John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The most popular verse in the bible. It is the foundation of our faith. The verses that follow are just as profound….
John 3:17 – 18 – For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
- Incriminate (to make guilty)
- Sentence to a punishment
If God did not send His Son to condemn the world, what makes us think that it’s ok for us to condemn the world? That’s not what we were called to do; we were called to show mercy.
We were called to love our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our minds and Love our neighbor as ourselves.
But we fail miserably every day.
We see someone that is living a different lifestyle than us, someone that is backslidden or a hot mess, the first thing we do is condemn them!
We as believers are not to conform to the world but we are to be the light of the world and show mercy.
The harvest is coming
We keep declaring the prodigals are coming home but we are not willing to prepare a feast and sit with them or eat with them.
We act more like the brother rejecting them than welcoming them home with open arms and love. Just like our Heavenly Father did for us.
Let me tell you something… the prodigals have been exposed to a lot of things. They are no longer sheltered by this bubble we created.
They can sense when someone is being fake and they know when they are being condemned.
There are seeds inside of them that need to be watered. The same love that we receive is the same love we are supposed to give and show mercy.
Not look at them and think highly of ourselves because we’ve been within these four walls.
Look with your spiritual eyes
We can’t look at them with our natural eyes but with our spiritual eyes.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
Don’t hate the sinner. Jesus loved the sinners. He ate with the sinners, he drank with the sinners.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. Key word there is seek.
We can’t be so high and mighty that we don’t want to go anywhere they might be.
How else are we supposed to engage with them? Do you think they are going to just show up? The Jesus inside of you needs to seek and save the lost.
God has made them clean
Peter had to go to Cornelius to preach the word. He received a vision of a sheet coming down from heaven with animals and snakes. The Lord told him to kill an animal and eat it. Peter refused and said he won’t eat anything that is unclean.
The Lord said “ Do not call anything impure that God has made clean”
So he went with Cornelius and he shared his vision, Cornelius had his own vision. Peter explained that it was against the law for a Jew to visit a gentile but he came because God prepared him first and told him not to call anyone unclean.
Before Peter received this vision he was praying.
He was able to discern this was God’s will because he was seeking God and he was obedient. The Lord will prepare you to speak to those people that you find undesirable.
Are you going to be obedient?
Peter did not just speak to Cornelius but to his relatives and close friends. They were all baptized in the Holy Spirit. If Peter would have stayed away because they were gentiles those souls would not have known Christ.
Now if you are a weak person and you are tempted easily then you have to know your limits. Maybe you can’t be around sinners and refrain from sinning. You have to use wisdom.
Galatians 6:1 – Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
Notice how in that scripture it also says that we who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. It doesn’t say we should criticize them, throw them under the bus or turn our nose up in the air.
There is something beautiful about a broken person coming to the feet of Jesus with tears in their eyes and all we do is point out all their flaws and judge their process.
We have a lot of work to do to prepare for what is coming.
Clean the temple
It’s not about schedules and meetings. This is about the condition of our heart.
Matthew 23:25-26 – Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
It’s time we clean inside, get our hearts right.
We need to ask God to create a clean heart in us and a right spirit within us. We are the temple. Let’s clean inside the temple so we can be prepared for what is to come.
Because they are coming!
James 2:12-13 – So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.