Purge is an interesting word. In one sense, it’s about getting rid of things that are undesirable. But in another sense, it’s about purifying things that are dirty.Leaving the church rids us of undesirable people. Infiltrating the church purifies dirty people.
The people in our churches are family. They’re blood. They’re brothers and sisters we’re going to spend eternity with in heaven. There are lots of days when I wish I could get together with only fervent followers of Christ. But Jesus wants you and me to reach the sick, not the healthy. Sinners, not the righteous.
Even if those sinners are in the church.
Leaving the #church rids us of undesirable people. Infiltrating the church purifies dirty people
In the last book of Revelation, Jesus speaks to seven different churches (five of which are really messed up), affirming them for what is good, rebuking them for what is not, and lovingly calling them to turn from their wrongs and to overcome.
• To the church in Ephesus, Jesus speaks highly of the people’s hard work, perseverance, and how they do not tolerate false teachers and doctrine, but rebukes them for abandoning their bleeding-heart zeal and the joy of when they first believed.
• To the church in Pergamum, he speaks highly of the people for staying true to the name of Jesus and not deny- ing him in spite of terrible times of tragedy, but rebukes them for mixing doctrines and following wicked teachings of sexual immorality.
• To the church in Thyatira, he speaks highly of the people’s ever-growing love, faith, and service, but rebukes them for tolerating the teachings of a seductive prophetess.
• To the church in Sardis, he only acknowledges that there are a few followers who have not “soiled their garments.” He then rebukes them for being known as a church that’s alive—when it’s actually dead.
• To the church in Laodicea, he rebukes them for being neither hot nor cold in their faith, which he considers wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
Churches are good in some areas, messed up in others, and God is calling us to overcome the messed-up stuff. The question is: Who’s supposed to ignite this overcoming? Who’s supposed to stand up and say, “We’re missing it here”? Who’s going to infuse the love and truth needed to overcome?
The answer is you. The answer is us.
The answer is you. The answer is us. #Church #CalledtoStay
I started my Christian walk as a Sardis/Laodicea believer, you might say. But God sent Jesus-loving people into my life who absolutely rocked my world with passionate commitment, flipping my noisy- gong heart upside-down.
The cool thing is most of them didn’t even know they were hav- ing an influence on me. They just seamlessly infiltrated my soul with Jesus. Brought me face-to-face with the fact that I was a dead Christian who knew the Bible but didn’t truly follow Christ. Without their grueling, thankless, nobody-sees-it-but-God infiltration, I’d still be a loveless wretch today. But now I am crazy for my savior, and I will pay my infiltration forward.
What about you?
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).