“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”1 Peter 2:9
The church will not always be the nicest place you visit. One man confessed, “I am a Christian but haven’t stepped into a church in five years.” His reasoning was simple: “Churches are full of hypocrites. People gossip and fight, and yet they say they love Jesus. I’m not going to a place like that.”
Maybe you may feel the same way. I can assure you if you go to church long enough, you will see that those inside are far from perfect. But I also can assure you that church is not a gathering of the holy. In fact, it is a hospital for sinners. The Apostle Paul calls himself “the worst” sinner of all (1 Timothy 1:15) and openly describes his ongoing struggle with sin. Yet he still rejoices in his salvation, saying, “Thanks be to God— through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:25)!
A pastor’s wife once said, “Church is messy, and it can be ugly at times, but it’s the Bride of Christ.” As we seek to be more like Him, our hope is not in our progress. It’s in Jesus’ perfect redemptive work on our behalf, work that has made us beautiful.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)