You know you hear people say, “We’re all sinners saved by grace,” which is true, but how often do you hear it said, “Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 18:13) or “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (I John 3:9)? Have you ever noticed that in the churches in America, we have “All Are Welcome” on our signs, but seldom are there people who are changed when they attend. While all are welcome to come to Christ, when one truly comes to Christ, they will leave changed. You are not “welcome” to remain in your sin. Yes, come as you are, but once the Lord converts your heart and unites you to Christ, you will be changed! But in the professed church of America today, people feel that they have room to remain in their sin. They’ll say, “We can’t expect too much” or set the standard too high or be too tough on our congregations because we don’t want people to leave and we definitely want everyone to like us. What!? You couldn’t even get away with that in the natural let alone the spiritual.
Does the military have as their slogan, “All Are Welcome! Come as you are, stay as you are, we won’t be too tough on you so as to make you feel uncomfortable and we definitely won’t hold too high a standard before you to strive to and feel condemned if you don’t” posters posted about? Absolutely not! That would be ridiculous! Could you imagine a fat, lazy, undisciplined military to protect you and your family? Could you imagine the training for the Marines, for example, being a place of ease and comfort where you feel good about yourself and never strive to do better? Of course not! So then why do we in America and especially in the professed churches of today, accept anyone and allow them to stay that way?
Whatever happened to “…Be ye holy; for I am holy,” as the Bible says in I Peter 1:16? Should we not be all the more adamant in our walks and lifestyle knowing whom we represent, the God of Heaven? Should we not hold high the standard and say yes come as you are, but leave changed, charged and empowered by the Holy Ghost to overcome your sin, walk daily in righteousness and be a written epistle for all men to read as the Bible talks about in II Corinthians 3:2? Catherine Booth, who founded the Salvation Army along with her husband William said, “A false witness on the behalf of Jesus Christ is the most mischievous traitor on the face of the earth.”
Why do we not still think this way? Why are the churches in America today filled with those who can’t quite make it in life, the underachievers, slothful, gossipers and more and who have no desire to be changed from the inside out because they don’t want to change first and foremost, and it is never required or really preached from the pulpits for them to do so? We have feel good sermons, humanism or positive preaching about how we can better ourselves and be happier in life and increase our health, wealth and all around prosperity! Where is the truth in that? You shouldn’t feel good about yourself, you should loathe yourself, your flesh and your sinful nature. That’s why you need a Savior, Jesus Christ!
Where is the seeking and saving that which is lost where crucify our flesh, deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Christ as the Bible tells us to in Mark 8:34? It is scarce to be found! Yet, in the military, we have, “The few, the proud, the Marines.” The slogan in the church should be, “The dead to self, the alive to Christ and those moving forward in battle taking the land.” The “We’re all sinners” saying is just a convenient excuse in many cases for people to stay in their sins and never change because they don’t want to change. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-4).
Christ calls us to represent Him and to be good and faithful witnesses. What sort of representation are we being when we make excuses as to why we still continue in sin? No, in truth, if you claim the name of Christ, and are still making excuses for sin in yourself, you are not really His at all.
“…Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” -II Timothy 2:19
Our standard is Christ, not ourselves, or the person next to us. On Judgment Day, we will be judged according to His standards (Exodus 20) and not our own. Yes, all are welcome to come to Christ, but once you have really found Him, repented, and submitted your life to Christ, you will not make excuses to stay as you are or remain in your sin, no, you will forever be changed!