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What does the bible say about socialising with Christians who keep making the same sins?
Thank you for this interesting question. The Bible does speak into this issue and I hope to show that in this answer.
I think it is important to address this from a place of humility. Are any of us completely free from temptation to sin and falling into sinful behaviour on this earth? Are any of us perfect? Sadly no and this is only going to come in the next life when Jesus returns. Until then we must be careful about judging others:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye (Matthew 7:1-6).
If once you have checked your motives and dealt with any sin in your own life, and you feel convicted to challenge someone else about their sin, it can be viewed in different ways. If the person is sinning against you: One of the key verses is found in Matthew 18:15-20
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them"
Here Jesus is giving clear guidelines as to what to do if someone sins against you. If they are not sinning against you there may be other ways to deal with the situation. If they are just generally sinning, I believe there are two ways to view this that both involve loving the person:
Option A is to love the person and stay with them, over time trying to show them their sin and how it may be leading them away from Jesus. If someone is acting like an unbeliever, then treat them like one: love them. For example, my own brother says he is a believer but is living a life of sin. I cannot stop seeing my brother without huge negative social effects on my family. Instead I pray that when I see him that God will give me an opportunity to speak into his life and to love him. I have challenged him on the issue and he knows how I feel about his life choices. The examples of similar things can be found in the scriptures:
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbour (Galatians 6:1-4)
It appears that we must always try and reconcile the person to Christ. It may though come to a point where the person is not willing to change and then it is okay to stop trying.
Option B is to stop seeing the person altogether. This could show them how much you love them, showing them how much the sin hurts you and God. This can be difficult to implement and understand.
As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned (Titus 3:10-11)
It appears that a lot of careful prayer, considering, more prayer and wise counsel are needed on this subject; do not try to live the Christian life alone. Do it with the help of the Church and the Church leaders. Make sure your motives are pure. If you can continue to see them and love them without being tempted to sin yourself then perhaps do so. If you cannot handle it, and have tried to win them for Christ, I have no problem to encourage you to let them go out of your life for a time. Be aware however that each situation is unique and personal. Get the Church involved and pray, pray, pray!
I know right now that if I were living in sin, I would want someone to challenge me about it. This is true love; to tell someone the truth. If I ever go away from Christ I have asked people to challenge me, to remind me of what Jesus has done for me on the cross, to give me hope and peace.
I would probably always lean on the side of keep on loving people, spending time with them and sharing the good news with them. It may get to the stage though where stronger plans are needed. Finally, consider these amazing verses:
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:11-21)
I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey:
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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