Jesus for all people.
If you attend FCC, you know me, or anyone else who goes to FCC you’ve most likely heard the phrase “Jesus for all people.” It’s everywhere. It’s on our signage, bracelets, coffee mugs, t-shirts. It’s on social media. It’s a hashtag. It’s mentioned from our stage just about every Sunday. It’s part of our DNA. It’s what we are about. Because we really do believe that Jesus is for all people.
Whatever age, gender, race, nationality, income, level of education, political affiliation, or sin people deal with, Jesus is for them. 1 Timothy 2:4 tell us, “God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” It’s that simple. God wants to save all people. Salvation is available for all. Jesus is for all people.
Some of us were talking the other day in our leadership team about how this phrase has become part of our culture. Everyone knows it. Everyone can recite it. FCC and “Jesus for all people” are becoming synonymous. And that’s a good thing! But we know that it has to more than a tag line, more than a hashtag, more than a phrase, it has to be an action. It’s time to not just say it, but to live it out.
So here’s how Jesus lived it out:
He called a tax collector (one of the most hated professions of the time) to be one of his 12 disciples (Mark 2:13-14).
He ate dinner with tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:15-16). He ate dinner with another tax collector named Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10).
He let a woman (who was probably a prostitute) interrupt his dinner, make a scene by pouring perfume on his feet, and wiping his feet with her hair. And then told the pharisees who were present that she loved him more than they did (Luke 7:36-50).
One of the closest women to him, Mary Magdalene, was at one time possessed by seven demons. (Luke 8:2).
He revealed his divinity for the first time to a Samaritan woman who was a sinner and social outcast (John 4:4-26).
He was called a glutton and a drunkard because of who he hung out with (Matthew 11:19).
It’s pretty simple. If we want to be like Jesus and live like he did, then we have to love people like he did. And that means that we have to love all people. Unconditionally.
One of my pet peeves about Christians is that so often we expect people to change without Jesus. We say things like, “well when she gets her life together I’ll invite her to church,” or “once he deals with his addiction he can get baptized.” But here’s the deal: that is literally the opposite of the gospel. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us.” Salvation is the starting point! Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). If you’re a sinner, in need of grace (which you are), then salvation is for you and it’s available now. You don’t have to get your life together first. You don’t have to have stopped sinning. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Salvation is for us while we are STILL sinners.
We can’t expect people to change without Jesus. Jesus is the one who changes lives, who frees us from sin, who gives us new life. In fact the Bible tell us that before salvation, when we are in the flesh, that it is impossible for us to please God (Romans 8:8). Life change simply can’t happen apart from Jesus. Salvation has got to be the starting point.
So 3 things…
1. We have got to stop judging or looking down on people who are different from us, disagree with us, or struggle with a sin different than us. Sin is sin. It separates us from God. We so easily tend to see some sins as worse than others. “At least my pride, greed, or gluttony isn’t as bad as that person’s addiction, murder, or adultery.” We’ve all sinned, and we’re all in the same boat. So can we please, please, stop judging people with sins different from ours and just freaking love them?
2. We have to remember that life change comes from Jesus, and only Jesus. Discipleship is a must, calling out sin is a must, but these things have to come after salvation. We can’t expect people to change, repent and stop sinning, without Jesus. Let’s be sure to preach a gospel that says that salvation is available now.
3. We have to share the gospel. I have recently been personally convicted about sharing the good news of Jesus. Because he really is for all people! He loves all people, has new life for all people, has mercy, forgiveness, redemption, freedom, and grace for all people. As the book of John says, we have “grace upon grace” (John 1:16). And in fact, we are commanded to reach the lost. “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:18-20). It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command.
So if Jesus is for all people, and if salvation is available for them right now, will you pray with me that God gives us the boldness to share the gospel? Because to be blunt, people are going to hell if we don’t.
Jesus really is for all people.
We have got to tell them about it.