One of the beliefs that people who don’t follow Jesus don’t like about our faith is the very exclusive nature of our faith. We believe that the only way to have fellowship with God and a home in heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ. When Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” we take Him at His word. We can’t imagine that God would send Jesus to the cross to die for our sins, and then say, “You can believe it or not, no big deal.” In that sense, our faith is very exclusive.
At the same time, people fail to realize that the only condition we believe God has set upon a relationship with Him is faith in Jesus Christ. Rich or poor doesn’t matter in God’s eyes. No one is good enough on their own to come to God, we all come by the grace of Jesus Christ. There is no “secret knowledge” you have to have to follow Jesus. Most importantly, it doesn’t matter if you are male or female; it doesn’t matter what the color of your skin is; it doesn’t matter what language you use; it doesn’t matter where in the world you live; anyone who calls on the name of the Lord can have a relationship with God on an equal footing with any other follower. “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.’” (Revelation 5:9)
The faith that is Christianity is the most inclusive faith there is. Oh, we aren’t perfect. There are some followers of Christ who try to put women down. There are some followers of Christ who look down on people because of their financial status, or the color of their skin, or where they live. That being said, those who are fully committed to Christ continue to work to break down barriers to faith. We recognize that we also are sinners and so, we offer not a God who will accept you once you clean up your life, but a God who loves you enough to accept you as you are. That doesn’t mean we stay comfortable in our sin, it means that God loves us in spite of our sin.
If God so loves us, we also ought to love one another. There are a lot of people out there who have different sins from mine. My job is not to be a sin detector so that I know who to shun. My job is to share God’s love and leave the sin issues to Him. I don’t always understand how God can love some people, given their sins which are REALLY different from mine, but He does. If God loves them; if God has a place in Heaven for them; I can love them and let God work on their sin. That concept is so freeing – I don’t have to take God’s place and judge people!
Lord God, thank You for loving sinners. I couldn’t come to You if You didn’t. Thank You that Heaven will be full with people who are different from me. May more and more people praise You from every tribe and every tongue.