I’ve been thinking lately about the whole refugee crisis. I’ve also been putting some thought into what my pastor said about the church being a refuge. Who better than to show hope to refugees than people whom the Bible calls aliens and strangers in this world who await a coming Kingdom?
The body of believers should be a place where people can go to escape from the fallout from the lies that society tells people about finding inner peace and fulfillment through outward change.
It should be where people go to find God and find the hope of salvation offered in the person of Jesus Christ, not more condemnation for lifestyle choices. It should be where spiritual transformation happens and not mere behavior modification.
I noticed today that when Jesus talked to the woman at the well, He didn’t force her to change her lifestyle before He offered the living water to her. He didn’t make her go end her relationship with the man she was living with who was not her husband.
He simply offered her a gift that would change her life forever if she took it. After all, it’s the Gospel that changes people. It’s what changes peoples’ hearts, which in turn leads to changed lives.
The Church has been guilty of putting up barriers between people and the Gospel almost from the very beginning. The people who need Jesus and the Gospel most are often the ones who feel the least welcome inside our doors.
The Gospel is for everyone. Thus, the Church is for everyone.