Where Do Sinners Go?

I liked the January 8, 2013 devotion in Our Daily Bread.  In it, there’s a story about a Christian who was talking to a man named Bob, who did not care much for Christianity.  The Christian asked Bob if he knew where sinners go, and Bob replied, “That’s easy, you’re going to tell me they go to hell.”  The Christian responded to that, “No, they go to church.”

The author of this devotion narrates that Bob was “speechless”: “That wasn’t what he expected.  He wasn’t ready to hear from a Christian who realized he wasn’t perfect.  My friend had a chance to share that Christians understand their sinfulness and their need for continual spiritual restoration.  He was able to explain grace—-the unmerited favor we have with God despite our sinfulness…”

This reminded me of a story that a Christian truck-driver once told me.  He said that a coworker was inviting him to church, and he replied that he encounters enough hypocrites in his day-to-day life, so he does not need to encounter more in a church building!  But the co-worker meekly responded, “Brother, you don’t go to church to look at the people, but to look at Jesus, since he’s the only one who can save you!”  The co-worker’s humility attracted the truck driver to what he (the co-worker) was saying.

There’s something beautiful about humility.  Unfortunately, there are many churches that lack this.  Either people act as if they’re perfect and look down on others, or they use the “Nobody’s perfect” line to excuse their own immorality or rude behavior.  But there are also good churches out there.  Of course, me taking other people’s moral inventory is not particularly humble on my part!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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