by Neil Anderson
DO NOT BE DECEIVED
1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals"
Is it really possible for Christians to deceive themselves? Yes, it is very possible. We deceive ourselves when we think the unrighteous will inherit the kingdom of God. I heard about a young Christian woman who was living in a lesbian relationship and asserting, "My lifestyle doesn't make any difference. God loves me and I'm forgiven." But 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, states, "Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God." Living a brazenly sinful life is strong evidence of an unrighteous standing before God. You are deceived if you believe that your lifestyle does not need to line up with your profession.
We also deceive ourselves when we think we can continually associate with bad company and not be corrupted (1 Corinthians 15:33). When I was a young Christian, I used to listen to records by an evangelist in New Orleans who was called "the Bourbon Street preacher." This man lived in the red-light district and claimed to have a ministry to prostitutes and other questionable characters. But according to 1 Corinthians 15:33, anyone who stays in that environment too long will get into trouble. And that's just what happened to this evangelist. He became so entangled with the seedy side of Bourbon Street that he eventually lost his ministry.
Does this mean that we shouldn't minister to those with bad morals? No, we must share Christ with them. But if we immerse ourselves in their environment, our ministry will eventually diminish and our morality will be affected for the worse. John wrote, "Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning" (1 John 3:7, 8).
Stay anchored in God's Word and don't be deceived.
Father, forgive me for little compromises I have made with the world. I desire to live in complete harmony with my profession of faith
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