You Are Invited!

A few months ago, I was talking to someone that wasn’t your normal “church goer.” I shared with him that I was a pastor and invited him to our church, and he was quick to say, “I’ve done things you couldn’t even imagine. Your church wouldn’t want someone like me!” I smiled and gratefully was able to say, “well, you don’t know Hope; you will fit right in!”

It’s amazing how many people don’t think they would be welcomed at a church, but the good news of Jesus is that all people are invited and welcome to come to Him.

Jesus made this really clear during His life here on earth. In fact, in one conversation with a bunch of stuffy religious people Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him” (Matt 21:31-32).

When you read the scriptures, you come to see that the super religious didn’t really like Jesus. They ended up creating a nickname for Him as a way of putting Him down. They referred to Jesus as a “friend of sinners.” But Jesus didn’t take it as an insult. He would smile and explain that’s exactly why He came. He came for people who were far from God, who had messed up, who were down and out, who were broken and in need of healing. Jesus embraced the nickname “friend of sinners” and would tell those people that God was for them!

The good news is that Jesus knows everything there is to know about you, and He loves hanging out with people like you! You don’t need to manipulate Jesus into wanting to be with you. You don’t need to convince Him that you’re acceptable. You don’t have to beg Him to invite you, because…you’re already invited! All you have to do is realize that God is for you and say yes to Him.

Once you understand that God knows all the things that you’ve ever done and still invites you and loves you anyway, and once you say yes to Him, then the passion of your life becomes letting other people know that they’re invited and loved, too.

This Easter we want all people to know they are invited. Not just to join us for our Easter service (9am & 10:45am) but also into a life-changing, life-giving relationship with Jesus. Who do you know that needs to be invited? Would you consider inviting them?