by: Jeff Poppinga
When I arrived to pastor the people known as Faith Baptist Church back in 2004, one of the things I noticed was their sign which read, "A Church For All People." This is an interesting sentiment that can very easily be misunderstood in today's climate of tolerance but just because it can be misunderstood does mean that it has to be misunderstood.
A church can be for all people without compromising the truth of the gospel and a church must be for all people if it is to be true to the gospel.
First of all, a church can be for all people without compromising the truth the gospel. The truth of the gospel is that "all" have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and are in need of a Savior (Rom 3:23). The church is for all people because all people have sinned. The truth of the gospel is that grace of God has appeared bring salvation for all people. All people have sinned and the grace of God in Christ Jesus is available for all people (Titus 2:11). The church can be for all people who recognize, admit and confess their sin. To be a church for all people requires preaching and teaching that all have sinned and requires a consistent call to turn from sin to Christ.
Secondly, a church must be for all people if it is to be true to the gospel. The gospel demands that the church be for all people for in Christ Jesus there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female but all are one in Christ (Gal 3:28). This means that the gospel breaks down ethnic barriers, socio-economic barriers and gender barriers. Jesus has come for all people and all who come to Him, He will receive. The church should do no less! A church family's common denominator is Christ their Deliverer. When a church starts making something less than Christ their common denominator then a church will start excluding people for items and issues not related to the gospel.
Faith Baptist continues to strive for this standard of being a church for all people, for which I am glad, for I too would be helpless and hopeless apart from the grace of God in Christ Jesus.
Maybe you are one who thinks that you are not good enough for church. Let me remind you that we have all sinned and we all need the grace of God in Christ Jesus to have our sins forgiven.
Maybe you are one who thinks that some others are not good enough for church. Let me remind you that we (you included) have all sinned and we (you included) need the grace of God in Christ Jesus to have our (you included) sins forgiven.
I think "A Church For All People" is such a good statement that we put it on our new sign as well!
Something to think about....
Glory and Praise to God
Grace and Peace to you,
Pastor Jeff Poppinga