“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:4-7
I heard about a little old lady who was at church for a Wednesday night prayer meeting. And when it came time for her to pray, she said, “God, bless all of us who are here in this prayer meeting. And be with all those evil people out there in the world having such a good time.”
You know, there’s a real problem among Christians today. It’s not a problem of performance or obedience necessarily. It’s a problem of attitude. There are so many men and women in the church today who have an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality. They think that because they go to church, then they’re the ‘in’ crowd and everyone else is just going to Hades in a hand basket. They forget that God is not done with his story of redemption!
It’s my prayer that the people of God today will be a people of unconditional love and acceptance. I’m not saying there aren’t standards. But at the same time we must never forget that we’re to be a hospital for sinners; we’re to be a refuge for people who need to come home.
Jesus said there’s more rejoicing over one lost person who’s found than over 99 righteous people who need no repentance. So when it comes to welcoming others, keep your heart and arms open and never underestimate the work Christ wants to do among the lost!
INSTEAD OF SEEING THE WORLD AS ‘US’ VERSUS ‘THEM’, LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR ARMS OPEN AND READY TO WELCOME ANYONE TO LIFE IN CHRIST.