Hebrews 10: 8-29
We have heard it said, "I don't smoke, curse, or chew; or run around with women who do." Will somebody please give them a cookie ... to shut them up? Isn't that a bit like gloating, "I'm saved and you're not"? I mean, really. Who is he that condemneth? (Romans 8:34) If you didn't die on cross, you don't have right to condemn anyone.
Or, maybe what they meant was, "Your sin is worse than mine, so that makes me more righteous than you." But, that isn't true, either, as all unrighteousness is sin. (I John 5:17)
Perhaps they would like to rephrase their statement to, "Those, who do so, couldn't possibly be saved." Though, I guess they weren't listening when God said He doesn't judge outward appearance, but looks for their true heart. (I Samuel 16:7)
The next response might be, "Well, if they were following God, completely, He would remove those demons." Oh, really. Isn't that a bit like calling kettle black? How is your back doing? Did your car breakdown, this week? Maybe your boss is being particularly difficult. And, oh, those teenagers!
If one had a pure heart for God, wouldn't they love His children, too? (Jude 1:21-23)
As is often discretely expressed, "Well, they're certainly not going to serve God, in our church, until they get things right." But I wonder, did anyone ask God about that? (Romans 11:29)
Jesus described these as sick (Matthew 9:11-13) and said that befriending them is wisdom; for which these would justify that wisdom. (Matthew 11:19) Well, there goes theory that alcoholics are not sick. Suppose we were to separate from diabetics, too.
We welcome people, into our congregation, with physical infirmities. But, let one spiritually handicapped come into our presence and, at best, we allow them to sit in a pew; separating from them in true fellowship that would otherwise come through serving together, leaving them on outside looking in. (I John 1:7)
When we shut door on those that are spiritually blind, lame, or sick, do we not realize that is evil? (Malachi 1:8)
Perhaps we also forgot that those we deem more feeble really are necessary (I Corinthians 12:22) and that, in God's house, all who have a heart to serve are welcomed. (Isaiah 56:7) Jesus tells us that mercy is desired more than our sacrifice and to go learn what that means. (Matthew 9:13)
But, here, Jesus goes a step further by saying, "If ye had known what this meaneth ... ye would not have condemned guiltless." (Matthew 12:7)
There's that condemnation thing, again. Now, wait a minute. Jesus was referring to Himself, wasn't He? Well, probably, but not just Him. Think about it. If you had learned what mercy meant, you would not be condemning others ~ period.
Ok, but guiltless part ... guiltless? Now, how can sinners be guiltless? From God's perspective, that's an easy one to answer.
First, He already told us that man looks upon outward appearance. So, when we do, our judging has to be in error.
Secondly, whenever we try to name another's sin, we are only condemning ourselves. (Romans 2:1)
And thirdly, Jesus left a provision for such as these.