Does the bible contain errors?
Tue Jun 18, 2013
by Megan Almon
Introducing: “Know the Bible” series
Mon Jun 17, 2013
What is Scripture?
Mon Jun 17, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
21 simple ways to be an exceptional dad
Sun Jun 16, 2013
by Josh Mcpherson
1. Deliver the mail 2. Read the mail
Sat Jun 15, 2013
by Cam Huxford IV
Are You a Friend of Sinners?
Do you like sinners? Jesus did and still does.
Being Like Jesus
I hear a lot of Christians talking about being like Jesus, being conformed into the likeness of Jesus, walking like Jesus, and following Jesus. But most Christians I know don’t love sinners like Jesus. They don’t hang out with them, they don't share the gospel with them, and they just don't like them.
Jesus in the gospels was accused by the religious crowd of being “a friend of sinners" (Matthew 11:19). It didn’t say he tolerated sinners, or that he made an allowance for them to be in his gathering. It doesn’t say that he tract-bombed them and then ran or held big concerts and then preached the gospel at the end with the bait and switch.
You Know…Like a Friend
Instead, the gospels tells us that he was a friend of sinners. He knew sinners, went to their houses, and talked with them over wine (yes, Jesus drank alcohol with sinful people). He knew their names, probably knew their kids' names, knew their aspirations and dreams, and knew what they were interested in. You know…like a friend.
Why do we think it's okay to only hang out with Christians and never hang out with anybody who doesn't believe what we do?
In all this talk about being like Jesus, why don’t we ever talk about being a friend to sinners? Why do we think it's okay to only hang out with Christians and never hang out with anybody who doesn't believe what we do? Aren’t we supposed to follow in Jesus' footsteps?
I’ve heard many Christians say, “Oh, we're trying to remain holy.” Jesus was holy. His holiness caused him to reach out to people whom the culture deemed sinners, criminals, adulterers, fornicators, offenders, outlaws, and materialistic. Jesus was known to hang out with these types of crowds, so much so they accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton (Matthew 11:19).
The religious crowd hated him; he didn’t keep their rules. One of their greatest complaints was that Jesus didn’t focus his attention on them (the Pharisees and Sadducees). He hung out with those who were sick and blind (the people who the religious folks thought were being punished by God). If you were to look at your life, look at your church, maybe even look at the movement within evangelical Christianity that you are a part of, could there ever be this accusation from a legalistic religious crowd towards you? Are you a friend of sinners?