In the past week I’ve had a conversation with a 40 year old man who started cocaine at the age of 12, didn’t know how to read, and never went to school because of his prostitute/meth addict mother. Another with a 30 year old woman who has been in and out of jail, got into heavy drugs WITH HER PARENTS, and has left her kids in random places for months at a time. Yet another conversation was with a 19 year old girl who cried every time she even got near a church because she felt the weight of her sins pressing down on her. She was wanting so badly to be a Christian and be “good again,” but was held captive by all the things she thought could never be forgiven.
The conversation with all of these people ended in the same way, with me saying, “You need to know that ALL of those things have already been forgiven, and the SAME amount of blood that is required to cover all your sins is required to cover all of mine”.
And that would be responded with something like this, “But what do I DO? What if tonight I acknowledge Jesus and receive him, and tomorrow my girlfriend wants me to do some speed with her? I don’t know how to be good”.
I would go on to encourage the fact that we can’t be goon on our own; that’s WHY we need Christ in the first place. We can’t wait until we’re good to give our life to him; if we did that we’d never know him. And it’s ok to take things one day at a time. It’s ok to wake up in the morning and say, “TODAY I choose Christ…Father, help me” and not worry about tomorrow. We’re a fallen people, and we’re not going to get better overnight, but the Lord is faithful and sure, and he will finish the work he began in us.
It’s sad for me to know that there are people out there who have only heard a message of condemnation. They’ve been told over and over, “you’re a druggie, you’re a criminal, you don’t go to church, you’re a terrible person” but no one tells them of the hope there is in Christ; no one tells them about mercy. They don’t understand that all the “things Christians do” (ie going to church, not doing drugs, or not sleeping around) aren’t requirements for being loved by God, they are an outpouring of OUR love in RESPONSE to his love.
Let us not be that kind of church. Let us show our love for God by showing love to others; recognizing our depravity but also humbly rejoicing in the mercy given by the blood of Christ.