When you think of your church (if you don't attend church, that is okay, I have a question for you in a second. Just read on), what first comes to mind? The people...the building...the worship service...preaching...evangelism...helping others...something else? Those are good things, and needful things, but that is not what I am worried about at this time.
My concern is this: what do "outsiders" think of first when they think of the church? The truth is, we often don't ask this question, and that is probably because we are afraid of what the answer might be. Week in, week out we sing great hymns such as, "Just As I Am," but do we mean it? Truth be told, many churches really mean, "Just As...Long As You Look Like Us, Talk Like Us, Think Like Us, etc."
When Paul wrote "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13)," there were no qualifiers for it. Paul did not say, "For whosoever shall fit into our church culture shall be saved," but WHOSOEVER. That included people who think differently, act differently, grew up differently, and have different backgrounds. Why is it that we often put more hurdles up for people to jump in order to get to God in our churches? Do sinners feel comfortable coming into our church buildings for worship? Before you get up in arms and try to tell me that sinners shouldn't feel comfortable in our churches, re-read the story of the woman at the well. She felt comfortable enough to converse with Jesus, even after He confronted her with the truth of the sinfulness of her life.
Our churches are not country clubs filled with similar people - but a place where whosoever's can come and hear the truth that they are sinners who are loved by a holy God and His people; Jesus died for their sins just like He died for our sins; and they can believe the Gospel in their heart and call upon the Lord to save them (Romans 10:9-10) just like we did. The church today has politicized certain sins and spends more time ranting and raving about them then loving those people and sharing with them our faith. And then we wonder why people have such a negative view about Christians and the Church!
If you read this and don't attend church, would you please comment and let me know what is the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear "church"?
If you read this and do attend church, what can you do better in order to help your church be A Whosoever Church For A Whosoever God?