The Inclusiveness of Christ
Ephesians 3:6 “And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.”
Have you ever thought about the difference between inclusive and exclusive? One means to include or be open to everyone and the other means to exclude or not allow certain people to be a part. There are places in this country that are exclusive, only a member can recommend you and even then people may still vote to allow you in, that is being exclusive. On the other hand there are places that have a simple requirement. There are restaurants that require a coat and tie which even if you do not have one they provide one for you. I experienced one of these places in France while on deployment. Now we had a choice, accept the coat and tie offered to us to eat or refuse and go elsewhere. To those who might refuse, the restaurant seemed exclusive but in reality it was inclusive, anyone could eat there and they provided a coat and tie for those who did not have one, you simply had to accept the coat and tie. Another example would be a fast food restaurant that says, “no shirt, no shoes, no service.” Growing up in a beach community all the restaurants had these signs. Most of us would not think of Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Burger King as exclusive because they required a shirt and shoes for sanitary reasons to eat inside their establishment. The truth is those restaurants are all inclusive, they serve everyone regardless of gender or race. The do have a requirement for service but that does not make them exclusive. You have the choice to meet the requirement, to put on your shirt and shoes to eat inside or to go through the drive thru. Either way you can still receive service.
A lot of people think Christianity is exclusive since not everyone will spend eternity in Heaven. People wonder why only some people are allowed in, instead of everyone. Yet the truth is that Christianity is actually inclusive. God did not send his son to die for some people, He sent His one and only Son to die for all people. (John 3:16, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son…”) Think about it, yes, there is a requirement to become a believer but that requirement is one every single person on the planet has the ability to fulfill. You see to God finances, gender, race, status none of that matters. He accepts you just the way you are. (Gal 3:28 & 1 Cor. 12:13 In Christ there is no longer Jew or Gentile, Slave or Free, Male or Female). The inclusiveness in Christ is found in the rest of John 3:16, “… everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” It is a simply requirement, the question is do you believe?
Take some time today to pray for those whom you know, that do not have a relationship with Christ. Then be inclusive, Christ died for all of us so regardless of how they dress, the color of their skill, financial status or anything else. Love them just as Christ loved you when you were in their place, dead to sin. Be the example of Christ in their lives to help light the way and give them the opportunity to believe.