Should you even be there?


Introduction: (We are often faced with opportunities to participate in things that are questionable. There are certain activities we know to be sinful. But sometimes we want to engage in "fringe activities" that don t actually embrace these absolute areas but may involve us in being present where they happen. Follows are some examples and guiding principles that will help us understand what we should and shouldn t do.)

I. Questionable Situations: (There are many situations that involve obvious wrong. But some circumstances are not as obviously wrong to some disciples. As we examine different questionable situations and look at the idea of going but not participating, we will ask the question; "Should you even be there?")

    1. Going To Dances: Gal. 5:19-21, Mt. 5:28 (The Bible condemns lasciviousness [lewd actions, motions, etc.] and lustful thoughts. Some types of dancing leave no question. They definitely involve these things and are wrong. Is there no kind of social dancing that is okay? Look at these verses.)

    2. Going To Bars: Eph. 5:18, Prov. 23:29-32, Prov. 20:1, Prov. 23:20, Isa. 5:11-14 (The Bible clearly condemns drunkenness and its habitual nature. Going places to participate in that is undeniably wrong. But what about going to drink moderately or just to socialize. Is that always wrong? Read these verses.)

    3. Going To Worldly Parties: Eph. 5:1-6, I Cor. 6:9-10 (Certain sinful activities that are generally associated with wild parties are definitely wrong. But what about parties that are not quite as wild, or going but not participating. Is it ever okay to go to these kinds of places? What do these verses say?!)

II. Guiding Principles: Prov. 6:27-28 (These guiding principles from God s word will help you to understand that some of these situations are wrong in themselves, that you shouldn t even be there, much less participating. This will show how that when you dabble in these things you are "playing with fire".)

    1. Reputation: Prov. 22:1 (A good reputation is priceless. You need to consider what your presence in certain situations will do to your reputation.)

    2. Reveling And Banquetings: I Pet. 4:3 (Wild parties and drinking parties are wrong, even if you don t participate in the sinful extremes. If you are going to "stand firm and refuse to go over the line" why even be there? Just leave it alone.)

    3. Evil Association: I Cor. 15:33, Prov. 22:24-25, Prov. 29:3 (Associating with evil people will rub off on you. You can t completely avoid evil people [I Cor. 5:10], but you don t have to go to questionable places where they hang out either!)

    4. Rebuke: Eph. 5:11 (You must not associate with evil works. Instead you must rebuke them. Can you participate on a moderate level in these things and obey this command to rebuke what happens in these places?)

III. Forgetting God: Rom. 1:21, 28 (Living in sinful situations tends to make you forget about God. Forgetting God doesn t happen over night. It can involve a slow process of gradually increasing your involvement in questionable activity until you cross the line and are gone.) II Tim. 3:1-5 (When you toy with sin, you run the risk of becoming the type of person that loves pleasure more than God.)

IV. God Forgetting You: Rom. 1:24, 26, 28 (You may participate in these things and insist you haven t given up on God. Has the thought ever occurred to you God may have given you up because you have slipped into sin?)

Conclusion: Jas. 4:7-10 (You may be able to find an example of where you can go to a place where sinful things are happening and not participate, but you need to wonder if you should even be there. It might be that your very presence there violates the above principles and is, therefore, sinful)