Monday, May 16, 2016
Recently a preacher was lamenting the fact that the church was being filled with fornicators. His unhappiness was based upon his view of divorce and remarriage. He felt that some congregations were accepting remarried couples which he rejected as proper candidates for membership!
My approach will be from a different perspective. You may or may not agree? Why should we fill the church with only fornicators? Why not fill it with thieves, liars, spouse abusers, homosexuals, transvestites, the dishonest, gossipers, murderers, the envious, the greedy, the lustful, the boastful, those with false pride, practitioners of bestiality, the slanderers, cheaters, drug addicts, prostitutes, pedophiles, and alcoholics?
When Paul wrote to the problem immersed, error practicing, doctrinal deviant church of God at Corinth, he reminded them,
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV).
Notice what they had been. If a child molester confessed what he was, repented, and repeated the eunuch’s question, and followed his example, would you sit next to him or her on the same pew? What about one who confessed he was a rapist and followed the eunuch’s path, would you want your daughter sitting with him during the church’s fellowship meal? What about a former prostitute, would you be uneasy if your husband was having a conversation with her? Would any of these former sinners make you uncomfortable?
Paul stated, “And that is what some of you WERE.” That’s past tense! However, is the “church” filled with those who are “aloof, standoffish, distrustful, uncomfortable, refuses fellowship, and withholds forgiveness? If so, aren’t we guilty of accepting those with the polite sins but reject the ones who have repented and confessed the opposite kind? What did Jesus tell the adulterous woman (John 8:11)? What was his reply to his host about another (Luke 7:47)? Perhaps our churches are filled with sinners which we do accept because they are the “nice” or “polite kind of sins!?