Once upon a time there was a stubborn teenager. Just imagine if you can. This teenager refused to go to church. Her parents had a rule. In our house we will serve the Lord. By serving that meant attending Sunday Service. It came to a testing as many teenagers do tend to push boundaries. She sternly announced, “I’m not going to be attending church on Sunday.” You could have heard a pin drop at the family dinner table. Now, I do not recommend the following line of discipline found in this story. What works for each child is different. Many circumstances surrounded the discipline, temperament and weather for instance. However, that day she refused to go to church, she was told to pack her bags. If she was unable to do the bear minimum when it came to worship she didn’t have the comforts of home any longer. No, she didn’t just get to stay in her bedroom for the day without electronics. That was already tried earlier without success. She was not a princess in a tower. She was told quite seriously to move out. So there this teenager was, all packed up and camping on the front lawn. Maybe it didn’t really go that far but the point is it could of.
What were her grounds for not going to church? Oh it is a good one. One that I think has infected almost everyone that does not go to church. She didn’t believe that church worked. It was full of hypocrites. It was full of sinners. It was full of people seemingly worse off than her. Oh she loved Jesus for his forgiveness of her sins but at the same time was secretively angry and resentful for Jesus giving it to everybody. It seemed unfair. Did they all try as hard as she did? How could they say they followed Jesus when their life clearly witnessed otherwise? It made no sense. They weren’t true believers. Jesus did not come down and make those people obey HIM. Why were their hearts not more confirmed to Jesus? Did they not love him? There was not ONE holy person in church. Not one. By the teenager’s standards. By holy she meant near perfect or maybe even under close examination she meant perfect. Everyone she knew was a sinner somehow. Aren’t true follows suppose to look like Jesus and saints?
I am going to whisper to you, some were much worse sinners than others. She can say that with a clear conscious cause there are different degrees of sin. So there this teenager was willing to camp out on the front lawn, rather then go to a place that was filled with sinners. True some sinners belong in prison for the safety of others. However, most just belong in a hospital being administered authentic LOVE to help them get well.
Besides most of the sins she knew about was maybe not even true. It was based on gossip or a skewed perspective. Some of the sinners actions just really weren’t what she thought because she did not know their heart. So true or not, the fact remained Jesus did not make those people perfect follows. Even if totally honest the teenager was not a perfect follower.
So the question is are you camping on the front lawn? Do you still not see that Jesus came to save us all? How long does it take to be perfectly holy? I will let you know when I reach it. Although keep in mind we all will be dead before that happens. Peace be with you as you figure out how God wants you to be a disciple of Christ.