How Should Christians Relate With Unbelievers?
Categories: Bible Study, Emotional Health, Inspirational, Mental Health,
Every day, we speak to, talk with, transact business and relate with unbelievers. How should Christians relate with unbelievers that will not be a violation of the Godly lives we are supposed to live as Christians.
There is an instruction for believers not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, 2 Corinthians 6;14.
However, in the great commission that Jesus gave before his ascension, he instructed us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel Mark 16:15. If we must fulfill this mandate, then we must relate with them.
This means that Christians should be on good terms with unbelievers, but there should be a limit to how close the relationship should get.
How should Christians relate to unbelievers?
In relating with unbelievers, we should model Jesus.
Be Kind To Unbelievers
Jesus was kind to unbelievers, he had compassion for them. All the people Jesus healed in the four gospels were unbelievers.
Matthew 22:37-39 KJV
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The word neighbor is gotten from the Greek word plesion, which means any other person.
Where two people are concerned, Jesus used the word to refer to any other person irrespective of their religion. Jesus further explained this in Luke 10:30-37.
Jesus discussed and ate with unbelievers to an extent that he was called a friend of sinners, and other names, Matthew 11:19. Jesus taught his disciples to be kind to the unkind, Matthew 5:43-48.
In Luke 19, Zacchaeus, a man that people hated, who was a sinner, invited Jesus to his home, and Jesus accepted the invitation.
Jesus came for the unsaved, if we neglect them, how exactly are they going to hear the gospel and receive salvation?
Jesus did not give conditions before doing good to sinners, we should reflect our heavenly father.
By so doing, our light would shine on earth to the glory of God, Matthew 5:16.
Seize Any Opportunity To Share The Gospel With Them
2 Corinthians 4:3-5 KJV
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
Unbelievers reject the gospel because their minds have been blinded by the devil.
We should pray for them, and keep reaching out to them with the gospel because we have an assignment to reconcile men to God.
1 Corinthians 9:16-25 KJV
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!  For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.  What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.  For though I be free from all men , yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.  And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;  To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.  To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men , that I might by all means save some.  And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you .  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
The believer in Christ must be skillful in communicating the gospel, irrespective of the conversation at hand, or the activity.
One should be able to switch from sport, fashion, culture, history, to the gospel of Christ.
The gospel does not have to be spiced or recreated, the gospel is enough, it is the power of God to save.
2 Corinthians 5:16-19 KJV
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
We might be tempted to be quiet about the gospel in order not to lose or offend people, but the gospel must be preached, we are not men-pleasers, we will rather please God than men.
How close should an unbeliever get?
As much as we are to love and be compassionate to unbelievers, a line must be drawn.
Unbelievers Should Not Be Your Close Friends
Love can be unconditional, but relationships should not be, unbelievers should not be our close friends.
If they are our colleagues at work or classmates at school, it does not have to be more than that. We can still reach out to them with the gospel, without creating a close relationship.
Evil communication corrupts good manners. Making an unbeliever your close friend can result in sudden changes you didn't see coming.
Man is a product of influence, unbelievers should not be kept close, as this can hinder a believer from fulfilling God's purpose of ministry in his or her life.
Starting a relationship that could lead to marriage with an unbeliever for what so ever reason is a No!
In a previous article, I have explained why Christians should not date or marry unbelievers, you should read that too.
Unbelievers Should Not Be Your Judge
When issues arise between believers, an unbeliever must not be involved, many believers can resolve conflicts. It is shameful to the body of Christ for believers to be laid bare before unbelievers.
1 Corinthians 6:1-7 KJV
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
Lastly, we should be good to all men, but those in the body of Christ should be considered first.
Galatians 6:10 KJV
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men , especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
In our everyday lives, we tend to relate with unbelievers, in business, at work, in school, in the marketplace, we are to be good to them, reflecting our heavenly father, because they are people that Jesus died for, they are only yet to accept it, and as long as they're alive, they still have the chance to be saved.
If we ignore them because they are unbelievers, we will not be acting like our father who died for us when we were yet sinners, Romans 5:6-8. If we turn our backs on them, how will they hear the gospel?
Romans 10:14 KJV
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
We are ambassadors of Christ on earth, and should always make use of opportunities to deliver men from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
Matthew 28:18-20 KJV
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
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