I have a slight problem that I don't think I know how to fix, and this is concerning one of my family members. He has been having sex with his girlfriend for a while now, and one day I stumble on to it (don't ask me how and they don't know I know). Well, I don't really know how to approach them. I remember a passage in the Bible that says that if I didn't warn them of their sins first, they will not be condemned and it will be on my head. Well, frankly, I have no idea to approach either them.
It's really awkward to go up and talk to him about it especially since I don't talk to him much anyway. He seems to like to keep things private. What makes it even worse is that he used to be a Christian, but later lost faith and now he doesn't believe in the Bible or God anymore. In fact, when I bring up the conversation about Christianity, he's quite "blunt" and even sometimes attacks my faith.
Well, his girlfriend was raised as a Christian, and to my knowledge still is a Christian right now. This is my problem. Since they all are Christian or used to be, they know perfectly what it said in the Bible about sex and about sins. So what should I do?
Approaching them in my knowledge right now doesn't seem good as I lost in every argument with him when it comes to religion. My church told me to pray for each of them, and also try to address the issue, but I really don't know how to, especially if they already know it's a sin. It seems useless if I approach them, and it seems like I'm not responsible if I don't at least warn them. By the way, I think he really would get mad if I messed with his private life, especially if it's with his girlfriend whom he loves very much and religion that he has despised since a long time ago. So I don't really know what to do. On the one hand, it doesn't seem to be my place to judge whether what they do is right or not and to do anything about it in any way. But on the other hand, I'm scared about their accountability before God.
What does the Bible say about this and what insight can you give me about this situation? Sorry about such a long message, but it seems like I should describe the details of the situations first.
Also, a slight thing has been on my mind lately, it seems as though most of my friends are not Christian. Of course, it's not a sin to be friends with non-believers, but I ask them to come to church with me and they said no. Should I keep pressing on the matter, or what should I do?
You recall the passage but not accurately.
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul" (Ezekiel 3:17-21).
God holds a person responsible for their own sins. "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20). So whether you warn this family member or not, he will have to face the consequences of his own sins. However, God also makes a man responsible for helping his fellow man. If you warn this man of his sin and he doesn't change, then his status before God remains the same, but at least he was given an opportunity to change. If he does listen to you, then you helped to rescue a soul from death.
In other words, choosing not to give a person an opportunity to repent from his sins is a sin in itself. Whether you "win" or not is not the issue. The question is whether you will stand up for God and His way.
Since this is a sensitive issue, you need to be sensitive in your approach. "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (II Timothy 2:24-26).
The best approach is to get the other person to think accurately about his situation. Tell this man something like, "I worried about you and your girlfriend. You tell me that you love her, but it looks like you're getting all the benefits without giving anything back to her in return. So why don't you marry her like God says you ought to do?" The passage I'm basing this on is I Corinthians 13:4-8, in particular, it says that love is kind, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, and thinks no evil. In committing fornication, this man is demonstrating that he really doesn't love this woman. His seeking of sex is to satisfy himself. Since he is "anti-God," I wouldn't bring up the actual passage unless he asks for evidence that you know what you are talking about.
Plan on making just that one point. Don't think you are going to get him to agree with you or that he will suddenly stop his fornication. But each time you see an opportunity where he could make his life better, don't hesitate to use that moment to mention something based on what the Scriptures teach. For instance, you might later ask, "What is going to happen if you get this girl pregnant?" By chipping away at the weakness of his self-justification, you might get him to reconsider. Then again, he might tell you to back off. In that case, you can at least live with yourself knowing that you gave it a good try.
The same goes for your non-Christian friends. Invite them when something comes up that they may be interested in, but don't get disappointed when they turn you down. Just say, "Well, maybe another time." Meanwhile, you are setting an example for them of how a Christian lives and handles life. You never know, the little things you say and do might one day germinate into an interest in God and His word.