Whenever I’ve heard someone say, “Come as you are,” evangelistically, there has always been a conflict in my mind. Is this really what Jesus called men and women to do? The truth is that all are sinners and must come to Christ as sinners. But the message often conveys more than that. Does the sinner just need to come to Jesus without recognizing his sin and repenting of it? Jon Hutchins, a college buddy from Northland, calls this idea to task in his recent article, Discipleship: Men with Chest.
Yes, come as you are but don’t stay that way very long and call yourself a follower of Jesus. “God knows them that are his, but let everyone that names the name of God depart from iniquity” or “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” Really, you get what you honor! I have to wonder if the common pagan of our day is really impressed with the “Come as you are” mentality. Are we taking away something of the Gospel by using this as our drawing card? Imagine a gym in town with a sign out front that says, “Fit people not allowed.” Sure, I would feel more comfortable there but, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE GYM?
He’s got a good point there. If we are going to reach the world, we’ll have to boldly address God’s view of sin and grace instead of tip-toeing around the issues.