This teaching is that believers are to congregate with one another as a body of believers, to fellowship with other Christians as part of a body each one having his part.

Even through the Old Testament God raised up Abram to lead a people that God would call unto Himself; essentially separating them from the world. When the world would stand in the way of the will of God; God would conquer the opposition rather to conform. We see the pull of conformity by God’s people when Israel wanted Judges and Kings like the world had, God would refuse. He continued to refuse until He allowed the will of the people to prevail; not because it was God’s choice, but rather for a lesson to be learned.

1 Samuel 8:6  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

Israel was well known for the back and forth; always struggling because they wanted the blessings of God and the pleasures of the world.

Note a few verses on this fact from the Old Testament In the light of being seperated from the world:

Leviticus 20:26  And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.

Jeremiah 10:2  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

In the New Testament we see a clear pattern of separation in the following verses:

John 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

1 Corinthians 5:10  Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

James 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

2 Corinthians 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Ephesians 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

1 John 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

See even more verses below on Separation

Clearly in these passages and more a teaching of separation is present whereby God does not want the Spiritual to mingle with the world. Ask yourself this question: Would I expose my children to a child molester? Would I have a murder come over for dinner? Naturally you would say no. God sees all sin the same and tells us to not fellowship with those who choose to remain in their sin.

Which brings us to the question and the second point as to how are we going to minister to the world if we are not to associate with them?

2. Ministering to the world

Matthew 9:10  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

Jesus went to the world and ate with publicans and sinners. Shouldn’t we show the love of God and minister to them that are in the world? This is the second teaching that takes a mindset that eliminates barriers and invites the church to be “in the world, not of the world” that we cannot witness the truth of the word of God if we cannot stand side by side with them, experience what they experience and then show ourselves to be “just like them, only forgiven.”

Now you must read this next section carefully and clearly, remember; the Word of God is to be our final authority, not our opinions, feelings or religious beliefs.

Let’s look further to put Matthew 9:10 into context:

Matthew 9:12  But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Note Jesus purpose here: calling sinners to repentance. Jesus did not fellowship with the sinners or participate in their ways to show his love and mercy; but rather to identify to those who would normally not hear who He was. He called them unto himself.

In context it must be understood that Jesus was come first to Israel then Israel was to spread His gospel to the world. He would use signs and wonders to show this people that He was the Son of God.

Matthew 10:5  These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 15:24  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

John 1:10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Matthew 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

John 7:37  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

We find verse after verse in context where Jesus was there not to love the sinner in their sin state, but to call them into his love.  Jesus did not change who he was to get closer to them but rather to preach unto them himself.

When we “go ye into all the world” we are not to go to be like the world, but go to show Christ in the way that He did; to show them a separated life, clean, pure and Holy. Christ said if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me; so that’s what we are to do… lift Him up. The separation between a Christian and the world is as fundamental as the gospel is: people must be able to see the holiness. People are drawn to the things of God because those Christian traits are different and pure.

So let me ask you… If a man is filthy, I mean downright covered in mud, grease, sweat; hasn’t bathed in months… what do you think he sees when he looks at others? What do you think his desire is? Why to be clean… The modern church teaches that Christ got filthy dirty so that he could go and minister to him… but that’s not it at all. Rather Christ went to him and showed him how he can be clean, ask if he wanted to be clean; if he said yes, Christ would make him clean. Not just on the outside… but from the inside out.

We are not to look like, talk like, act like, feel like, smell like or walk like the world. We are to go into all the World and lift up Christ to them. Not be friends or buddies but to show them the love of Christ, share the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15a  But speaking the truth in love…) and have compassion for their state but seek to lift them from that state.

So we must not condone the sins of the world for fear of offending but rather show them what Christ has done in our lives; to lift Christ up and draw the world to Him. 

Are there any Sins that God really doesn’t like?

In the Old Testament there are many sins that God hated and many that God REALLY hated; He called them abominations. Abominations in the Old Testament naturally centered around the law, but more than that most of the abominations were when people defiled something; like the house of God, made a false idol or defiled another person; especially in the areas of sexual immorality. Things that were special to God like sacrifices when they were defiled were listed as an abomination. But of all the ones listed (154 of them, some repeats naturally) God had forgiveness for all, except one:

Leviticus 20:13  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

We all know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed (Genesis 18-19), this is where our word sodomy or sodomite comes from. Known better today as a homosexual. God destroyed these cities for their sexual immorality; sodomy being the main transgression. God’s punishment for those who would commit this act in the Old Testament was pretty clear, in the New Testament the punishment was to not kill them, but rather remove the knowledge that what they are doing is wrong. Essentially condeming them to a spiritual death.

Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

It is important to know that there comes a point in a homosexual’s life when they will no longer hear the law written in their hearts. (Romans 2:15a Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness…) It then becomes very difficult to preach the Gospel to them; some say even impossible. Many believe that these verses are kin to the tribulation and the rapture where God sends a strong delusion that they might believe a lie… making it impossible for them to get saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Don’t miss this

Note I said very difficult, not impossible. If someone is living in sin, any sin, and that person wishes to receive Christ, they can; but on God’s terms not theirs. The Bible speaks of repentance or turning to God; (2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance). Even Jesus in His ministry said: (Luke 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.) When you get saved you are a new creature, old things are passed away…(2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.) This means turning from those sins and accepting Christ. It does not mean to remain in your sins.

Speaking with many who are homosexual and have been for many years, they are under the “God is only love” mentality (perhaps their conscience is seared as described in Romans 1:26-28) believing that the love of God simply accepts them as they are. Nothing could be further from the truth. While you can accept Christ in your sin state, you are never to remain in it! God said: (1 Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.) It does not matter what the sin is!


That is why we do not target sins but preach the truth. We lift up Christ to draw all that would come to him. It does not matter the sin because God sees all sin as sin; sin seperates us from God. When it comes to salvation the only sin that condems mankind to hell is the sin of Adam. (Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:) The original sin seperates ALL mankind from the love of God. Every other individual sin that is done; such as lying, cheating, murder is a direct result of having this sinful nature. (John 3:16) God loved the world so much that He made a way for mankind to come to Him… through His Son Jesus Christ. All that would come to God through His Son would get to enjoy the rewards of God’s love. Those who would not… are condemed already.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

That is why as Christians we must separate ourselves from the things and ways of the world. The Modern Christian mentality of becoming friends with the world is simply not God’s plan. He desires that Christians lift up Christ, to be a peculiar people zealous of good works. This act of Holiness will draw the lost world to God like a moth to a flame; are we not to be the light of the world?

Additional Reference Verses

Verses on God viewing all sin the same

Romans 1:29  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

2 Timothy 3:2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Galatians 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Colossians 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

1 Timothy 1:8  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Additional verses on Separation:

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

2 Corinthians 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

John 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

1 John 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

James 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Psalms 101:3  I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

Job 31:1  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

Job 31:7 If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;

Ephesians 4:29  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Psalms 1:1  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.

1 Corinthians 5:11  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Proverbs 22:24  Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

2 Corinthians 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Ephesians 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Amos 3:3  Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

2 John 1:9  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

Romans 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

James 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

1 Thessalonians 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Psalms 119:115  Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.