Yet it seems that many Christians when given the blessed opportunity to minister to the needs of a hurting person instead choose to act as if they have some sort of moral imperative to point out their failures and to tell them, in their view, just what God thinks about it. Where is the love of God in that? Where is the love and grace from them that Jesus showed the woman who was caught in adultery? Instead of condemning her as the Law required and the self-righteous demanded; Jesus chose instead to give her the one thing she really needed and desired, love and acceptance. Not acceptance of her sin, but He loved HER and he accepted HER just the way she was.
The longer I am a Christian the more I am convinced that people can’t come to Christ simply to avoid eternal punishment, to get a “get out of hell free pass.” Yet that seems to be the message that I have heard preached in most of the churches I have been part of in the past. It is summed up in the phrase “turn or burn.” I simply don’t believe someone can be saved with a message like that. I think it leads to many false conversions. I know it did in my case many years ago when a preacher scared me down to the front of the church to say a prayer and get dunked.
No, people come to Christ by being convinced in their hearts of His love and acceptance and forgiveness for them and to be joined to the One who can give them, eternally, His life and hope and love. That is the good news that Christ died for. But people will not come to Christ unless the love and acceptance of Jesus is made real to them in the way we Christians live out our lives. Unless they see the love of Jesus in us, they will walk the other way. That love isn’t best expressed by trying to change their behavior. A change of behavior isn’t what they need the most. What they need is Jesus and to see His love expressed in us.