If that is the case, how do we reconcile the fact that Jesus deliberately spent time with sinners? Certainly we should follow Christ’s example and befriend lost people with the hope of sharing the gospel with them. So how do we develop relationships with the very people we are cautioned to avoid in other places in Scripture? Well, the solution is not as complicated as we might think. It is possible to befriend someone while not condoning or participating in certain activities that person participates in. The people in our lives that do not know Christ should at least know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we do know Christ. There should never be an inkling of doubt in our actions or words that would call into question where we stand in the gospel.
In 1 Corinthians 9: 22 Paul says, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.” This is an often misunderstood and misapplied verse that is twisted to advocate unbiblical pragmatism in evangelism. That is not what Paul is saying. Likewise, the verse in no way means we become worse sinners in order to save those who are still slaves to sin. This is especially important in the area of “Missionary Dating.” Missionary Dating is the idea of a Christian man or woman dating a non-Christian member of the opposite sex with the goal of witnessing to them so that they might be saved. The simple truth is that it rarely works. We should certainly befriend a person, but we should not get intimately involved with a non-believer. If you are single, a prerequisite of any potential date should be that they know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If we will lift high the banner of Christ and make his name known, there will never be any doubt about where we stand. Our friends who do not know Christ will respect us for it and may come to know Jesus through our testimony.