Pastor Sam preached last week on how to (not) judge others within the church family. We saw that we must first humbly examine our own lives, before pointing out sins in our brothers and sisters. But what about when it comes to those outside of our church family? What about those who don’t call Jesus their Lord?

The bible doesn’t give us many examples of this, and maybe there’s a reason for it. The thrust of the New Testament is to preach the Gospel to outsiders, before we tell them what to do. Author and speaker Sam Allberry says that “they need to know who Jesus is before being landed with what he requires.” This is helpful, because ultimately it’s not behaviour modification that saves, but a faith in Christ alone. Jesus was known to eat with “tax collectors and sinners”, not because he condoned their lifestyle, but because he wanted to show them who he was before he asked them to follow him.

May this be the pattern of our conduct: an incredible love and affection in sharing the Gospel even with the people we disagree with most, and then painting a grand vision of a new life within the kingdom once they’re brought in. It’s a pattern that reflects the love of the Lord Jesus himself.