A. First of all, one should not have an unbeliever as a close personal
friend. Yahweh says:
Prov 12:26 (NKJV) The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.And:
Jame 4:4 (NKJV) Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Yahweh? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Yahweh.Yahweh knows how deceptive it can be to have friends who are unbelievers. We need to be careful who our company is. If those around us are doing wrong things, we are just walking into a temptation. The only purpose we would have for being with unbelievers strictly for witnessing to them. This is often used as an excuse to be their friend, but there is a very big difference. The second you find anything they do as tempting, depart from them!
1Cor 15:33 (NKJV) Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."Second, we need to remember that if we truly want to be Yahweh's servants that we must be different than everyone else. We should not be ashamed that we are different than the crowd. Anyone can go along with everyone else, but if we are willing to put Yahweh first, He promises that we will be His special people, and there is nothing more important than that! For this, we can rejoice in the persecutions rather than be discouraged. In fact, Yahushua said to “leap for joy” (Luke 6:23)
1Joh 2:15 (NKJV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that [is] in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of Yahweh abides forever.When they mock you for being different, just remember that what you are going through truly pales in comparison to the whippings, spittings, beatings and eventual death that Yahushua went through because He also was not of the world and He too, was different.
Luke 23:33 (NKJV) And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Yahushua said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.We must be different if we are on the narrow road that leads to eternal life. We can't be on the road that only a few find (Matthew 7) and still be on the path that everyone else is on.
Luke 6:22 (NKJV) Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile [you], and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
Q. Why do some bad people often seem happy and "blessed"?
A. The Psalmist gives a great answer to this question:
Psal 92:5 (NKJV) O Yahweh, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. 6 A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this. 7 When the wicked spring up like grass, And when all the workers of iniquity flourish, It is that they may be destroyed forever. 8 But You, Yahweh, are on high forevermore. 9 For behold, Your enemies, O Yahweh, For behold, Your enemies shall perish; All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.It is better to be chastened (punished) for our sins now because this indicates Yahweh's love for us:
Hebr 12:5 (NKJV) And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of Yahweh, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom Yahweh loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." 7 If you endure chastening, Yahweh deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.If we are not chastened by Yahweh, then this indicates we are not the children of Yahweh. It is much better to receive punishment for our sins in this life than to receive the punishment for our sins in the lake of fire.
Q. How do i know what i believe is right?
A. If what you believe is right according to Yahweh's word, then this is how you know! If another comes and teaches something contrary to what you believe, examine the word of Yahweh to see if it is true. Timothy became a disciple of Yahushua the Messiah. He had known the scriptures since he was a child:
2Tim 3:14 (NKJV) But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in the Messiah YahushuaThis is what the scriptures are for:
2Tim 3:16 (NKJV) All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of Yahweh, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Yahweh may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.His word is the ultimate test. An answer I commonly give is "I'm willing to change, just show me from scripture that I am wrong"