Unlimited: The Church That Welcomes Sinners

Jan 31, 2019 182

Unlimited: The Church That Welcomes Sinners

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them (Luke 15:1–2, NIV). 

When Jesus was teaching, the disreputable people of the town gathered around him to be close to him. The respectable people, in this case, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, wouldn’t go near Jesus in case they ended up touching or having to talk to one of those people.

Like today, there were many religious teachers in Jesus’ day. However, one of the things that most marked out the ministry of Jesus in the eyes of his contemporaries was that he welcomed sinners, and he expects his church to do the same.

We often say that we welcome sinners, but do we really? Or do we wait to welcome them only once they have repented, reformed, and been transformed? Do we only welcome presumed “ex-sinners”?

God’s purpose for his church is that it be a place where sinners are welcomed: not acceptable sinners, not mild sinners, not reformed sinners, but actual, real-life sinners who are seeking and are skeptical of faith.

We can get very focused on our churches. There are some churches who are for older folk, while others are out to attract young families with children. Some churches unconsciously target middle-class people, and some churches work with the poor. But what if your church were simply a church that welcomed sinners? What would that look like? Would you still like to go?

Eli’s Reflection: Of course, we’re all sinners, but I’d like you to think of someone who would be considered a “public” sinner by your church. How can you personally do something practical to reach out to that person in love?  Is there someone in your community who doesn’t know Christ who you can get to know?

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Eliezer Gonzalez

Feb 2, 2019

What does "living in sin" mean? Ever person on earth continues to be a sinner, and to sin every day, until the kingdom of glory. The Bible teaches (e.g. in Romans 1) that sins like gossiping, selfishness, and pride as just as sinful as sins like immorality. So if you kicked everyone who was a sinner out of church, there would be no-one left, and what would happen is that the known sinners would be kicked out by the hypocrites. The church should be a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. The purpose of the church should be to restore sinners, not to cast them out. There are some circumstances, which should not be the norm, in which particular sins bring the church into gross disrepute. In those situations, it is right for the church to show that those actions do not represent the love and the character of Jesus Christ. But removing a person from "membership" should not mean that that person should be unwelcome in the church at all. Rather it should be an occasion to love and welcome that person more. Also, there may be some circumstances in which, for reasons of the safety of the congregation, a person may need to be excluded. for example when there is a sexual predator of children. We would not wish to put our children at harm. However, if that person in the future shows clear evidence of a changed life, then the congregation may welcome them back in. All of these situations require much humility, wisdom, and prayer. In general, however, my view is that too many churches in some parts of the world are far too quick to cast people out, and this is because those churches have not understood the Gospel of Jesus, and what the purpose of the church is in representing Jesus in the world.

lei tulop

Feb 2, 2019

what can you say if someone still living in sin but he thought & think that he is a christian i mean what can you say about immorality if the church member keep on doing that but still he is attending church is the church must do something about it? do the church must give disciplinary action some said that they would kick out to church but my opinion is if that someone claiming that he is a Christian and still doing the wrong thing kick out on the church i don't think he would realize the wrong doing he has done if he is not attending to church i really had a hard time to understand this situation cause so many churches doing this things to discipline the members..can you give me your opinion about this.. thaks God Bless!!

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