A Hospital for Sinners
“Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7)
When I was in high school, I remember a day in our PE class when a guy was using unbelievable profanity. As a non-Christian, I had cussed with the best of them, but even I was shocked at the profanity coming from this guy.
So I said to one of my friends, “What’s his trip?” (That is 1960s vernacular for “What’s his problem?”)
“Oh,” my friend told me, “he’s a preacher’s kid.”
As an unbeliever, even I couldn’t understand why a person would cuss so much. That guy was the worst witness, and his father was a preacher. It is a sad thing, because someone like that can keep people away from God.
Jesus doesn’t like it when we keep people away from God. That is why He drove the moneychangers out of the temple, telling them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’ ” (Luke 19:46). Jesus was effectively saying, “You are taking My house, a house of prayer, a house for everyone, a place for people to know God, and you are driving them away. I don’t want that, so I will drive you away so there is room for these people. Everyone should be able to come to God.”
Even in the Old Testament, we see God extending His love to non-Jews. Speaking about the Gentiles, He said, “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7).
God has extended His love to everyone. Therefore, a church should be a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.
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