In Matthew 9:12-13, Jesus says, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Christ calls sinners to safety in Him. When a person is saved, God places them in a safe place, the church. God did not design the church to be a place of hurt. He designed the church to be THE place where the hurt can receive healing.
Those who stand in need of safety cry out, “Accept me!” Many have been rejected by their family and by society. They are searching for a place where they belong. They are looking for a place to call home. The church is to receive those that Jesus calls to Him. We must remember that we were once on the outside looking for a safe place where people would accept us.
Acceptance is the first step in the journey of life transformation. For too long we have confused secrecy with safety. Accepting others removed that secrecy and allows people to share their struggles, fears and failures in the safety of a loving community of believers. People must know that we are for them if there is any hope of us leading them closer to Christ.
The church should be a safe place where people can work through their struggles and not be judged by their struggles. Acceptance does not mean ignoring sin. Acceptance lets the person in sin know that the church is a safe place to share our struggles and celebrate successes. Luke 5:31-32 reminds us that Jesus calls sinners to repentance. The church is not a place where sick people come to stay sick. It is a place where sick people come to be made whole by the Great Physician.