Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
So there you have it in a nutshell. God is calling everyone of us as we are all sinners. Every church is full of sinners, there is not one righteous person within its walls. We are all sinners on the road to sainthood.
Why then do we look and judge the other people in our church? Thinking they should not be there. We all should be there, we are all in need of hearing God's word and forgiveness.
No sin is too big for a church, well it shouldn't be if we are following in the Father's footsteps of mercy and compassion. So why are we judging who ought or ought not to be at church or indeed the wider term of a christian?
God calls sinners into his arms. That means everyone. Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.
Isaiah 64:4 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
Church and prayer is where we confess our sins to God, so we ought to be used to seeing sinners in the seats, pews, or standing at the entrance unsure of entering. How sad that a person can be on the periphery believing that they may not be welcome in God's house because they are a sinner.
Are we going to that person with arms outstretched and a smile on our face saying, welcome, we are all sinners here, take a seat, you are among friends?
Jesus had only sinners for friends. He taught them to be compassionate and merciful towards his creation. He wanted them to go out to mankind to tell them about God, the God of love who has prepared a place for them in His Kingdom.
Jesus knew that that commission would be a life long one, for his disciples and all who they converted precisely because we are sinners on the road to sainthood. He knew we would fall and need to be picked up again and again and again. So why do we point the finger when one of His creation falls. Surely we ought to put out our hand and help them up and encourage them to try and try again. If our God can forgive us over and over again, then our lead must be from our Creator. He is judge of our hearts and intentions.
When Jesus told the adulteress (John 8:1-11) to go and sin no more, he knew that that would be a life long struggle that needed God's hand upon it. In our lives we need people who will encourage us to keep on the road towards sainthood. That means our churches, house groups, gatherings etc need open arms and open hearts to the sinners in them. As Jesus did not judge the adulteress then neither must we condemn her in whatever form she/he turns up in at our services.
God wants all of us with him in Heaven, our responsibility is not to drive sinners away from the church, but to embrace them and help them with their journey.