Jesus: The Most Inclusive Person to Ever Walk the Earth

6 01 2010

Lee Strobel in his book, “God’s Outrageous Claims” shares a great story about the inclusive nature of Christ and Christianity.

Imagine two country clubs. The first has a strict set of rules and only allows in people who have earned their membership. hey have to accomplish something, obtain superior wisdom, or fulfill a long list of demands and requirements to qualify for entry. Despite their best efforts, lots of people just won’t make the grade and will be excluded. In effect, this is what other religious systems are like.

But the 2nd country club throws its doors wide open and says, “Anybody who wants membership is invited inside. Rich or poor, black or white, regardless of your ethnic heritage or where you live, we would love to include you. Entry is based not on your qualification but only on accepting this invitation. So we’ll leave the matter up to you. You decide. But remember, we will never turn you away if you seek admittance.”

That’s what Christianity is like. Which country club is being snobbish? Christians aren’t being exclusive; they’re being inclusive.

Listen how Jesus described the inclusive nature of the kingdom of God in Luke 14 “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’

“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.’

Jesus was the most inclusive person to ever walk the earth. That is revolutionary love.

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4 responses

8 01 2010
Deacon Chris MacCourtney

Pastor Tim,
Your post also points up the very nature and intrinsic mission of the church. That is, to GO OUT and gather, GO OUT and invite, GO OUT and bring folks into the celebration that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I fear the church, especially our Lutheran church, risks irrelevance in the ‘streets and alleys of the town’ to the extent that it hesitates to GO OUT…
Pax
DMac

8 01 2010
Tim Kade

DMac, Well said. I couldn’t agree more. The church doesn’t exist for it’s members. The church exists to go into the world and share the Gospel of Christ. Everything else we do is secondary.

17 02 2010
Deacon Chris MacCourtney

Pastor Tim,

R U guys having services for Ash Wednesday?

17 02 2010
Tim Kade

We are not. When you have to rent a building, you can’t always do everything.

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