Question: “How do I best approach hanging out with friends who are non-believers?”
Answer: This is an important topic because every believer faces this issue. There are some people who take the view that believers should not have any relationship with unbelievers. This view leads to legalism and spiritual high mindedness that is similar to the self righteous attitude displayed by the religious teachers in Jesus day. There are others who take the opposite view and teach that believers are to be as culturally relevant and tolerant as possible in order to be accepted by unbelievers. I believe these are extreme methods to the solution. We will always be around unbelievers. People who get saved later in life have established friendships with unbelievers that have a long history and many shared experiences. I think it’s illogical for believers to completely cut out relationships with unbelievers just because they do not yet understand the gospel. Here are some tips about being around unbelievers.
- Avoid sinning for the sake of having fellowship with unbelievers. For example, if hanging out with your friends includes smoking, drinking, or other sin, then you should avoid those things entirely. Look to spend time with your friends outside of those things.
- Share what you have discovered about the gospel early and often. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Often times those never come. Instead, share what you have learned about the gospel with your friend as something very important to you. If they are your friend then they should be willing to at least listen to what you’ve come to understand.
- Learn how to properly give a testimony. Here is a good outline. Tell them what you used to believe you had to do to get to Heaven. Then, tell them what you found out about getting to Heaven. Finally, tell them what you did after you found out the right way to get to Heaven. This is a simple approach and will lead you into a natural conversation starter about the gospel.
- Invite your friends to church events like a prayer meeting or Bible study. This is a great way to get them to see what you have discovered and generate talking points after the meetings.
- Understand that some people in your lives will not be willing to accept what you believe. That is ok. Be kind, be open to discussion, and pray for them to come to the understanding of the truth.
Psalms 1:1-6 gives a clear warning about those who walks in the counsel of the ungodly. He will not be stable and will lead himself into serious trouble. I would advise you to be careful what you do with your unbelieving friends. You do not have to cut them out of your life or participate in their sin. You need to win them to Christ. I hope this helps!