Accept the Unacceptable Revelation 7:9&10

 

A Man Named Bill His name was Bill. He had wild hair, wore a T-shirt with holes in it, blue jeans and no shoes. He never once wore a pair of shoes. Rain, sleet or snow, Bill was barefoot. This was literally his wardrobe for his whole four years of college. He was brilliant and looked like he was always pondering the esoteric. He became a Christian while attending college. One day, Bill decided to worship at church across the street. He walked into the church, complete with his wild hair, T-shirt, blue jeans and bare feet. The church was completely packed, and the service had already begun. Bill started down the aisle to find a place to sit. By now the people were looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one said anything. As Bill moved closer and closer to the pulpit, he realized there were no empty seats. So he squatted and sat down on the carpet right up front. (Although such behavior would have been perfectly acceptable at the college fellowship, this was a scenario this particular congregation had never witnessed before!) By now, the people seemed uptight, and the tension in the air was thickening. Right about the time Bill took his “seat,” an elder began slowly making his way down the aisle from the back of the worship area. The elder was in his eighties, had silver gray hair, a three-piece suit and a pocket watch. He was a godly man — very elegant, dignified and courtly. He walked with a cane and, as he neared the boy, church members thought, “You can’t blame him for what he’s going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and background to understand some college kid on the floor?” It took a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church was utterly silent except for the clicking of his cane. You couldn’t even hear anyone breathing. All eyes were on the elder. But then they saw the elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he sat down on the floor next to Bill and worshipped with him. Everyone in the congregation choked up with emotion. When the minister gained control, he told the people, “What I am about to preach, you will never remember. What you’ve just seen, you will never forget.” What would you have done? The Elder could have easily made Bill feel stupid and not welcomed. But instead he meet Bill where he was. A college student who was searching for God. Had the elder looked at Bill through his own eyes he would have been disgusted with the younger generation. But instead he looked at Bill through God’s eyes. Looking at Bill the way God looked at Bill created a bridge so Bill could come to know Jesus. Looking at Bill through his own eyes would have driven Bill away from that church and maybe from Jesus. We had a visitor here last November, a young woman in her early 20’s. She did not dress with the modest we expect from people who go to church. Some people told me that she should have known better. Are we going to accept people where they are or expect them to be Christ like before they become a Christian? I really believe that young woman wore the best clothes she had. I bet her attitude of wearing her best clothes to go to Church is what she was after and never gave it a second thought that her top was to revealing. How do you look at other people? Remember how you view them and treat them will in part determine their Eternal Destination. John 6:37 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” When someone walks through our doors in a sense God has given them to us and we had better never drive them away. Romans 12:13 “Practice hospitality.” Treat others with respect and honor. Philippians 2:3 says, “consider others better than yourself.” Hebrews 13:2 states, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” The safest way not to really miss up is to treat everyone the way you would want to be treated. And the way Jesus treated everyone. Let’s take a closer look at how Jesus treated people. Not the “pretty” people of society but the unacceptable people of society. Matthew 9:9-13 Jesus choose “one of them” to be His disciple. Then He even went to eat with “that kind.” The Pharisees had a real problem with the kind of people Jesus associated with. This was really a sign that Jesus was fulfilling His mission. Todd Agnew – My Jesus From the album Reflection Of Something Which Jesus do you follow? Which Jesus do you serve? If Ephesians says to imitate Christ, Why do you look so much like the world? Chorus: Cause my Jesus bled and died He spent His time with thieves and liars He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant So which one do you want to be? Blessed are the poor in spirit, do we pray to be blessed with the Wealth of this land Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness Do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand Chorus: And who is this that you follow This picture of the American dream If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side Or fall down and worship at His holy feet Pretty blue eyes, curly brown hair and a clear complexion Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins But the Word says He was battered and scarred Or did you miss that part Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him Chorus: Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet But He reached for the hurting and despises the proud I think He’d prefer Beal St. to the stained glass crowd But I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud I want to be like my Jesus Can I be like You I want to be like my Jesus Luke 7:36-39,48 Jesus loved the Pharisees also and ate with them. Jesus knew who the woman was and loved her and gave her what she really needed, forgiveness of her sins. John 8:4-11 I do not condemn you, go and leave your life of sin. Jesus does not condone the sinful behavior of those He accepts and treats with respect. He accepts them where they are and challenges them to move forward. That is what we have to do. Love the sinner and hate the sin. Love the sinner and help the sinner leave their life of sin. I tell people that I do not care about their past, I care about their present and future. If we begin to recognize the attitude of the Pharisees in our life it is time to do an about face. The Pharisees did not think that Jesus should eat with sinners. The Pharisees did not think that Jesus should let a sinner touch him. Even if it was to clean His feet. The Pharisees thought Jesus should stone the sinful woman. Are there people you will not eat with? Are there people you would not accept help from? Are there people you would like to stone, or maybe you already have with your words? Remember that Jesus spoke harshly to the Pharisees because of their ungodly attitudes. Who are the unacceptable and unloved in our society? Would Jesus have loved them? Does Jesus love them? We are Jesus’ body. He loves the unlovely through us. How is Jesus doing? That is how the world sees it. Well if the Christians do not love us and accept us then God must not love us either. School bus – Boys home, are the boys there bad – No made bad choices but not bad It is time to take a close look at are attitudes and prejudices and turn them over to Jesus. So we can reach out to others with the love of Jesus. Even keep helping the ungrateful who ask for help. James 2:1-9 We are not to show favoritism or treat people differently. We are to “love our neighbor as ourselves” What happens if we do not. Verse 9 You SIN!! It is a sin to treat people differently. Accepting some and rejecting others. Have you ever been rejected? Seen as the unlovable or the unacceptable person in a group? How did it make you feel? Then why would you purposefully make someone else feel that way? Remember Bill? Had he been rejected by this church he may have never come to know Jesus. If we are serious about reaching others for Christ then we must accept and love everyone. What does your present circle of friends look like? Pick someone who is different than your present circle. Get to know them. This will broaden our learning and we will be able to see other points of view. We will also see the needs of others. Let’s take one last look at our attitudes and prejudices. Race relations do not seem to be getting better as time goes on. The divide between some may even be getting wider. It is time for us as Christians to make a difference and set the example. Why? Because Jesus accepted and loved everyone no matter the color of their skin, their wealth, or their education. Because there is only one race anyway. The human race. Adam and Eve are everyone’s Great, Great, Great, grandparents. We are all one Blood. Because Heaven looks like a melting pot of the world. Revelation 7:9,10 Galatians 3:26-29 This is what God sees now and so should we. Who have you rejected in the past? What was your reasoning? Who do you refuse to reach out to? If we claim to be Christians, Christ-like, then we must do what Jesus did. He accepted the unacceptable. Let’s commit to being more accepting like Jesus. Do you feel unacceptable today? Jesus loves you and accepts you right where you are. But He wants you to go and sin no more, He wants to say your sins are forgiven. Just come to Him today. Come believing He is the Savior of the world, Come repenting of your sins, Come willing to be immersed into Him for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.