ILLUS: When I was a young boy, my home church had a church bell that they rang every Sunday at 9:00 in the morning.
It was a college town, and one of the local college students had apparently been up “partying” the night before… and he DIDN’T like the bell.
So, he came over to the church to complain.
Bear in mind this young man didn’t look pretty.
He hadn’t shaved or showered.
He was irritated to the point of being angry.
And he was intent on getting some satisfaction from a church that had rung that bell for the over 50 years.
How did my home church respond?
Essentially, they told him to go take a hike.
They were as belligerent as he was.
And they sent him on his way saying they had been there long before he had. It was their bell and they’d ring it any time they wanted.
Now, the question for us today is this:
Is that what Jesus would have done?
What do you think Jesus WOULD have done?
Would He have stopped ringing the bell? Probably not.
The bell had served its purpose.
· It had gotten a sinner up out of bed.
· It had brought a sinner to church.
· It had created an opportunity to preach.
If Jesus had been there, I think he would have invited the young man in for worship.
AND if the student had turned Him down I suspect Jesus would have apologized – explained why the church did this and then offered to take the man out for breakfast/lunch.
Maybe he would have asked if there was some way to help him
Asked if there was a problem he could help with physically, or maybe offered to pray him.
There could have been all kinds of ways Jesus would have met this hung over student, but (unless the man was dangerous or obnoxious) Jesus would NEVER have told the guy to go away.
Why did my home church do what it did?
Why did they angrily turn him away?
Because he made them uncomfortable.
He wasn’t dressed for Church.
He didn’t appreciate their values.
He didn’t respect their rights (to ring their bell)
So they turned him away.
They had the message of hope from God, but they didn’t share it.
They had the Salvation of Jesus … but they didn’t offer it.
He made them uncomfortable so they sent him away… to go to hell.
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