The Savior of the Undesirables

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
lockeddoor3.jpgI once preached for a congregation with a shameful past. In previous years, one of the men would stand in the door and not allow anyone of a different skin color to enter.
Decades later, I was blessed to not only welcome an undesirable, but to baptize him into Christ. Thankfully, Christ welcomes those man’s bigotry rejects.
“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, NKJV).
Man divides while God unites. God loves, while man hates and rejects.
Even in the Lord’s church, we find brethren who build walls that they have no right to build. Even Peter, who should have known better than anyone, built racial walls by looking down on the Gentile Christians (Galatians 2:11-21).
Peter had heard specifically from God that he should see all men as equal, yet his sinful proclivities shone through (Acts 10:9-16,34). We must stand above the evils of men.
In Mark 2:14-17, Jesus calls Matthew to be a disciple and dines in his house with Matthew’s tax collector friends. The Pharisees, of course, are there to mock him for eating with sinners.
“When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17).
The Pharisees saw those at the table as scum and wanted nothing to do with them. If the Lord thought as man did, would he allow any of us to be in the Church? Would our skin color, looks, financial status or nationality meet the criterion of the narrow-minded?
Jesus, however, is the Savior of the undesirables. He welcomes those whom man sees as worthless. Those we tolerate, Jesus embraces. The Lord knows that all men are made in his image and posses inherent value (Genesis 1:27).
The Gospel call is blind to prejudice. It rings through all nations and hearts (Matthew 28:18-20). His plea is for all who will come (Matthew 11:28-30). Accordingly, we must carry the message to all men and accept them with open arms into the family (Acts 2:37-47; Ephesians 2:19).
If we wish to be pleasing to God, we have no other choice. We must allow Christ’s blood to warm our frozen hearts before it is too late (1 John 1:7).

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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