Persecution for your Christian beliefs can be beneficial.
Most of us who have been Christians for any length of time have run into situations where, because of our trust in Jesus Christ, we have been sneered at, laughed at, or worse. Yet, even though the comments were meant to be hurtful, they are actually, ultimately, a “blessing” to us. And instead of cowering in, we are to continue to be bold in our testimonies of what God has done for us.
Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
Yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies. —Psalm 119:157
. . . the righteous are bold as a lion. —Proverbs 28:1
Persecution is also an evidence of Godly living. When you stand up for Jesus, you become a target:
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. —2 Timothy 3:12
So, be thankful if you are persecuted.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials . . . —James 1:2
. . . love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you . . . —Matthew 5:44
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. —Romans 12:14
My boyfriend and I are both 22 and are living together as roommates. We have separate sleeping quarters and we don’t have sex, at all. We are living together because I don’t make enough money to live by myself and thought that we could be roommates. We’ve been successfully living together now, sex free, for six months. We plan to get married soon but are trying to save enough money to attend to everything.
We haven’t found anything in the Bible that says that what we are doing is wrong. I believe that we’re secure enough in our faith to continue to love one another without LOVING one another. I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with us living in the same house, only as roommates. However, a friend mentioned to my boyfriend that they felt it was wrong for an unmarried couple to live in the same household, regardless if they are having sex or not. I just cannot see how it’s wrong, because we aren’t having sex.
My boyfriend had decided to be baptized and now he’s afraid that he’s doing something wrong and doesn’t want to go through with it until we find out. I feel like that is a very important step and shouldn’t be put on hold. He says that if it is wrong, he doesn’t want to get baptized then go home and continue to sin. So, my question to Compass is, is it wrong for a man and a woman to live together as roommates while being in our situation?
Yes, it is wrong as you are putting money and feelings over God’s best for your life. You can never justify a decision based on money if it conflicts with God’s Word. If you do, then money is your god. Even though you don’t feel it’s wrong, it’s scripturally out of bounds. To be a Christian, you are to strive to be Christ-like in everything you do, and He warns us against the obvious appearance of evil:
. . . hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form (appearance) of evil. —1 Thessalonians 5:21
. . . do not imitate what is evil, but what is good . . . —3 John 11
A good name is to be more desired than great wealth . . . —Proverbs 22:1
The reason it is wrong is not whether or not you are having sex. It’s because it just plain looks bad. It’s a poor testimony to your family and friends. You are basically saying, “I’ll do anything if it saves money, despite what it looks like” and, “I can’t trust God with my finances so I’ll live and act like the world acts.” That is a stumbling block to your Christian brothers and sisters of monumental proportions.
But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. —1 Corinthians 8:9
There may be situations like war or a disaster where a situation like yours is unavoidable. And God certainly understands special, unavoidable circumstances (Luke 14:5). But your circumstances are clearly by choice, and God says:
. . . do not use your freedom as a covering for evil . . . —1 Peter 2:16
As far as baptism, you both should spend some time in the Word with your pastor or spiritual teacher regarding why someone is baptized. If your boyfriend is a Christian and living with his girlfriend is wrong, it’s wrong both before and after baptism. But it has zero to do WITH baptism itself. You can never be sinless for baptism. You can never be sinless period!
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. —1 John 1:8
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. —Romans 7:18-19
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
Answers to questions in GML are intended to be supplementary and in the spirit of Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and 26:26, which calls for believers to seek counsel from more than one person. Therefore, it is not recommended that any decision be based solely on GML’s answer, but rather it be considered one of several counselors when determining a course of action.Compass International, Inc. www.compass.org