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                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                  Beware Of Evil Companions (1:10-19)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our study of Proverbs thus far, we have seen that wisdom
   requires...
   a. Fearing the Lord, so that we heed His Word - Pr 1:7
   b. Respecting our parents, so that we listen to their advice - Pr 1:
      8-9

2. What about our friends...?
   a. Our peers with whom we spend so much time?
   b. Might they not be a source of good counsel, i.e., wisdom?

[Indeed they can (cf. Pr 27:9).  But the wrong kind of friends must be
avoided.  This is illustrated in our text for this study (Pr 1:10-19)
which contains...]

I. FATHERLY WARNING CONCERNING EVIL COMPANIONS

   A. DO NOT CONSENT TO THEIR COUNSEL...
      1. A fatherís advice:  "If sinners entice you, do not consent"
         - Pr 1:10
      2. Especially when they seek to entice you to do evil - Pr 1:
         11-12
      3. When they tempt you with promises of easy gain - Pr 1:13-14
      -- The example is enticement to murder and robbery

   B. DO NOT WALK WITH THEM...
      1. Keep away from such "friends" who are quick to do evil - Pr 1:
         15-16
      2. Their efforts are ultimately in vain - Pr 1:17
      3. Eventually they will pay with their own lives - Pr 1:18-19
      -- Such is the way of greed; it destroys those who possess it

[While the example in our text pertains to murder and robbery, the
principle holds to true to all kinds of sinful conduct.  So letís expand
on the lesson to be learned here...]

II. THE DANGER OF EVIL COMPANIONS

   A. THEY PERSUADE THROUGH ENTICEMENT...
      1. Like the serpent tempted Eve, sinful friends will appeal to:
         a. The lust of the flesh ("good for food")
         b. The lust of the eyes ("pleasant to the eyes")
         c. The pride of life ("desirable to make one wise") - cf. Gen
            3:6
      2. Evil friends will offer easy gain
         a. Such as wealth without work
         b. Such as pleasure without commitment
         c. Such as companionship without cost
      -- It sounds so good and easy, doesnít it?

   B. THEY IGNORE THE COST OF SIN...
      1. That sin destroys those who possess it
         a. So called "friends" will eventually turn on one another
         b. If they will sin with you, how do you know they wonít sin
            against you?
         c. They will be friends only as long as it benefits themselves
      2. That sin eventually exposes those who continue in it
         a. "Be sure your sin will find you out" - Num 32:23
         b. Sin requires lies and deception; eventually one gets caught
            in their web of lies
         c. Sin often carries a physical price that cannot be hidden
            1) Addiction (drugs)
            2) Disease (STDs)
            3) Unwanted pregnancy
      -- Evil companions never talk about the cost of sin, do they?

[Finally, let's glean from our text what is...]

III. THE SOLUTION TO EVIL COMPANIONS

   A. DONíT LISTEN TO THEM...
      1. "Do not consent..." - Pr 1:10
      2. What they promise they cannot really deliver, at least for long
      3. The truly blessed man does not walk in their counsel - Ps 1:1
      -- Be wise enough not to heed their enticing words

   B. STAY AWAY FROM THEM...
      1. "Do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their
         path" - Pr 1:15
      2. Do not let them be your companions - Pr 13:20
      3. Especially if they are unbelievers - 2Co 6:14-18
      -- Be even wiser to avoid letting them become your companions

CONCLUSION

1. This is not to say that we cannot try to save them...
   a. We must be separate from the world, but we cannot isolate
      ourselves - cf. 1Co 5:9-11
   b. Even Jesus was a friend to sinners - Mt 11:19

2. But we must be honest with ourselves...
   a. Do we influence them more than they do to us?
   b. If not, then we should stay away until we are strong enough to be
      a positive influence

What we have studied in Pr 1:10-19 perhaps is best summarized by the
apostle Paul:

      Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."
                                                - 1Co 15:33

To be wise, we must know who to listen to (God, parents, and good
friends), and who not to listen to (anyone who would entice us to do
evil)...
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