Jul 13

Joshua Harris Answers a Question

2006 at 12:45 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

(Hey, Nicole here. No, we didn’t play hookie today. Our webhosting service was down most of the day, until just a couple of minutes ago. I’m putting up this post for Mom because, of course, she went to bed a long time ago. In fact, she should be waking up before long! I, on the other hand, drank too much Cherry Coke at dinner and can’t go to sleep. So I’m awake to put this post up for you night owls and our international friends. Lord willing, we’ll see you again tomorrow!) Also this past Sunday, our senior pastor, Joshua Harris preached a powerful message entitled, “What it Costs to Follow Christ,” derived from Luke 14:25-35. At one point during his sermon, he addressed a question he commonly receives: “Is my relationship with this non-Christian guy OK?” We’ve been asked this question as well, so we have transcribed his wise answer for you here:

“Because of the topics that I’ve taught on in the past and the books that I’ve written, there have been so many occasions when I have encountered young men and women who are in a relationship with a person that is not a believer in Jesus Christ. And this seems to be in particular young women who will come, and they’ll talk about their desire to live for Jesus and to give their life to Him. But there’s this guy in the picture. And there is a relationship that has been formed, and there are affections, and there is a growing love for this person. But this person is going in the opposite direction from their Savior. And they’re often confused, and they’re often distraught and they often don’t know what to do. And when you quote the passage about not being ‘unequally yoked’—this kind of picture from agriculture and cows and stuff, just really isn’t doing anything for them. ‘Yoke. Cows. What? He’s so cute—what does that have to do with a cow, you know?’ And they’ll often have a desire to try to care for this guy. They don’t want to hurt his feelings. They think they can reach him with the gospel, and they’ll just stay in this relationship.” “And what I say each and every time is: ‘You’re facing a choice. If you are truly a follower of Jesus Christ, then you must choose Jesus and you must turn your back on that guy. In fact, if you have a desire for him to see the reality of Jesus Christ, the most loving thing that you can do is show him that you are more committed to Jesus than you are to him. If you want to show that guy that God is real, then obey the God who is real and choose Him over this relationship –with a person that doesn’t know Him, doesn’t follow Him, doesn’t obey Him. Those are hard words, but those are the words of Jesus.’”

Whether you are a new believer or a seasoned Christian, I would encourage you to listen to Josh’s whole sermon. You will experience fresh encouragement and provocation as you follow Christ.