Thanks to God, I have had the opportunity to worship, preach, and speak at many locations around the world. In my travels I have run across some fantastic Churches,free flowing worship services, sermons and theological interpretation. However I have also come across some so-called Christians who are judgmental, condemning, and cold-hearted with what seems like a lack of theological training or spiritual guidance. When I encounter churches that condemn others and are always telling people that they are going to Hell my heart gets heavy, and for relief I turn to today's scripture of focus from Paul's letter to the Church at Corinth.
Let's look: 1st Corinthians 9:16-23
16If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe betide me if I do not proclaim the gospel! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.
19 For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I might by any means save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
Paul reminds us that our job as Christians is not to condemn one another but to win over one another bringing others to know God through Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As humans we are not able to determine who will go to heaven or hell, that's God's job and because of grace and mercy we truly don't know. Remember no one is without sin, so instead of pointing the finger lets open our arms and love one another understanding that God first loved us.
Let's pray: Dear God thank you for your grace and mercy that saves all through the redemption of Jesus. We pray for Christians everywhere that we are constantly reminded of your love for us and therefore love others, not judging but welcoming, not condemning but inviting. Today God let us tell someone else of your love and all that Christ has done for us. A-Men.
Until Tuesday have a great weekend and Be Well.
Love, Pastor J.