Jenks Church – I grew up in a home where performance was rewarded. If I was good, my parents seemed to love me. But if I behaved badly, it was as if they didn’t love me anymore. I believe they did love me anyway, but I often felt that I could be good enough. But over the years, I’ve discovered that being good enough isn’t really good enough.
Maybe you remember the book, I’m Okay; You’re Okay. It was written basically to tell us we are okay. But if someone tells me I’m okay, that doesn’t mean that I really am okay. Also, if I tell you that you’re okay, that doesn’t mean you are okay. But if God tells us we are okay, then we’re okay! I want to write a new book entitled, I’m Not Okay and You’re Not Okay, but that’s Okay! It will be a book about grace.
Grace is the lost idea in our culture. Grace is really God’s way of accepting people who are not perfect. Grace overlooks faults. If the church doesn’t show grace to the world, then the church has nothing at all to offer to the world. The church’s
main message is that Jesus is the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. I rarely hear this message in the church. Many of us seem to think that Jesus took away only the sin of the church. But again and again the Bible tells us that he took away the sin of the world. John writes (I John 2:2), “He is the forgiveness for our sins, but not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” And Paul says (II Corinthians 5:19) , “God was in Christ, making friends with the world, not counting their sins against them, and giving to us the ministry of making friends for God.”
It is the church’s job to present forgiveness to the world. The “Good News” of the gospel is that God has forgiven us all, everyone in the world. My question, then, is: “Will you accept God’s forgiveness?”
Who, then, will go to hell? It will be those who know the truth but reject it on purpose, those who refuse to accept the forgiveness they have been freely given.
It is the church’s responsibility to represent God to our world. Our main job is to let people know God has forgiven them. The New Testament says that the “forgiveness of sins is proclaimed” in the name of Christ. So many churches have turned the good news into bad news. They often say, “You stand condemned. You are sinners. You are guilty.” But that’s not good news—that’s bad news. We should really shout from the rooftops. “Your sins are forgiven. Will you accept God’s forgiveness?”
When the church shows love, acceptance and forgiveness to the world, then perhaps the world will learn of God’s forgiveness. The church exists to show grace to the world.
-This article was written by Mark Berrier. He will be coming to the church soon as a guest speaker for our VBS!