Everyone’s welcome except those who don’t want to be there

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Everyone’s welcome. This is another aspect about the Gospel of Welcome we want to focus on today. Everyone’s welcome. And we mean everyone. Every color, every race, every religion and none, every sexual preference (LGBT and you can add XYZ if you want to — they’re welcome, too) every nationality, every disability — everyone, including any category of humanity I’ve left out. Everyone’s welcome.

The only exceptions to “everyone” are those who stand at the door and want to keep certain people out. They are the only ones who aren’t welcome, and that’s because they disqualify themselves. They don’t see themselves as sinners, so they wouldn’t want to be there anyway. As soon as they see who’s there, they will want to be somewhere else. (These are the sad people who are going to exclude themselves right out of heaven. At least they won’t be disappointed. They won’t want to be in heaven as soon as they get wind of who’s there.) They’re going to be in their own kind of private hell because it’s all about them — always was, always will be. And that’s the way they want it.

There aren’t many qualifiers to everyone being welcome, but here is one: To get in, you have to wipe your feet on the welcome mat, and then, you have to be the welcome mat for others. That’s right: people will wipe their feet on you. That’s because we only touch the human heart when we are humbled. We become real when we are brought low. Let everyone else wipe their humanity on you; that’s okay. It’s good, actually. It’s what makes us one with each other. We’re all a bunch of derelicts saved by grace. Welcome home. Jesus laid Himself down for all of us; we lay ourselves down for each other, because others are more important than we are.

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7 Responses to Everyone’s welcome except those who don’t want to be there

  1. Mark S. says:

    Pastor John was so blessed by this Catch! Thx, so appreciate it & u!

  2. Andrew P. says:

    “They don’t see themselves as sinners.” John, do you actually know anybody in church like this? I don’t believe I do. If I did, I don’t understand why they would be in church. They would obviously be a little fuzzy on why we do that “Lord’s Supper” thing, for example. Are you sure this isn’t a straw man, the kind usually set up by people who want to come as sinners, but don’t want to be changed?

    • jwfisch says:

      Not only do I know people like this, I was one and still struggle with this. Oh, I might admit I slip and fall now and then, but compared to the sinners around me, no, I don’t see myself as identified with them.

      • Andrew P. says:

        Well, okay. Still not sure I really know such people (though to some degree, we could be getting stuck on semantics). But, in any event, I want to urge you not to, in the words of a friend of mine, “become a Pharisee about the Pharisees.” I think I can see a hint of that in some of your word choices today.

      • jwfisch says:

        Maybe. But someone already reminded m today that Jesus wasn’t too kind to the Pharisees as if there might be an exception of the rule.

  3. Tim says:

    I spent the majority of my life in the evangelical right movement of Christianity. The gospel of welcome was never a concept taught. We took righteous moral stand against others and patted ourselves on the back for being the true voice of God.
    Now as a self described evangelical refugee I only hope to be a welcome mat in our home and church.
    Great Catch today and I’ve passed it on to our life group.

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