The Party's Over
"You've already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it's time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don't understand why you don't join in with the old gang anymore. But you don't have to give an account to them. They're the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God Himself." 1 Peter 4:3-5, Message
At some point, everyone has to cross the line—the "I want my friends to like me; I don't want to seem judgmental; I want to keep a foot in both worlds" AND the "I want to please the Lord; I want to be free from my old life; I want to be on-fire for God" line. The sooner we cross that line—the better.
There is no getting around it. If we want to be a friend of God—we can't be friends with the ways of the world. We can still love the people in the world; but we can't hang with the old worldly crowd. If you've become a Christian and are still feeling the tentacles of the old party life trying to pull you back—cut those ties! Seriously—cut the ties and do it, today.
Make a decision to say good-bye to your old life—that means: your house is no longer party central, you need to flush the pot, throw out the paraphernalia, empty the vodka bottles, throw out the beer cans, burn a few old nasty magazines and books, pitch out a few ungodly CDs or DVDs, kick the live-in boy or girlfriend out and be done with your old life for good! And…know this…
Some of your old friends won't understand. They won't. It's a fact. They'll think you've gone off the religious deep end; they'll call you a "Jesus freak." They'll diss your Christian life, friends, church, Bible and Jesus. They'll try to woo you back to the immoral, party life with all sorts of amazing reasons you don't need to be so 100% Christian. Don't fall for it. Stay strong in the Lord. Your life will be better and eventually the fruit of your life in Christ will far surpass all of the best days of your old life put together!
Listen, what you and your friends don't know is that there is a judgment to come. Many of them have been deceived into thinking they can live a completely godless life, pray for God's blessings and then die one day and just waltz into heaven as if they've known the Lord and served as an altar girl or boy their whole lives. That's not how it works and one day there will be a very sad and rude awakening for a lot of people who have not surrendered to the lordship of Jesus!
That's why it's important for you to leave that old life, stay strong in the Lord and blaze a trail for your friends to follow and find Christ! Love your old friends, but don't get entangled with their way of life any longer. Stay committed to the Lord and His Word. Over time, your friends will observe God's blessings in your life and see your personal witness and hopefully they will be drawn to follow Jesus!
Reread First Peter 4:3-6 and make some decisions, today.
"You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy — their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. Of course, your former friends are very surprised when you no longer join them in the wicked things they do, and they say evil things about you. But just remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead."
Say It: "Father, I make a decision to cross the line today. I am done with that old immoral, wild, addictive party-life. Jesus is the Lord of my life. Help me to be strong in the Lord and let my life in Christ be a light for my friends so that they, too, come to know Jesus. In Jesus' Name. Amen."