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// #WHY? Jesus Christ Hung Out With #SINNERS? #explain #why #hang* 44K+ ↓↓   ↓

I remember when I was attempting to minister to a particular group of family members, who (at the time) were primarily interested in substance abuse. They were likewise abusive in their behavior, filthy in their speech, and obviously un-saved. I made it very clear that I was not going to get drunk or party with them, and I attempted to put up various boundaries, trying to protect myself while on what I felt was a ministry mission. At first, I believed that by continuing to display a loving Christian attitude while spending time with them (ministering), it would possibly lead to some sort of repentance on their part. My goal was to show that being a Christian is not only the right path, but a path where one must try to live a life without sinful behaviors - which is more than possible and also quite valid. I tried to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them. During these times, we (another Christian went with me) kept being exposed to all sorts of abuse: verbal, emotional, mental, and spiritual. We kept finding ourselves in places and situations that were unsafe. We were out-numbered and overruled in this environment, yet we kept going back again and again, hoping and praying that they might also repent and be saved.

Eventually, the time came when I started to question the situation with a new perspective. I started to realize that though it had been made very clear to them where we stood (our faith in Jesus Christ, and our chosen Biblical lifestyles), no matter how loving and kind we were, instead of finding them becoming more and more interested in a Christian way of living, they were getting less and less tolerant of us. The feeling was mutual.

I had originally felt led by God to keep trying to minister. However, I finally realized that what had originally been a ministry attempt had now turned into a situation where we were allowing ourselves to be victimized (in various ways) in an unsafe environment. We were being exposed to wickedness. Things had turned into a "stalemate" and it had finally gotten to the point where I felt it was not God’s will for me to keep going back.

After an incident in which I was unrighteously physically threatened by a drunken man, I was fed up; I’d had enough! Later on the phone, I confronted the host of these "family get-togethers" about what had happened, and how I could no longer hang out with people who were choosing to be substance abusers. She apologized to me for the threatening behavior. However, she then attempted to manipulate the situation by actually trying to use Jesus Christ Himself against me; proceeding to tell me how Jesus Christ "hung out with sinners". She basically (in her own words) attempted to convince me that in order for me to be a Christian, I needed to do what Jesus would do, which was to hang out with sinners, regardless of what that included.

At the time, I did not respond properly to this attempted manipulation. Telling me that Jesus hung out with sinners really threw me off because it seemed that she was actually owning up, admitting that their behavior was sinful. Also, she seemed to be right when stating that Jesus did hang out with sinners.

I think it’s safe to say that any Christian who attempts to minister may face this same manipulative attempt against their ministry. The claim that calling sinners into righteousness is null and void or that Christians should be "tolerant" of sin because Jesus Christ Himself hung out with sinners may be one of the most popular forms of attack against Christians. Perhaps you have even read teachings from new age leaders who have attempted to deceive people into thinking that Jesus Christ actually preferred sinners and unrighteous people to those who were living right for God. (That’s like saying that Jesus would rather spend His time in hell than in Heaven.) The point is, this whole situation is the work of the enemy, and we need to be properly prepared to handle it when it comes up.

Yes, Jesus Christ did hang out with sinners. Yes, He did hang out with those who were doing wrong in their life. HOWEVER, we must understand WHY. Jesus Christ was NOT hanging out with these people because He preferred them to the righteous. He was NOT hanging out with them because He enjoyed sinful behaviors. He was NOT hanging out with them because He wanted to be exposed to wickedness.

Mark 2:15-17 reads: "And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Jesus says: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." He proclaims His purpose is to call sinners to repentance. Repentance, meaning, to turn away from sin. At this calling, sinners then made a choice. They either recognized that they're living in sin, and then followed Jesus Christ in order to learn how to repent, change, and become Christians, OR they choose to reject the Gospel (reject Jesus) and stay in a sinful life, not following in the path of Christ.

So back to my story. Attempting to use Jesus Christ against me, trying to convince me to think that in order to be a good Christian I needed continue to hang out with sinners, was in fact, an anti-Christ attempt to deceive me into continuing to go and be exposed to sin and wickedness, being victimized by abuse in a unsafe environment by unsaved people who knew good and well where I stood, and yet were then unwilling to seek the path of Christ Jesus, repenting away from sin.

Eventually we quit going back and (unfortunately) it’s been years since we’ve heard from them. I'm reminded of the word of God which tells us that Christians will find the heavenly kingdom, but warns those who reject Christian ministers and the Gospel of Jesus Christ that they bring:

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." ( Mark 6:11).


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