In the Old Testament, we find one of the things that made God angrier than anything else was:
When his children embraced the behavior and gods of the world rather than the one true God. (Judges 2:1-2 and the WHOLE books of I & II Kings)
God’s people were not to accept the foreigner’s ways nor their gods. When they disobeyed God and sought other gods, their rebellion lasted, literally, for generations. (Judges 2:10-13)
It is human nature to imitate those we spend a lot of time with. When we lead in Christ, we say, ‘follow me as I follow Christ’ (I Corinth. 11:1). We are to live so strong for Jesus that those we associate with will imitate us and receive Christ as their savior. (Acts 26:18)
If your life in Christ is influencing your friend, the old falls away and Christ will begin to be seen in your friend’s speech, attitudes and interests. If not, then perhaps they’re influencing your life? (Proverbs 12:26) Evaluate yourself honestly.
Since your friendship began, have YOU changed? Do your attitudes and life choices continue to reflect Godly principles? If you are taking on the attitudes of the world, you need to find new friends–quickly. (I Corinthians 15:33)
The children of Israel failed to make this self ‘check’ and over and over, mixed the foreign gods of their friends with the one true God. (II Kings 17: 7-23) By doing this, they brought God’s wrath upon themselves.
God is a jealous God. Not because He is jealous as a man would be jealous but because He knows where those friendships can lead—and the Hell that awaits those who reject Him. Heaven welcomes those who love and serve the Lord, don’t choose to make an ash of yourself.
Deuteronomy 6: 13-15 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
Father, help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit; I want to know your ways. As I read your Word and spend time talking to you, teach me how to live a life pleasing to you. I love you. Amen.
Judges 2:1-2 The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this?
Judges 2:10-13 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
I Corinth. 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Acts 26:18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
I Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.
II Kings 17: 7-23 (long but worth the read)
7All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods 8 and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. 9 The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns.
10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger. 12 They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.”
13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”
16 They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20 Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.
21 When he tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king. Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the Lord and caused them to commit a great sin. 22 The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them 23 until the Lord removed them from his presence, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.