Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.
- 1 CORINTHIANS 6:9-11 (The Message)
These verses help us understand what kind of place a church should be. It should be a welcoming place to all people from all backgrounds; a nonjudgmental place; and a place full of grace. And as members of the church, the Body of Christ, we should be a welcoming people, who are nonjudgmental and full of grace. That does not mean we compromise biblical teaching or fail to use discernment in working with individuals. It simply means we welcome people “just as they are” to hear about Jesus so they don’t have to remain “just as they are.”
So let’s welcome – even invite – all people to church. There they can be given a fresh start by Jesus, who will change them from being “unqualified” for the kingdom to “qualified.”