“Come just as you are…?”

It’s truly amazing how people want to make Jesus out as this ‘all-accepting’ type person who wasn’t restrained by things like the Bible, or sin, or God’s morality. “Jesus was just love and He accepted and loved everybody just the way they are.” Well that is true in a sense but it’s not the whole truth. Jesus came with purpose when He came to Earth, to purchase back that which man has given away. Man gave away his rights and authority on this Earth when Adam & Even sinned in the Garden of Eden. They handed over their God-given authority to another, the devil, and from that point on Satan has been the God of this world-a world steeped in sin, sickness, perversion, pain and death. Jesus came to purchase back our original rights and to give us eternal life through his sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead but, His time here on Earth was not necessarily spent going around just loving everybody, as if He was straight out of the sixties hippie movement. Jesus came here in love, that much is for certain but, that love is many times misconstrued by people because they only see Jesus through their own understanding and not through the understanding of God Himself.

 “They see Jesus thru the perspective of the creation rather than that of the creator.”

 If you think about the limited understanding of something someone actually makes in relation to the person who makes it…well, it’s as the Bible describes God in relation to us in Isaiah 55:8-9 ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts. My ways are not your ways… As the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We must recognize that God is bigger than us-bigger and a thousand times more expansive than anything we can imagine.

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Today with issues like homosexuality and transgenderism at the forefront of political and social conversation, many want to say that if Jesus was here today He would have no problem with either of those issues because Jesus loved everybody. Someone will say, “The Bible tells us in 1 John that ‘God is love’”. True, He is the very embodiment of what real love is but we need to understand that our concept of love and God’s concept of love are two different things. God’s love is not just the gushy, goose bump love and it’s not even limited to the love a parent has for their child. God’s love is bigger than that! The Greek word for the love God displays to us is ‘Agape’ which is an eternal, all encompassing, ever-forgiving type of love which in all reality, is beyond human comprehension because we in our finite selves cannot express this kind of love. It’s simply a divine quality which God exhibits towards us. Without getting into the different kinds of Greek terms for love and going into too much detail on this specific subject, simply put this love, because it is a divine quality, also includes perfect justice, mercy & faithfulness. Yes God loves us but His love also includes a line drawn in the sand when it involves sin.

 “God and sin cannot and will not, ever dwell together.”

 The entire Old Testament is wrapped around God constantly trying to provide redemption for the Israelites. Even before the 10 commandments and the rest of the Mosaic Law was given on Mount Sanai, sin was in the world! The Law was given to expose sin and provide a means for God’s forbearance of the sin. All the sacrifices in the Old Testament never did away with the people’s sin, the sacrifices and rituals performed never obtained God’s forgiveness for their sin, they couldn’t. They simply were a way to provide temporary alleviation of God’s judgment year after year (until the arrival of Jesus who bore all the sin of the world-from the very beginning of time until the end of days). This was the only way provided so that God could bless the Israelites because again, God cannot reside where sin resides. God cannot bless that which is sinful. God is completely holy, righteous and just. The New Testament affirms this in Hebrews 12:14 ‘…without holiness, no one will see the Lord’.

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Jesus came to provide the atonement for our sins-for all our sins but unlike many today will claim, this does not mean Jesus just accepts everyone however they are (more on this in a minute). There are many Biblical examples of Jesus commanding people to ‘sin no more’. Whether it be the adulterous woman in John 8 or the rich man who tried to justify himself by supposedly keeping all the commandments since birth in Mark 10 (yeah right!). There are also many accounts in the Epistles and in the book of Acts of the Apostles addressing sin, and that it must change. In all honestly, the excuse of ‘Well I was just born this way’ is not a valid excuse for any sin whether it’s homosexuality, lying, murder, incest, stealing, sexual perversion/obsession, coveting, etc…there is no excuse. I may feel I was just born with anger issues but does that mean God will just allow me to be angry all the time since I was ‘born that way’? One may feel they were born with a proclivity to lie all the time but does that mean they have a pass from God to just stay that way and continue to live in their sin? What about those who feel they just can’t get enough sex and don’t want to get married, are they excused to go live however they feel they were supposedly ‘born’? Absolutely not!

“God always accepts us exactly where we are but,

He expects us to change as we continually abide in His presence.”

Coming to Jesus is not about being perfect-if it was Jesus came to die on this Earth for nothing. No, He came and died for you and me because we are not perfect. Far from it actually. Romans 5:8 states “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man although for a good man someone might possibly die, but God demonstrated His own love for us in this way, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Ephesians 2: states “God made us alive in Christ Jesus, even when we were dead in our transgressions.” Glory to God that we have been made alive in Christ! God has given us a new life in Him who died and was resurrected for us. We can rejoice in this and be encouraged that God will not leave us as we are. We come to Him in sin, lowly and needing redemption, He redeems us, gives us new birth (in our spirits) and promises to change us (Phil 1:6). 2 Corinthians 3:18 says ‘We are being transformed into His likeness, with an ever-increasing glory (always becoming more like Jesus).’

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So let us depart from wickedness and draw near to God through our love for Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit living in us! We are the church-the very body of Christ here on this Earth until He returns. Let us not waver or turn back, but with God’s strength, let us press on towards holiness (through God’s strength in us) and the type of lives God desires for each one of us. And with His help we will most definitely do so!!

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