This concept is hard to accept, grasp, or practice. The “church is not a hotel for saints — it is a hospital for sinners!”We are all just beggars sharing bread. It is easy to view the church as belonging solely to the perfect, strong, successful. We joke, “the church roof would fall in if I came.” Ironically, those who need the church the most, flee from it!
Yet, all of God’s great men were failures, sinners, rejects, fallen! Abraham lied (Genesis 20: 2), Moses beat up on a rock, (Numbers 20: 7-12), David a murderer and adulterer, Paul the “chief of sinners!” Peter denied the Lord three times (Luke 22: 61) — yet to this total failure, at the cross Jesus gives to him the keys of the kingdom.
Repentance is not a self-will or vow to do better — it is facing up to our failures, then totally giving ourselves to God. All of us, to a degree, are cracked, chipped, torn, frayed at the edges. Only God’s love can cover this multitude of sins.
Brethren in sin must not run, hide, and fight; but, repent, accept compassion and build again. We must live among those who know the worst about us. “Church people” pretend and cover up, thinking they can be used only when perfect. When exposed, they move on.
Whatever your sin, there is still hope! Jesus says, “Follow Me.” (Matthew 16: 24).Where God is, there is hope. Peter stayed and faced the music! Judas committed suicide. The choice is yours. It may be too late for innocence, but not repentance. Churches are filled with odds and ends and seconds and damaged goods. That is why the church is in the salvage and grace business.