Most of us do not like to admit when we need help. I know a friend who was putting shingles on a storage shed by himself, who already has a bad back, and was going it alone. I don’t think I need to dwell on this point. There are certainly a small minority who often ask for help, but overall I think we are mostly the same in not wanting to inconvenience others.
Truth be told I think if we had to choose, most of us would rather help others than be helped. It’s that type of “I can handle it” mentality that gets us into trouble when it comes to God’s plan for salvation. In order to receive God’s forgiveness, we must admit our need. And the Bible tells us we are all in need when it comes to being made right with God. Some people will admit it and be saved and some won’t admit it and when they die will rely on their own goodness. Those self-reliant, even if they are church people, will not be forgiven when they stand before Jesus after this life. They may have spent their entire lives in church, but if they’ve continually claimed their own righteousness and not sought Jesus’ forgiveness (over and over, I might add) and if they’ve looked down on others as I spoke of in my sermon yesterday, they are in serious trouble.
And believe it or not, this is a message that resonates with young people and the unchurched. We had about 2o or 25 young people join us in 8:30 church yesterday. They’re here on a mission trip along with a couple of hundred others who were coming in later yesterday afternoon. They are here from all over the country with Group Cares, a part of Group Publishing that has been offering mission trips for almost 40 years. I could see they were into the message.
And get this: The Gospel is not a message that says I’m OK, you’re OK, and we’re all going to heaven. It’s a message that says you are a sinner and I am a sinner and we’re all sinners. It’s a message that says we’re all unworthy and all in need of a Savior. And the young people and the unchurched don’t seem to so much mind that message. It’s when we send the message (by our words or deeds) that we have somehow become the judge and jury over which sinners are welcome into the Kingdom that turns people off.
Some of the young people ended up serving us communion yesterday. I’m going to go worship with the young people each night this week. They will welcome me. Because they get it. All who will humbly come to the Lord are welcome.