I can’t tell you how many times one of you has said to me, “I’m not sure if I fit in at church.” The statement, at its root, is usually some unsure, uneasy, feeling of self-worth. It’s often a value statement and usually the value is set assessed very low. These insecurities can surface in the worst kinds of ways. I’ve seen how Satan uses them to isolate you from the flock so he can take a few more swipes at your soul. He wants to devour you and this trick is one that seems to work for him.
You know what I’m talking about. “I’m not good enough for Jesus,” you say. Or maybe you believe the lie that you’re too unclean or dirty to be around your faith family on a Sunday morning, or with a fellowship group during the week. "But I'm dirty" you decry. There’s a thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning and you struggle with it. Maybe you wrongly believe you need to clean yourself up and get right with God first. You might think that the Body of Christ wouldn't want to be around you. Or maybe you compare yourself to the rest of the flock. These are lies. All of if. It’s bad theology. It’s not what the Bible teaches.
Is there a person too wretched for Jesus?
No. And no matter what little voice you just heard in your head, it’s not you. That’s a lie from the enemy.
Is there anybody so bad that if he or she turned to Jesus and called him Lord it would still be too much Jesus’ salvific work on the cross?
“But what about what I did?” you might ask.
The answer is still no.
But I lie and stael and cheat. I’ve killed someone. I can’t stop smoking pot. I’m an alcoholic. I’m a workoholic. I’m having sex with someone who is not my spouse. I have a potty mouth. I look at pornography. I have an eating disorder. I’m a control freak. I’m attracted to members of the same sex. I snap and my spouse and can’t seem to offer grace or forgiveness. I’m a gossip. I’m a registered sex offender. I’m, yes me, I am an arrogant, prideful person who has to be the smartest one in the room to feel good about myself. I've had an abortion. I’m a coward. I’m lazy. I only think about God on Sunday. I love the doctrines designed to help me understand God more than God himself. What about. . .? What about it? We could list all the stuff I hear, see, and even confess myself that can be found at Redeeming Life Church and probably every other local church in the world. But none of it is too wretched for the saving power of Jesus Christ.
Don’t believe me?
This week we’ll be looking at the faith of Rahab. Rahab was a harlot, that is, a whore. Not a temple prostitute; she was a bottom of the barrel lady of the night. And this lady betrayed her people which resulted in the total destruction of her city. She corroborated with foreign spies. She was a traitor. She was a gentile and among the people who God told the Israelites to wipe out. And yet she is listed among the heroes of the faith of Hebrews 11. In fact, she’s the one who wraps up the list. She’s the bow on top!
How is this possible?
We’ll be looking at this a great deal on Sunday, but for now, let me tell you this: Rahab became a redeemed, daughter of the Most High God. That little scarlet cloth, more valuable than anything money could buy, marked her for salvation when the city was burned. She was saved and would, from that moment, join the people of God. When she was adopted into God’s family, she was no longer who she was. Nor was she who she would eventually become in glory with Jesus. She was redeemed!
What a picture.
She, a former prostitute, joined the people of God and sojourned in the desert with them, with God. By her faith, she saved her family and they too joined God’s people. At by the amazing grace of God, she ended up married to Salmon and they had a child named Boaz. Maybe you remember him from the book of Ruth? This woman who would hardly be accepted in the American Church today is part of Jesus’ genealogy, recorded in the book of Matthew. That’s just God showing off, isn’t it? But it sure makes a great point.
There is nobody so wretched that the gospel of Jesus Christ can’t redeem him or her. Nobody. Rahab is the proof.
The same is true of you if you are a blood-bought follower of Jesus Christ. You are not who you were. You are also not who you will one day be in glory with Jesus. So there’s no reason to forsake being with the people of God; and there’s certainly no reason to ever think you can’t commune with the Lord. Especially when you feel the most wretched. God wants you at the feast with him and his family. He wants you with his people, together. He wants you. So don’t believe anything different. Rahab didn’t.
I want to talk with you about this on Sunday, but you can’t buy into the lies. Satan will do whatever he can to keep you away from God’s people this week. Don’t believe it. Follow the example of Rahab. If all you can do is believe and tie on a scarlet ribbon to your door (metaphorically speaking), do it. I’m praying for you and can’t wait to encourage you with the amazing faith of Rahab.
See you Sunday!
Pastor Bryan Catherman