Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Question - What happens when that odd ball gay or straight or democrat or republican or atheist or druggie or known pedophile shows up atYOUR church? Really what happens?

My cousin said she saw a gay man at church who was carrying a purse and wearing a pearl necklace. 
I venture to say this shocked the church members. 
Should the church have said anything to him or just ignored the situation?

Yes ushers and church folk who met the visitor should have greeted the man .
You as the church, The Body Of Christ, claim to speak for God . 
You as  the church are, or should be, continually showing praise to God for saving such an unworthy subject of salvation - yourself.

Should members have ignored the man?
Not according to Scripture.

Hebrews 13:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
“2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

If church members ignored the man they might have missed a blessing.
By ignoring the man members sinned by omission of hospitality expected by our apostolic witness of Scripture and the golden rule of Christ.

1 Peter 4:8-18
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a
multitude of sins. 9  Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10  As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11  Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

We are a part of a sinful generation.
We do not need to greet greet people as representatives of governmental politcs, race, sexual orientation, special perversion or as any other subclass.
We meet people not subgroups.
How about just a sincere welcome to worship?  
What should we do when we meet someone?
We lift up Jesus.  
John 3:13-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
“13  No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”
(For Gainesville folks this is Mr. Beckstein's philosophy of ministry at Good News at Noon.) 

Like us, all people we meet  are sinners that were made in the image of God. 
God went to extraordinary links to save their souls.
Christ died to pay the sin debt to His Father of all who repent and believe.
Like us these sinners do not deserve forgiveness of sins, peace with God and citizenship in Heaven.
That does not make human sense.
That’s grace.
That is why we worship our Savior.

The Lord was patient with us.
He acted for us when we were in our rebellion. 
Romans 5:8
“8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

This person should have been warmly greeted.
This person should have seen grace through the spiritual gifts the people of the church who are sinners now redeemed by the Savior put on display.
The worship service should have oozed with the praying, singing, saying, reading, preaching, hearing and seeing the gospel in communion and baptism.
I hope this happened and will in my church.

Trust the justification and sanctification to Jesus Christ.
He and His Word will change people.
We need to be a faithful witness.
Christians need to always be prepared to display grace.

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