What is fellowship? Genuine fellowship indicates a communion or spiritual union between like-minded and like-hearted people. For a believer, our deepest fellowship can only take place with Christians who are as committed to the Lord and as mature in their walk of faith as we are. How can light ever cooperate with darkness?
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Cor 6:14 NIV)
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (Jas 4:4) Don’t be so committed to friendships with unbelievers that you become lukewarm in your faith. Don’t learn to love the world’s ways.
Do not gather my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, 10 in whose hands is a sinister scheme, and whose right hand is full of bribes. (Ps 26:9-10) Unbelievers may want to engage in behavior or activities in which no Christian would take part.
But they mingled with the Gentiles [nations] and learned their works . . . (Ps 106:35) Associating with unbelievers can teach us habits which are not pleasing to the Lord, or may even lead us into an area of temptation.
I am a companion of all who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts. (Ps 119:63) Rather, it is far better for us and for our friends if we are both Christians and brothers/sisters in the Lord. Because we believe God’s Word and we choose to obey His Word and His Spirit, we can encourage one another in faith and in good works.
This article is not teaching against evangelism by any means. If you develop a friendship with someone in order to share your testimony with them, then you have embarked upon a holy purpose. But if the person doesn’t accept the Lord as their Savior, then one might consider changing the status of that relationship to an acquaintance. It would be appropriate to continue, in a spirit of love, to share unfolding testimonies with the person, or to invite them to church-related events where they would be exposed to other believers and opportunities to hear the Gospel.
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. 20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned. (Eph 4:17-20 NIV) The fact is that unsaved people, no matter how nice they are or how much fun they may be, have no sensitivity to the spiritual realm or to the Spirit of God. They are darkened in their understanding of spiritual things because spiritual things are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:14)
True fellowship walks in the light as He is in the light. (1 Joh 1:5-7)