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Is Jesus a Friend of Sinners?
There are many buzzwords in the church system today such as ‘unconditional love’ and ‘unity’ that are flags loved to be waved high. Unfortunately, many have conformed to the notion that Jesus is a friend of sinners. Therefore, in order to show God’s love, we must do the same by befriending them. However, a closer look into this ideology reveals that it is not part of the Gospel message at all, but is a tool to get people to conform to the man-driven church system rather than becoming living temples of the Holy Spirit.
When Paul preached the Gospel to the religious pagans in Athens in the midst of Mars Hill, he didn’t wait to become friends first to share his beliefs, but boldly spoke truth about their idolatry and need to repent.
You cannot be called an evangelist if your purpose is not to first bring the Gospel, but rather be friends with the world. This is an absurd method to abide by and not how the apostles conducted their evangelism, nor what they taught among the early ekklesia.
This does not mean we are to ignore developing friendships, but to grow in a relationship takes time and this is something that we do not all have. It should be important to understand that friendships are not a necessity to bringing the Gospel message.
A Different Christ
The problem within the church system is the picture that they have painted of Christ that does not line up with what Scripture says about him. What most of the indoctrinated say and do are simply parroting what their church pastors have told them. Unfortunately, they have never searched the Scriptures to see if what they are saying is true. The popular phrase, ‘Jesus is a friend of sinners’ is not true. The phrase is cloaked in something that seems noble, but is actually a marketing ploy to fill church pews.
‘Jesus is a friend of sinners’ can be found in Scripture, but in the right context was actually used to discredit him. To say that Christ is not a friend of sinners will probably bring offence to many, but personal feelings on the matter will not change this truth.
By looking into Scripture, it will reveal a counterfeit Gospel that that those in the church system are promoting today.
Who Are Jesus' Friends?
Ye are my friends, IF ye do whatsoever I command you. – John 15:14
It should be quite clear who Christ defines who his friends are. They are those who obey him.
Do sinners obey Christ’s commands?
No, they don’t. Sinners are referred to as children of disobedience.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE - Ephesians 2:2
For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE: - Colossians 3:6
A further in depth look as to why Christ is not a friend of sinners is further revealed in this following verse.
Now we know that GOD HEARETH NOT SINNERS: - John 9:31
The origin of the phrase, ‘Jesus is the friend of sinners’ came from the mouths of corrupted religious leaders of Christ’s day.
And when the PHARISEES saw it, they said unto his disciples, WHY EATETH YOUR MASTER WITH PUBLICANS AND SINNERS? – Matthew 9:11
The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, BEHOLD A MAN GLUTTONOUS, AND A WINEBIBBER, A FRIEND OF PUBLICANS AND SINNERS. – Matthew 11:19
But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, WHY DO YE EAT AND DRINK WITH PUBLICANS AND SINNERS? – Luke 5:30
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, BEHOLD A GLUTTONOUS MAN, AND A WINEBIBBER, A FRIEND OF PUBLICANS AND SINNERS! – Luke 7:34
Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, THIS MAN RECIEVETH SINNERS, AND EATETH WITH THEM. – Luke 15:1-2
And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That HE HAS GONE TO BE GUEST WITH A MAN THAT IS A SINNER. – Luke 19:7
By carefully examining the context of these verses, it reveals that it was the religious leaders that were wrongly accusing Christ of having fellowship with darkness. If you want to believe that Jesus is a friend of sinners, then it would follow that he is also a glutton and a winebibber. We should know that this is not true.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD? – James 4:4
The Fruit of Repentance
Christ welcomed those who brought forth the fruit of repentance, but excluded those who didn’t.
The fruit of repentance is abhorring sin and forsaking its ways.
If God is a friend to sinners, knowing that all have sinned, then how can He have any enemies?
Think about it. Christ being a friend to sinners requires that his Father is also a sinners’ friend.
We should know that He isn’t. That is why Christ said,
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? -Matthew 12:34
Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? – Matthew 15:3
This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. – Mark 7:6-7
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. – John 8:44
A Tainted Picture
The picture that is painted in the church system today portrays Christ as cozying up to sinners and being their ‘homeboy’ and ‘BFF’ (best friend forever). This is unsupported in Scripture. What is supported is that Christ is only friends to those who obey his Father with a humble heart. By portraying Christ as a friend of sinners is portraying a message that he never taught.
Sinners who believe that they are friends of God have no need to repent and turn from sin because they are convinced that they are already acceptable to Him. Many are deceived that church membership equates to being accepted by Christ when it is really about the acceptance of man and their traditions.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: NEITHER SHALL EVIL DWELL WITH THEE. – Psalm 5:4
BE YE NOT UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14
I am come a light into the world, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON ME SHOULD NOT ABIDE IN DARKNESS. – John 12:46
Do not buy into the false gospel that is conveyed from the pulpits within the church system. The Good News is about being no longer a slave to sin, not that ‘Jesus is the friend of sinners.’’ It is only through the genuine Christ that we have access to becoming a friend of God.
For if he that cometh PREACHETH ANOTHER JESUS, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or ANOTHER GOSPEL, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. – 1 Corinthians 11:4
The Purpose of the Gospel Message
The purpose of Christ in the Gospel message is that he came to save the lost and set them free. True believers are those who accept the love of the Father through Christ by repenting of the ways of the world. The true Gospel is in direct contrast with being a friend to sinners. That is why we don’t see Paul, Peter, John, Matthew, etc, joining in the chorus of false accusers that stated that Jesus was friend of sinners like the Pharisees did.
For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, SEPARATE FROM SINNERS, and made higher than the heavens – Hebrews 7:26
It should be clear and evident in John 15:14 who Christ’s friends are (those who obey him).
Many believe that being a friend to the sinner is showing Christ’s love for that person. A lot of people do not understand the accurate context of love; therefore, they embrace the false doctrine of being friends with the the world. Often, having genuine love for someone requires the action that others may not see as loving.
In Luke 7:36-50, Christ was in a Pharisee’s home and a woman who was a sinner came and washed his feet. The Pharisees tried to discredit him when he allowed her to do this, but what they did not understand was that this woman was in the process of conversion (repentance) from a being a sinner to the way of salvation. The woman’s action showed her humble and broken heart towards Jesus.
And he said to the woman, THY FAITH HAS SAVED THEE; go in peace. – Luke 7:50
The woman was a sinner before her experience with Christ. All are sinners too until we have victory over our sins. The Pharisees were blind to what Christ was doing. It should be obvious that before the woman’s conversion that Christ was not hanging out with her, nor was he her friend. He did not try to build some relationship bridge first before he could convert her. Likewise, just as Paul preached the Gospel to the religious pagans in Athens in the midst of Mars Hill for the first time, he didn’t wait to become friends with them first to share his beliefs.
The Intent of the Gospel
When we look at Christ’s example of associating with sinners, we see that he did visit and dine with them, but it was with the intent to preach the Gospel. If our intention is to do the same, then we would be aligning with Christ, but if our intention is to become friends with sinners, then it is not the Gospel. You cannot call yourself an evangelist unless your purpose first and foremost is to bring the Gospel message.
Is becoming a relationship bridge (friendship) more important than boldly proclaiming the Gospel?
Those who boldly proclaimed the Gospel in Scripture were persecuted for it. Most don’t understand that proclaiming truth will be an offence to many. The apostles never went out first to try to make friends because the Gospel is not about being friends to sinners, but about repentance and turning from sin.
Why do most people believe that friendship is a prerequisite to salvation?
We cannot save anyone because the Gospel is about what Christ has done. We cannot add to it.
Be ye not UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and WHAT AGREEMENT HATH THE TEMPLE OF GOD WITH IDOLS? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPARATE, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Righteousness has no part with lawlessness. There is no harmony with Christ and Satan. The temple of the living God has nothing in common with idolatry. A believer has nothing in common with an unbeliever.
Most religious sheeple want to believe that they have something in common with the unbeliever. Those in the church system falsely promote that being a follower of Christ is an all-inclusive journey, but the message in Scripture is that it is exclusive. That is why, ‘Jesus is a friend of sinners’ doctrine advocates towards universalism.
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 4:4
Christ said that his friends are those who obey him.
Do you believe what he said?
Either you believe or you are in contradiction with his words. He has told us what will happen on judgement day.
And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, ye that work iniquity. – Matthew 7:23
Sinners are Rebellious People
Sinners are disobedient, rebellious and lawless people. Matthew 7:23 reveals that Christ is denying his so-called friends. Many see this as being unfriendly because it is easier to accept and believe in the universal Jesus who is friends with everyone.
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and DO NOT OBEY THE TRUTH, BUT OBEY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, INDIGNATION AND WRATH – Romans 2:5-8
Those who do not obey the truth are not accepted; therefore, they are not friends of Christ.
The Gospel is about reaching to as many as possible with compassion in your heart for the hurt and the lost.
True friends are people who we have harmony, partnership, agreement and things in common with. It is only after the sinner repents as a response to the mercy of God that friendship with Him is possible. The contrast in James 4:4 is crystal clear. The only two men who were attested to be friends of God were Moses (Exodus 33:11) and Abraham (James 2:23). It did not come from the mouths of the Pharisees.
Scripture does not contradict itself. Christ wasn’t the friend of sinners, but towards those who were humble. If he was the friend of sinners, then he would have been the friend of the Pharisees who he considered the worst sinners who called them liars, murderers and thieves.
If Christ is the eternal judge of unbelievers, then why would you say that he is everybody's friend?
It is putting the cart before the horse. The true Gospel is about repenting of our sins and then receiving the friendship of God through Christ. It is impossible for it to be the other way around unless Scripture is twisted. The modern church has become apostate because of the false Gospel that they are promoting. It is all about getting as many of your friends as you can into the false antichrist man-driven church system.
The genuine Gospel is not about going into temples made with man’s hands, but about becoming living temples of the Holy Spirit.
The promotion of friendship and unity within the church system is compromising and superficial and has nothing to do with being in one accord with Christ.
Are you the friend of sinners?
If Jesus is a friend of sinners, then it would mean that he is sinner-friendly. The Pharisees knew that if they could pin a sin on him then that would make him a sinner and not a Saviour.
What many people don’t realize is that they are repeating the accusations of the Pharisees in saying that 'Jesus is a friend of sinners.' They are not going by the words of Jesus, nor are they going by the words of his disciples.
Who did Jesus call sinners?
He called the Pharisees sinners.
Was he their friend?
I don’t think so.
In fact, he called them snakes, vipers, whitewashed tombs, sons of Hell and sons of Satan to name a few.
Furthermore, Christ’s favourite word for the Pharisee was hypocrites. He was not sinner-friendly. We need to obey the words of Christ, not the lies of the Pharisees.
In his own words, Jesus said, ‘You are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ - John 15:14
Take note there is a condition (if) in his words.
Christ commanded all to repent from their sin, effectively making them workers of righteousness, not sinners thus qualifying them to be a friend of Jesus, but also a friend of God. Sinners do not heed the commands of Jesus and this disqualifies them from being his friend.
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