There are many popular sayings in the church world and often they have no basis in truth whatsoever. One such saying is that “Jesus is a friend to sinners.”
friend: a person attached to another by feelings of affection, liking, and loyalty; a supporter or ally; a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile.
Does Scripture support the belief that God is a friend of sinners? Not at all! Yet many – unknowingly it seems – espouse such things, even while considering themselves a “Christian”. They have forged a “god” based on their own imaginations who is nothing like the God of Scripture; so much so that the character of the true God offends them.
Much of the Christian contemporary music scene undergirds the image of this false god; an idol that feels really warm and fuzzy to man, but is based in falsehood. One such song is Casting Crowns – “Jesus, Friend Of Sinners” and another is “God is Not a White Man” by Gungor. Recently, someone contested this article by claiming that God is a friend to all and He loves everyone. Afterall, don’t we know that Jesus is a friend to sinners?
In the text of John 15:14, Jesus defines exactly who His friends are: those who obey Him. Do sinners obey God? No. They are by definition “children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2, 5:6; Colossians 3:6). Technically, we could end the discussion right there. Jesus makes it abundantly clear who qualifies to be His friend. However, let’s look at why Jesus is not a friend of sinners and where this idea comes from.
God doesn’t even hear sinners. Yet people want to claim that God is still a friend to sinners?? The saying that Jesus is a “friend to sinners” was not a teaching from God. Consider the absurdity of such a statement and its source.
The Jews knew that God was not a friend of the unrighteous, but that He was angry with the wicked “every day” and “hears not” sinners (Job 27:8-9; Micah 3:4; Psalm 7:11; 66:18; Proverbs 15:8, 29; Isaiah 1:15, 59:2).
They were accusing Jesus of having fellowship with darkness, which would make Him a partaker of that darkness (II Corinthians 6:14-18).
These same religious leaders also claimed that Jesus was Beelzebub and operating under the power of Satan. Should we lay claim to these statements as being true as well? So understand that claiming Jesus to be a “friend of sinners” was intended to disparage His righteousness. Yet, the question remains, is such a statement true?
If God is a friend to sinners – and we know that all have sinned – then He can logically have no enemies. Jesus being a friend of sinners requires that God is all sinners’ friend.
However, these leaders knew that there was a difference in Jesus’ interactions which excluded them and welcomed others. While Jesus was inviting to others, He was decidedly unfriendly to them (Matthew 3:7, 12:34, 23:1-38, 15:1-3, 15:14; Mark 7:5-7; Luke 3:7; John 2:15, 8:44).
Why was this? Because the religious leaders failed to bring forth fruit for repentance (Matthew 3:8; Mark 2:17; Luke 3:3-8, 5:32, 15:7). It is the quality of repentance that makes a sinner able to be received by God. Remember the two thieves on the cross. They were both sinners, but only one received salvation/fellowship with Christ.
“But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:13
Repentance is not a one time act or being sorry for a particular sin. True repentance is a turning of the heart so that we can see sin as God does. We are acknowledging that we must forsake sinful ways – all of them – and not pursue sin, but pursue righteousness. True repentance is seen in an attitude that abhors sin.
Jesus was not a friend to sinners, for even the religious leaders were sinners. He was a friend to those who acknowledged their sinful state and obeyed His call to repent. This is why the Scriptures say that Jesus was “separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26). The word separate here (the Greek word chōrizō) means “to separate, divide, part, put asunder, to separate one’s self from, to depart.”
The world (and even much of the church world) likes to paint a picture of Jesus cozying up to sinners as their best friend, but that is not a picture which Scripture supports. Jesus is only a friend to those who obey Him (John 15:14). He draws near only to the humble.
God has mercy on all, including sinners, but only gives grace to the humble. And salvation – through which we are reconciled with God and made His friend – comes by grace. Apart from repentance from sin, we are enemies of God and still in need of reconciliation and salvation from God.
What is so wrong with portraying God as a friend to sinners?
- It is a message that Jesus never taught.
- It is at odds with the Scripture.
- It turns men into Pharisees and Saducees.
A sinner who is also a “friend of God” has no need to repent and turn from sin because this concept convinces him that he is already acceptable to God. It tells man he is already “whole” with no need of a physician (Matthew 9:12). It blinds man to the need of repentance, which is the only way we are indeed made God’s friend, thereby condemning man’s soul to death.
You are not a friend of God if still in sin (Psalm 5:4-6; II Corinthians 6:14-16; Matthew 7:23-24; John 12:46; I John 1:6, 2:4).
The Good News to sinners is NOT that Jesus is your friend, but that you no longer have to be a slave to sin (Romans 6:1-22, 8:2-13; I John 3:8-10). You can be changed, and through that change you can be made a friend of God.
Casting Crowns the group that sings – “Jesus, Friend Of Sinners” and Gungor – the group which sings the blasphemous song “God is Not a White Man” had a BIG hit in recent years with the song “I am a Friend of God”. Who is a friend of God? To whom is this song directed? According to “God is Not a White Man” it is the atheists, charlatans, communists, lesbians, and terrorists…just to name a few. In fact, all the monetized contemporary christian groups are sold out to the devil!
Do you not see the web that is being woven, the anti-christ agenda being promoted? Are we so blind that we cannot perceive the false gospel used in these songs in order to blind people to their only hope of salvation from the world and from Hell?
Oh how the world perverts the things of God. We now have a Christian “god” promoted in song and in worship in churches all across the world who is no God at all, but works to destroy the very essence of who God is. The modern-day Pharisee is not the one calling sinners to repentance, but those claiming that such don’t need to repent!
Let your message be the message of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let you words be the first words of the Gospel. All else is false and the preaching of “another Jesus” (II Corinthians 11:4).
Are YOU a friend of sinners? Warning!
Luk 7:31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
Luk 7:32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
Luk 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
Luk 7:34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
Luk 7:35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.
Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Do you fear God thinking He is a friend of those He hates?
Psa 5:4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
Psa 5:6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
He is offering His love, big difference