As I sit in this local coffee house, it’s obvious that most in here don’t even like coffee. In fact, some hate it. Sure, they like sugar, and cream, and foam, but coffee? Not so much. If you told me that coffee houses would become as huge in this country as they have, I would have laughed at you. The bottom line: coffee houses attract coffee lovers (as God has ordained), but also milkshake lovers and bread lovers. (and maybe free WiFi lovers too)
Well, the church has has actually done the same. Stay with me.
The early church attracted Christ-followers. And ONLY Christ-followers. It was far from a nice place to go and take the kids. It was actually dangerous to do so. Once the community learned of a believer’s faith in Jesus, it was often times a death sentence. If not literally, for sure financially and relationally.
I am in no way advocating the return of those days (although that may be where we’re headed). Indeed, the church has to be welcoming to all guests of all faiths, including no faith. We have to be gracious, loving and welcoming. Few church leaders would disagree with that notion. But what I am suggesting is that sometimes we (or I) assume that everyone who calls Arizona Hills their church has also taken the step of personal faith of receiving Christ’s free gift of eternal life. Jesus called it a new birth and Paul called it becoming a new creation.
This Sunday I will attempt to make the Gospel and its compelling power the center of our time together. Whether one is a stranger to His love or has embraced it for decades, I want Jesus to be proclaimed loud and even more CLEAR! And everyone will have the opportunity to take that step.
Please bring someone who needs to hear the Gospel because this Sunday will be as clear as it ever gets.
Now, back to my doppio espresso. Don’t knock it until you try it!