“And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (Luke 12:4-5 KJV)”
I’m my efforts to follow Christ, I find it’s not usually the atheist or the different world religions that hinders me in my walk with God.
No, it’s the people who are within my own family or friends, (especially those who knew me before I became a Christian.) It amazes me how the devil is able to use them so easily to try to convince me to compromise my beliefs in God and what the scripture teaches. (Even many who claim to be part of the Church, have fallen victim to this peer pressure.)
I’ve watch over the years how peer pressure can so easily change another person’s belief or, at least, hinder a person from doing or saying what the scripture says.
Sometimes they will even make it sound scriptural by misquoting or they misapply a Bible verse. For instance, they (the unbelievers) use, “love your neighbor”, when a Christian is trying to say that homosexuality is a sin and that people need to repent from it, if they want to enter into eternal life with God.
This is not a failure to love your neighbor. Yet, many will try to convince you that it is a failure or even hateful and that God loves them (the sinner) just the way they are. This is not true!
True, God loves them and Jesus died for them to have salvation. However, God has already judged that those who continue in a lifestyle of homosexuality (as well, a lifestyle of adultery or fornication) that if they do not repent (come out of it), that they will not enter the kingdom of God! Therefore, not telling them is the failure to love them!
They will even say, “we’re not to judge”. Again, this is incorrect and is an attempt to pressure you out of calling a sin, sin.
It is true, that we are not to judge in hypocrisy, pointing our finger when we ourselves are doing the same things in secret. However, there is nothing wrong with telling someone the judgments of God against sin or telling them what God calls sin (God still has a standard which he has called us to live by, Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we can remain in our sinful lifestyles.)
When all else fails, they will say, “everyone has sin”! Which is true to a point; everyone has been counted a sinner so that we all can have the same common salvation available to us through faith in Christ. The question isn’t whether or not, does everyone has sin, but what are you doing about it?
Continuing to live a lifestyle of sin is contrary to the word of God and is said to be of the devil. Remaining in a lifestyle of sin is not how someone is supposed to be living according to God’s grace.
The scriptures say, “if we sin” (which is speaking of someone who was cleansed of sin, but has now fallen back into a sin), that if we confess our sin and repent of it, then we will be cleansed!
Scripture also says we have an advocate (Jesus), who pleads our case for us, if we do fall into sin. The idea is we are to come out of it , not continue in it; and then we can be reconciled by Jesus our advocate.
Sometimes, if we don’t come around to their way of thinking, they will try to use threats of cutting off our relationship with them.
I remember once while out witnessing, a woman prayed and received Christ! Also, her son, (who was heavily involved in drugs); together they started coming to church. Their lives were changing and they enjoyed coming to fellowship with us in the Word of God!
One day they stopped coming, so we paid a visit to check up on them. She said she had to stop going to our church because her daughter, (who was a Jehovah Witness), told her she would never be able to see her grandkids again as long as she continued going to our church.
How strange; as long as her mother and brother were in a sinful lifestyle, it seemed it was ok for them to be around the children. But now it was important, if they were going to go to church, it had to be her church or they were going to be cut off!
Shortly after that, both the mother and her son were back into their old lifestyles. Yep, the devil knows how to use your family and friends against you, through fear of rejection and/or through peer pressure.
Who will you fear or follow when the pressure comes? (And it will come!) If you’re going to be fear motivated, who are you going to fear or obey? I hope you take Jesus’ words to heart and fear God!
“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21)”
Rejecting the peer pressure or not may very well become an eternal decision for you or for those around you whose lives hang in the balance, as they dwell in “The Valley of Decision”! (Joel 3:14)