18 Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ina the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This was what Jesus asked of his disciples. Go, make believers...and they did. Today we have 2.1 Billion believers in the world. Those believers represent some of the richest and poorest people in the world. They represent people in big cities and small towns. They represent people of all walks of life and diverse life experiences.
In the general population recent studies have indicated 8.9% of the population is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual (LGBT). Many of them remain hidden. If that number held into the Christian population then almost 187 million people are in the Church already, however, all indications are that is not the case. The simple truth is the church has made them feel unwelcome. The church has persecuted them even to the point of bearing false witness and murdering them. Mind you, not every one...but many.
What weighs heavily on my heart is to think that it's likely that 603 million people don't hear the same gospel the same way as the 2.1 billion believers. To them it's like going to church and finding the doors are closed and boarded up. They hear that God hates them and is sending them to hell.
My soul cries out for these people. Can't we preach righteousness without judgement? Can't we preach love without conditions? Can't we preach tolerance without limitations?
If we really believe that what God wants is us with him, why would so many have to feel like the doors aren't and never were open to them?
I promise that it is my goal to pry those doors open and rush the gates of heaven with as many of my 603 million LGBT friends as I can take with me.
7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11“I baptize you withb water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
I am telling you the truth here, the Church is not the one holding the winnowing fork. That is reserved for Jesus. Shame on us for ever trying to wield it at the harvest.
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