As a Christian that shares her faith (evangelizes), I have encountered many people who have shared that they are not welcome in the Church. They have concluded that the “Church” is all Christian churches but are referring to the buildings belonging to professing pastors and/or teachers. When I ask ‘why they think that is’ they say it is because of their many sins. Those church-hurt individuals naturally began listing off their sins in shame (coupled with another emotion) as though they believe that same lie.
Some of those rehearsed and listed sins aren’t actual sins at all but are tied to human traditions with cultural origins. In the past, when I would meet people like this, I would apologize for the behavior of those so-called pastors and teachers under Christianity. Far too big of a responsibility for anyone to handle. Today, I have had a loss for words in my efforts to comfort men and women who have been hurt by different churches. The hurt from those churches are due to many reasons, including public or private condemnation, ridicule, and hypocrisy that they have encountered.
As I was reading in the book of Luke, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. (Luke 11:37-54) He said:
“How is it that you only associate the “Teachers of the Law” as a past group of Jews from Jesus’ time and not associate them with men and women of the present times?“
For a brief minute there I experienced an “ah ha” moment. For those of us who have turned to Jesus and abandoned our old lives to follow Him, we are living and experiencing a relationship with Jesus Christ under God’s grace through faith.
Grace- χάρις, ιτος, ἡ – charis: [unearned] favor; as a [free, unearned] gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ.
We know that we are no longer under the Law but are under grace (Romans 6:14). In fact, the Law (Old Covenant / Commandments) came to show us that we were sinning (Romans 3:20) when we were still enemies of God (Colossians 1:21; Romans 5:10). To some, this is a hard teaching to understand, but it is the truth. When we made Jesus Christ Lord of our lives (surrendering and giving our old lives and sinful nature), we stepped into a New Covenant with the Father and His Son. The Law (Old Covenant) brought forth a ministry that brings condemnation, but the New Covenant brings righteousness that is by faith. This new ministry is to a ministry of reconciliation – God’s reconciling us back to Himself through Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). As Christians who have turned from death to life, “we know what it is to fear the Lord,” and so “we try to persuade others” (2 Corinthians 5:11 NIV). We have experienced this incredible, free and unearned gift from God, which is grace, and we want so badly to help others to experience it. Unfortunately, we have to compete with the damage the modern-day “Teachers of Law” (and false teachers and prophets) have caused. They have planted seeds of fear in those who are afraid of coming to God, through Jesus Christ.
“The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are experts in the Law of Moses.” Matthew 23:2 CEV
“Therefore do whatever they tell you and observe [it]. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach.” Matthew 23:3 CSB
“They pile heavy burdens on people’s shoulders and won’t lift a finger to help. Everything they do is just to show off in front of others.” Matthew 23:2-4 CEV
The Holy Spirit has made it clear to me that those teachers of the Law have changed faces, but are still very prevalent in today’s time. There are many leaders of Christian churches leading God’s people astray with their teaching that brings condemnation. This is not to be confused with the many churches, under Christ, who are teaching truth about sin: sin shall no longer be our masters. But, we know the types: the pastors who are teaching that you must follow the rules they have set in order to enter heaven, or the teaching that it is our works (what we do) that will get us into heaven [being a good person, giving to charities, worship this way or that way, etc.] There are even pastors who are preaching the wrong doctrines of salvation [praying Jesus into one’s heart.] It is impossible for anyone to not break one of the commandments, this is why Jesus came! To help us through the power of His Holy Spirit.
“For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” James 2:10 NLT
We have these men (and women) who are ministering to God’s people and are teaching that they must be perfect people. This teaching raises an inward battle and can cause a person to give up on God completely or seeking divine help in false religions. If God sought perfection from us (mere humans), then Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross would have been for nothing; meaningless. It is important for those that know the truth and are in relationship with Jesus Christ, as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), to share the truth with the people around us. Many have been abandoned (cease to support or look after), but extol the LORD because there is freedom for the abandon. That includes those who have been under the teachings of the Law and/or false doctrine. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, let us correct what’s been done to those individuals by sharing the following truths.
5 Spiritual Truths for Those Who’ve Been Turned Away from a Church
- God wants them to be saved.
“God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth, which is, [t]here is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us. God showed us this at the right time.” 1 Timothy 2:4-6
- God was delighted and pleased when He created them.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in heaven. In Christ, He CHOSE us before the world was made. He CHOSE us in LOVE to be His holy [set apart] people—people who could stand before Him without any fault. And before the world was made, God DECIDED to MAKE us His own children through Jesus Christ. This was what God WANTED, and it PLEASED Him to do it.” Ephesians 1:3-5 ERV
- God wants to be reconciled with them.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
- God wants them to repent and to turn to Jesus Christ, His Son.
Mark 1: 15: “All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.”
Acts 2:38: “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 20:21: “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” | Repent [to change one’s mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins]
- God wants to set them free.
“Christ has liberated us into freedom. Therefore stand firm and don’t submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 CSB
3 Spiritual Truths for Those Sharing Their Faith with Those Who’ve Been Turned Away from a Church
Three truthful encouragements for you:
- All the truths above all for you, too!
- You are Christ’s Ambassador!
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT
- You are compelled by Christ’s love!
“For it is Christ’s love that fuels our passion and motivates us, because we are absolutely convinced that he has given his life for all of us. This means all died with him, so that those who live should no longer live self-absorbed lives but lives that are poured out for him—the one who died for us and now lives again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 TPT
- Do not hold back the truth.
“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!” 2 Corinthians 5:16 NLT
Dear Heavenly Father,
We approach you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Savior. Give us a burning desire, from Your Holy Spirit, to fulfill Jesus’ last commission (Matthew 28:18-20) to GO and make disciples of all nations. Remove fear of rejection from our hearts and replace it with courage and peace that comes directly from you. I ask that You prepare the hearts of who we should share our faith with. I pray that the Holy Spirit will give us wisdom and discern of who to share with. May we not do this out of ritual or to be seen by others, but truly because of the love of Christ and love for others. Lord, my God, give us strength and fuel us when life seems consumed by other things and tasks. Help to recall our purpose in You, always.
LORD, my God set the captives free! We plead the blood of Jesus Christ, the Anointed One.
It is in Jesus’ Holy name we pray.