Ok, so far in this series we have established that nobody’s perfect as we all fall short of the glory of God (week 1). Also, we are all invited to come into God’s kingdom just as we are (week 2). Indeed, Grace accepts us without condition, but God loves us way too much to leave us the way grace finds us. In fact, Paul says in Ephesians that God’s plan all along has been to adopt us back into the family to become the people we were created to be. Whether you call it conversion, or regeneration, or being born again, or simply salvation, it’s all about grace, and you got to admit, it is quite amazing!
However (you knew there would be an ‘however’), we are not only saved From something (death, fear, hell, etc), we are also saved For something (abundant life, meaning, purpose, etc). Accepting Jesus’s invite means we start seeing others as God sees us and we become part of God’s plan of salvation. Paul writes that Jesus died for all so we might live for him and become His agents of reconciling others to God and becoming part of the family (1 Cor. 5:15).
This series is also about how those outside see us on the inside, and why they are not joining us. One major reason people tell us they don’t go to any church is the church is full of hypocrites, so let’s start there. Now this may be more of a perception than a reality but if that perception keeps people from accepting Jesus’s invitation, then we better take a good honest look at ourselves. By the way, Jesus hates hypocrisy.
Last week I asked all who came to think of someone you know who needs God’s healing grace, or has some objections about church, and begin praying for that person. Please keep praying and God will open a door somewhere along the way for you to witness. Until then may we continue to pray that Three Oaks Fellowship will be a church that Jesus built. This Sunday I’ll offer a cure for hypocrisy. By the way, when someone tells me the church is full of hypocrites I always say, “and there’s room for one more.”
I look forward to seeing you Sunday (there’s plenty of room for us all),
““Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” Matthew 23:13 NIV