There have been times when I have felt really out of place at church. How can I be stood singing along to this joyful song when I feel rotten inside? How can I be sat with all these good people when my life is so messed up? How dare I open this book about God’s goodness and His love when I have done nothing but turn my back on Him time and time again?
Maybe you have felt something similar, or maybe you won’t even step foot in a church, because God wouldn’t want someone like you in there… would he?
You’re not alone
The first thing that you need to realise is you are not alone. Everyone is in the same boat. Romans 3:23 teaches us that we are all broken, sinful people. There is not a single person on planet earth who isn’t guilty of breaking God’s laws. Ever since Adam and Eve turned their backs on God, every human being has been infected with a rebellious and rotten heart. You are just one of the few who is willing to recognise your guilt. Let’s be clear, just because everyone is sinful, that does not make it ok, but it does help to realise that we all go through that feeling of being unworthy and wretched, and it means we should not feel out of place in church because we are surrounded by people who are all affected by the same disease of sin.
You’re right where God wants you
James 4:6 tells us that God opposes the proud, but he gives graces (he is kind and caring) to the humble. If you are feeling unworthy and undeserving of God’s love, that is not low self-esteem, or low self-worth, that is simply an honest assessment of where you stand before God. As sinful rebellious people, none of us deserve God’s love. And God wants us to recognise the wrong way in which we live. If we were to strut back up to God and proudly and confidently demand his love, then he would turn us away, that person is not truly sorry for their sin. But if you are feeling at your lowest, if you feel as if God could never love you again, as if he has already locked the door behind you, then you are exactly the sort of person that God sent Jesus into this world to save. He himself says in Luke 5:32 that it was not the righteous (good people) he came to save, but he came to call sinners to repentance.
You’re not beyond saving
Perhaps you’ve read up until this point and you have watched the video, but there is still something eating away at your conscience telling you that this is all fine for other people but you are just too far gone, you have pushed God over the edge and you have passed the point of no return.
Listen to what Paul says to that in 1 Timothy 1:15 -
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
Paul describes himself as the worst of sinners, he was at the very bottom of the barrel, he had pushed God further away than anyone else, and yet Jesus saved even him. And why did he do it? The very next verse tells us:
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
Jesus saves this God-hating murderous fanatic in order to show us just what kind of person Jesus can save. It is as if Jesus is scraping the bottom of the barrel just to show you that he can reach down that far. Jesus saved Paul in order to show that there is no one beyond saving, not even you. So I don’t know what you have done, I don’t know how you have lived, I don’t know what goes on in your head, but I do know one thing, Jesus Christ came into the world to save people just like you.
The wages of sin is death, and on a cross just outside Jerusalem, Jesus gave up his life even though he had no sin of his own. And the reason he did that is so that if you would come to Him and ask for forgiveness then His death can pay for your sin, no matter how bad it is. There is no limit on the number of sins or the types of sin that can be forgiven, quite simply “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”
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Amyand Park Chapel, Amyand Park Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3HY
Sunday Services at 11am and 6:30pm