A Bridge or a Barrier?
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)
When nonbelievers visit a church, they are not only checking out what is happening up front, but they are also checking out what is going on around them. They are watching your reaction. Do you care? Are you paying attention? Is this important to you? Should it be important to them?
And maybe there are times when visitors don’t know the protocol. But before we start to judge, let’s stop and ask ourselves, do we know their story? Is this their first time at church? They don’t know what they are supposed to wear. They don’t know what slogan is acceptable on a T-shirt. They don’t know what to say.
Some Christians might turn them away and say, “I am sorry. You can’t come in here. You are not dressed appropriately.” And guess what? That makes God angry, because the church is a place to hear the Word of God. The church is a place to worship the Lord. The church is a place to pray. And the church is a place for sinners to come and find God.
If someone comes to church who doesn’t know the protocol or the dress code or the secret language of Christians, and they are turned away or made to feel uncomfortable because of some judgmental stare from a believer, then we are missing it. We should look at those people and go out of our way to welcome them, to make them feel loved. We should never keep people from Christ. We should always be drawing them to Christ.
Are you a bridge or a barrier to people coming to Christ? Every Christian tends to be one or the other. We are all examples, whether we want to be or not. The question is, are we good examples or bad ones?
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