(From the Backseat)–”Are we There Yet?”
Thinking on the enormity and depth of God’s grace: Is our church at a point where we would sincerely and eagerly welcome a lost person to one of our gatherings when that person vividly, physically and audibly displayed the fact that their soul was sin-enslaved? Where their cynical, God-hating & rebellious words, and their actions cried out that they were being rent apart by evil? Would the skin-crawling revulsion we felt be sourced from a love for God & His holiness, or by a sense that we were NEVER THAT depraved? Would we repent of the part of our revulsion that was borne of hatred and pride?
Would we fly to such a newcomer and welcome them with sincere and genuine love, or would we inwardly hope that maybe next time “they’ll clean themselves up a bit” before they visit (if at all)? Would we remember that maybe we once had more “acceptable” sins, or at least a better facade, but that at one point, regardless of appearance, we were as lost as they were? Would we continue to welcome such a one to our services and events, loving them and evangelizing them, and praying for them even if other churches began to wonder about our “testimony” in allowing such a person to be among us?
After their time with us, if they left and their lives were essentially the same, would they be able to honestly look back at their interplay with us and admit that they had been exposed to God’s love and His saving truth?
Are we there yet?