Summary: I want the Church to Grow because God wants it to, but do want people who are an inconvience?
I recieved this idea from my mentor Jerrie Barber.
I Want the Church to Grow - But Do I Want Any More People? , #6
Chuck Swindoll tells about a man who went to see a psychiatrist because he was extremely depressed. After an hour together that the psychiatrist was struggling to get the man to snap out of it. So he said to the man, “Tonight I want you to go to the circus in town because they have a clown named the Great Rinaldi, he is the funniest clown I have ever seen. Whenever I go to see the Great Rinaldi it always lifts my spirits.”
The man responded. “You don’t understand doctor, I am the Great Rinaldi.”
The community and world that we live in is slap full of Great Rinaldis, people who are empty and searching for some type of meaning. There days are filled with desperation and they can’t seem to find relief.
They may put on masks of happiness, to appear fine to everyone, but when they return to their homes at night they cry themselves to sleep because their life is pointless and they long to find something in life to make them happy and give them a sense of meaning. They look at their lives and wonder what it is all about. Life must have more to offer me than this, they say.
God has given this church and the members of this church the responsibility to reach these hurting people. Wendell Winkler use to tell us that the church was supposed to be a hospital for the hurting not a museum for the saved. We need to understand that the church above all else is a place for people who have problems.
This church was designed for the single mother who works two jobs to support her kids.
This church is for the drug addict who can’t stop his habit.
This church is for the young person who struggles with self esteem.
This church is for the young couple who lives together and has never been exposed to the best way to build a home.
This church is for the man who does not respect his boss, so he steals from the company and from his coworkers.
This church is for the housewife who goes out searching for some excitement in the arms of a man that belongs to someone else.
The church is for the alcoholic who is ready to admit he needs help.
Ezekiel 34:16 we see God saying that He will, “Search for the lost, bring back those that stray away, put bandages on those that are hurt, and make the weak strong."
Those of us who claim to be followers of Christ are the ones who God sends out to bring the lost home. Because we understand that God wants all people saved, which will cause the church to grow.
Time and time again we read in the scriptures that God wants everyone us to be in a saved relationship with Him.
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved John 3:17.
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.1 Timothy 2:3, 4.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, Titus 2:11
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.2 Peter 3:9.
As we have looked over the past few weeks that includes people that we are afraid of, just like God desired for Saul of Tarsus to be saved. If you remember the first century church was afraid of this man Saul who went about killing their Christian brethren. He would not have made it on anyone “10 people I want to share Christ with this week” list. But God even wanted Saul to be saved and He was able to use Paul mightily in His Kingdom.
God wants people of every color and nationality saved. It’s just like we teach our children when they are very young. Red and Yellow, Black and White they are precious in His sight.
God desires for people who have had different growth experiences than we have, and people that my friends won’t like, and even people who are not immediately responsive to the Gospel call to be saved.
Now I want you to be honest with yourself for a minute. Think about that one person who turns your stomach. Think about that one person who makes your skin crawl at the very mention of their name. You know that one person who maybe has cheated you, or who done you dirty. The one who has cause you some physical, financial, or emotional harm. The one person who when they enter a room you immediately make a run for the door.