This morning I logged on to blog not knowing what I was going to say. When I got to my “dashboard”, there was a reminder that I could monetize my blog. It said I could sell nearly anything from physical items to digital content to “hidden content”. We definitely live in a society where we are bombarded with sales pitches. Sometimes people say that pastors are selling people on Jesus. It seems like some people do try to make Jesus as palatable as possible in order to get people to buy. Some stress the gentle side of Jesus without ever acknowledging the call to go and sin no more.
Every once in a while I read or hear a phrase/term/idea that makes such an impact on me that I will remember it for the rest of my life. Yesterday I heard such a thought. Pastor Matt Chandler said something to the effect of, “Every rebuke on behalf of the Lord is an invitation”. His words were more nuanced, but that was my takeaway. He was pointing out that every call to repentance or every pointing out of sin is not meant to be an embarrassment or finger pointing, but is instead offered as an invitation.
For God’s people to call out sin and call sinners to repent is not meant to be destructive, but meant to save. Anyone selling people on the meek mild mannered Jesus is not likely leading anyone to be saved. To be honest, I like the thought of that version of Jesus as well. A new advertising campaign emphasizes the idea that Jesus understands and is willing to come along side you to help you through difficult times, requiring nothing of you. That is a sales pitch from the enemy of God.
Throughout the Bible, we read of a Savior who constantly calls people to turn from their ways and then gives them the choice. Sometimes the words are harsh and sometimes gentle, but the demand and the offer is always the same: Give up what you were, follow Jesus and His ways, and He will save you and make you new. Every call to turn from sin is a loving invitation.