To Every Creature – April 27, 2015

Today’s Scripture…”But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law
as transgressors.”  — James 2:9

Thoughts for Today… Here’s a funny one for you.

A man parked his car in front of a very nice restaurant. The restaurant had just opened only minutes before and there were only two vehicles in the parking lot. One of the vehicles was a nice, four-door BMW.  The other was a well-worn motorcycle. As the man entered the establishment, he noticed that two tables were being occupied.  These folks were obviously the owners of the vehicles out front. At one table sat a very nicely dressed, well-groomed older man and woman.  The couple was gray-haired and appeared to be in their sixties.  They chatted politely and appeared to be thoroughly enjoying the meal. At the other occupied table, was obviously a “biker type.” A gentleman with long, flowing hair and a rather unkept beard.  He was wearing a leather jacket, had tattoos adorning the exposed arms protruding through his muscle shirt.  He didn’t say anything and hardly looked up from his meal.

The newcomer sat at his table and ordered his meal. As he sat there waiting for his food to arrive, he noticed that both the couple and the biker-dude had finished eating and were now exiting the building. He was shocked to watch as the “biker” pulled out a set of keys, opened the door of the BMW and proceeded to drive away in the luxury automobile. Even more shocking was the sight of the elderly couple climbing upon the Harley Davidson motorcyle and roaring out of the parking lot!

Moral of the story:  don’t judge a book by its cover.  Actually, just don’t judge at all.

You see, this gentleman didn’t even raise the question of whose transportation belonged to whom.  In his mind, obviously the elderly couple were in the BMW and the “biker dude” was on the motorcycle. Only appearances were deceiving in this case, as it was exactly the opposite. The point I want to make is this:  too often we judge other folks based upon our preconceived ideas of who they are. Either we heard something about them, or we knew them in the past, or someone we know likes or dislikes them.  Or, maybe we look at the way they dress or the vehicles they drive or what neighborhood they come from.  Perhaps we judge them based on their color or where they work or their level of education.

The Bible teaches us “if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin.”  That is, if we treat someone differently than we do others simply because they are who they are, then we have transgressed. And that goes either way.  If we give someone special treatment because they are rich or well-dressed or educated or popular…then we have sinned.  If we turn our noses up and avoid or treat poorly those who aren’t as “refined” and “cultured” as we think they ought to be…then we have likewise sinned.

God isn’t a respecter of persons.  And we don’t have the right to be either.  In fact, we are commanded not to be. Christian, one of the biggest problems in reaching the lost today is the very thing that I am talking about.   Too many of our churches have stopped evangelizing and have missed the mark of the Great Commission because they don’t want to get their hands dirty with the very folks that Jesus wants to save.

Have we become so comfortable in our padded pews and our air conditioned sanctuaries that we have forgotten the need to go into the highways and hedges and compel the lost to come in? Have we gotten so cozy with our traditions and our social clubs and our programs that we have forgotten the very purpose for which they were established…to bring the hell-bound to Christ for salvation? It is time that we stop keeping our eyes open for the nice dressed, well-spoken, polite, clean, educated folks to invite into our churches, and start looking for lost souls on the way to hell regardless of who they are or where they come from.

It is time that we stop picking and choosing who we deem acceptable to our congregation and start doing as Jesus commanded us “Go ye into ALL the world, and preach the gospel to EVERY creature.” (Mark 16:15)

I’m ready to get going.  How about you? Meet you out on the highways and hedges.

Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ,”
Pastor Terry
Family Worship Center

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