Romans 5:6-11 :
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
One of the greatest things said to me as I was considering Christianity was a simple rhetorical question. A friend said, “Randy, do you take a bath in order to take a shower? No, you just get in the shower. You don’t have to get cleaned up to get cleaned up… just jump in.” This friend explained that God isn’t expecting us to become perfect Saints before we can qualify to become a Christian. We don’t have to have it all figured out in order to engage Him.
For some reason, many in the church used to believe (and some still do) that non-Christians are the way they are because they simply want to offend Christians. It’s religious legalist’s ethnocentric way of trying to contextualize other communities by their assumptions and expectations.
An example …
One time I gave my testimony at a church and a well-intentioned lady asked, “When you were having sex with those men … didn’t you just know that it was evil?”
As kindly but as directly as I could respond I said, “Actually no. I enjoyed the sexual relationships I had with most of those men and it never occurred to me at that time that it was actually sinful. My relationships with a few of them were also more than sexual. In fact, there was a lot of very messed up things in my life but my identity as a gay man and the gay community were the only ‘anchors’ I thought I had.” I went on to tell her that yes, I knew something was missing in my life but for a long time I never questioned my being gay or if what I was doing was “sinful” or not. She couldn’t get her mind around that and actually argued with me … about me .
It wasn’t my own deductive reasoning that led me to the Lord. It was God’s loving and deeply personal sacrifice, explained by His Spirit, that called out to my soul. Jesus as Lord and Savior actually means a universe of freedom and possibility. He awakened my spiritual yearning for Living Water and I began searching for Him with an honest heart.
He didn’t give me a check off list or say, “Why don’t you just get it yet?” He didn’t make me do a moral inventory with a resulting thesis on the comparison/contrasting nature of my wrongs versus good intentions or works.
I became a Christian because even though I didn’t agree with God on much of anything, I did end up agreeing with Him that I was indeed a sinner in need of a Savior. I also believed that if God is who He says He is, He would speak to me, lead me, love me, in ways that I would know beyond a shadow of a doubt it is Him. I knew that if the God of the Bible was for real, He would prove Himself and change my heart if need be. So in a very blind state of faith I invited Him to be my Lord and Savior. And because HE is faithful to keep His end of the New Covenant AND mine … He saved me by His grace, He keeps me by His grace.
He is a God of His Word.
He has lovingly guided me into a well-spring of love and relationship with Him that continues these almost 21 years later. I genuinely love Him and am so grateful. I honestly adore Him.
He simply said, “Come Home. You don’t need to find the key when The Door is already open.” Jesus died to open that door. Now that He has Risen, He IS the doorway to God. He rose again to carry us across the threshold that once blinded us from our glorious and loving Father.
Come on Home. Let nothing, no one … stand in your way. He’s waiting.