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Let Everyone Come to Christ
Whosoever will let him/her come
I am writing this in response to a hub I saw about cross dressers and transgender persons coming to Christ. There was quite a bit of discussion and I decided to write a hub about my take on it. There are many people who would like to come to church, and to Christ but they are being excluded either overtly or covertly by those who are already there. This is neither scriptural nor is it Christ like.
1. God is love
The Bible clearly says that God is love. Love is not exclusive, love is inclusive. People who don't look "right", people who don't dress "right", they belong in the church because God loves them, too. People who are new, who don't know the songs, or when to sit or when to stand, these also belong in church because how will they learn if they don't keep coming? People who have flaws belong in the church because that's the only kind of people there are.
2. All have sinned
Everyone in the church is either an active sinner or a sinner in recovery. We are all there to receive God's grace and mercy and to be transformed. Some change slowly, some change rapidly and some seem not to change at all. But that is God's business. He knows what is going on with everyone and He is well able to make anyone what He wants them to be. It is ironic that some of the people who were the most flagrant sinners will turn around and judge others the most harshly. Leave the judgement and wrath to God.
3. Messed up people need Jesus
There are some people we all wish would just go home and not come back to church...ever. They are rude, annoying, bad attitude people who make everyone else have a bad day. Or they act a little too strange and make us uncomfortable. But these people need Jesus, too. The worse off a person is, the more Jesus they need. I sometimes think people who are really difficult should be required to come to church more than the other people. They need remedial Jesus. But maybe it's me and others like me who think we are "normal" but we need some remedial Christ so we can learn to be more patient with the ones we find to be a pain.
4. Opposing God
In the book of Acts, the early Christian church is forming and there is a lot of opposition to it. But there is one chapter in which one of the Jewish leaders tells the others that if the movement is from God the opposition will not do any good and may harm the opposers. I think about this when I hear of people being excluded from church. Jesus says no one will come to Him unless God draws them. So if people are sincerely seeking to know Christ and worship Him, to stop them is to oppose God, who is drawing them. Jesus said He would not cast out anyone who comes to Him. So we must be careful not to exclude people who are truly seeking the Lord. God would not be pleased.
People love to throw this word around when they want to justify excluding whole segments from the church. If you read the Bible, you will find that several things are abomination to the Lord. Lying lips are abomination, proud and haughty looks are abomination, people who cause division among friends are abomination, the prayers and sacrifices of people who are of wicked character is abomination, leaders who commit wrongdoing is abomination. There are several other things listed in the Bible that are abominable to God. If we start clearing out all the people on the above list, there will only be about eight people left in church worldwide. Let us be careful in throwing the A-word around.
6. The weight of sin
Whether you believe all sins carry the same weight, or you believe there are big and little sins, all sin is wrong. There is an attitude in churches today that we can talk about some sins, usually because we aren't doing them, and act like other sins are not taking place. We can talk about the people throwing money away in the casinos, but we won't talk about the people who are buying lottery tickets with the rent money. The outside world views many church people as hypocrites, and to some extent they are right.
7. Spiritual growth
Christians are expected to grow more mature over time, but this doesn't always happen. Sometimes the poeple who have been in church the longest act the most like Pharisees. They are impatient and intolerant, they are condemning and critical. They try to block the inevitable changes that come with time. They are opposed to diversity. This isn't growth, it is stagnation.
God would let everyone in
Unlike other places
Other public places may exclude people for various reasons. They can create dress codes and membership levels, with fees to match. They can have rules about who can attend when and why. But the church is Jesus Christ's place as well as a public place. Jesus establishes the ruiles and the regulations and the codes. When He soays, "whosoever will, let Him come", It doesn't say "except this group or that grop".
I believe this is a call to everyone who wants to come to Christ. Jesus is trying to get them into the church. We need to stop trying to keep them out.