Judgement Or Grace And Mercy?
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5: 16-19
Wow, a powerful passage indeed. We are no longer supposed to view people with our own worldly, carnal, eyes of judgement. “Do not judge by mere appearance, but rather use righteous (God centered and influenced) judgement.” (John 7: 24) We are not supposed to judge as the world does. We are to see everyone only through the eyes of Christ now.
The Lord has given us ALL the ministry of reconciliation, which means we are not to hold ANYONE’S sins against them. This is HUGE! It is an area that the “church” gets almost totally wrong most of the time. Most of the “church” today sits in judgement against most sins and the people who commit them, but the message that The Lord gave us is to forgive EVERYONE’S sins. Lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, you name it and we are called to forgive as Christ forgave us.
This message is not optional people! It is the central message of the very Gospel we say we believe in and live for. We are supposed to approach ALL people with open arms and hearts, but the fact is that most of the time we totally reject the people who need God’s grace the most. Instead of openly inviting people into the church we build fortresses, literally and metaphorically, to keep most people out of the church. Don’t you see how ass backwards that is? His message is not about our comfort zones, it is about totally loving the undesirable and outcasts of society. We should all be on the very front line and cutting edge of meeting and accepting sinners just the way they are.
Expecting people to be clean, upright and sinless before they meet Jesus is totally ridiculous. We are supposed to welcome EVERYONE into the Body of Christ and after that God will choose how to wash away and deal with whatever their various sins might be. And it will be on His time schedule and NOT ours. Until we open our hearts and arms to EVERYONE the work of the church will remain undone. Some smug religious folks might be comfortable with that, but I am not and neither is Jesus. Coming into a relationship with Christ and His Church has always been a matter of whosoever will. We all need to open our hearts and homes to the so called “unloveable”. It is only then that His church will shine and begin to attract those who need HIM most.
Kirk Out !