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The Place Where Sinners Go
by Wayne Blank
"But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him," God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God." (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 RSV). We all have the potential of becoming glorious spirit beings, far different than our present physical existence (see Why Were You Born? and If You Could Create A World)
When human children are born, they naturally grow up to be human adults, just like their parents. Why then do you suppose The Lord, so many times, refers to Christians, upon their future re-birth as spirit beings, as "children of God"? An example:
"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if we indeed share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His Glory." (Romans 8:17).
From Here To There
Christianity is a journey along The Way to that glorious eternal life. A journey - not the destination itself. None of us are there yet. No one is now perfect. No one is now without sin. No one -
"If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." (1 John 1:6-10 RSV)
Sometimes, Christians who have worked very hard to learn about God, and obey Him, may look down upon those who have not yet reached the same level of progress. They may say, "We don't want anything to do with him because he's just a _______," or, "She can't worship God here with us because she's a ______." They are, in effect, saying, "Such a person has no business being a Christian."
People who endeavor to be good Christians deserve much credit and respect. But, sometimes, all of that hard work can be contaminated by self-righteousness - one of the greatest snares for the converted. It's Satan's "long shot" against those who have gotten ahead of him.
The Place Where Sinners Go
Christianity is not an exclusive social club where people who "have got it made" (spiritually) associate together. It's a place where sinners go to learn how not to sin. Anyone who feels that it's time to truly repent and turn to God has every business in the church, and those already there have a responsibility to welcome them with love and respect.
Many people, during His ministry, and ever since, have expressed surprise that Jesus Christ rarely associated with the seemingly righteous, but rather with "sinners." He was often criticized for it.
What was His answer?
"For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9:13 RSV).
Jesus, through His own example toward all people, showed that there is potential Christian goodness and righteousness in most people, just waiting for a chance to bloom. Very often, it's just a matter of replacing something (carnal) that we really like to do, with something (spiritual) that we really like to do even more. It's really very easy once a connection has been made - and a choice that is never regretted.
God is offering each and every one of us something that is infinitely more valuable than anything to be found in the few short years of a human lifetime. He is extending His Loving Hand of Life to us. It's up to each of us however to do ourselves a BIG favor, to reach out, and take it.
Fact Finder: Does eternal glory await those who wish to accept it?