Luke 5:31-32 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”Have you ever invited non-Christians to church only to be told by them that they are not good enough to attend church yet? Why would they give you such an answer? While it could be an inner condemnation regarding their lives, it could also come from how the church has projected herself and how Christians have been judgmental towards them. Therefore, we need to clarify who qualify to be saved and welcomed into the presence of God.
The scribes and the Pharisees were religious people who questioned and complained to Jesus’ disciples when they saw Jesus eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners. Jesus answered that He came to call the sinners to repentance and not the righteous—this is the heart of God. We also saw the passion of Jesus Christ when He had the urgency to go about different towns and cities to preach the Gospel. Because Jesus came to seek and save the lost, as a church, we must also reach out to non-Christians in our office and community, and not be contented and comfortable by only having close fellowships with believers.
You might protest that your colleagues and neighbours do not share the same values as you and do not live godly lives, but this is precisely why some non-Christians would tell you that they would only come to church when they are good enough, because unknowingly, we have asked them to qualify themselves before coming to God. However, they cannot, and neither does God require them to qualify themselves!
Titus 3:5 (NKJV) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit
We need to know that our salvation is apart from works, and has absolutely nothing to do with our abilities to gain acceptance by God. We will never be good enough because no amount of good works or deeds will earn us a right standing with God.
Romans 5:6 (NKJV) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
On the other hand, Jesus died for the ungodly. It is purely the grace and mercy of God that caused Him to reach out to us and save us. Christ died for the ungodly when men were without strength or the inability to make themselves good, righteous, and holy. Therefore, all ungodly qualify to be saved and accepted by God as long as they are calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sermon Series: What Pleases God? (Part 1)