Okay, I've promised to be honest with my communications on here. If it wasn't something that needed to be talked about, I would not dare to bring it up. But here it goes. I've been plagued by this new doctrine that seems to be sneaking into our churches called "selective grace." (It's not really new. In fact, it shows up for the first time in the NT church in Acts 15--just 15 years after Jesus has left the disciples in charge of spreading the gospel.) It kind of goes like this. God is amazing. God is wonderful. He sent His Son to die for us to offer us grace and mercy. His grace is astounding. It covers the sin of all who will receive it so that they can have a completely new start in their relationship with the Holy God. This grace covers every sin BUT...
...and there's where the problem lies. You see, the last time I checked, there wasn't a single person who did not need forgiveness for past mistakes. I need it. You need it. The Pope needs it. Billy Graham needs it. Even Paul the apostle needed it--and he admitted as much. The problem is the adherents to this "selective grace" doctrine are more than willing to accept the grace for their own faults, but not as willing to extend it to others. In their minds, there are certain people, certain nationalities, certain sins that are contained in the tiny print at the bottom of the "grace contract". (You didn't even know there was such a thing, did you?) This contract says that "my grace is free but yours must be earned." It goes on to say that there are exemptions for God's grace--it does not cover the HIV patient, the dark skinned person, the Democrat, the druggie, the neighbor who won't cut his grass, the kid with the long hair, the man that's been married multiple times or the woman with the criminal record. Basically, grace covers you if you look like me and act like me and don't do anything that I find repulsive.
Here's the shocking news for most of us card-carrying religious types: God doesn't buy in to your contract and He will not be a part of such agreements. I don't care what you've been taught or who you heard it from, Jesus said I have come that the whole world can have a right relationship with God. God, himself, made it clear that nothing we could do could earn His grace (Isaiah 64:6), that it was a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) and that it was strong enough to clear away the worst of failures (1 John 1:8-10).
So, why do we have such a problem with this? Why can't we be excited that God can forgive your neighbor just like He forgave you? I'm not sure. Maybe it has something to do with our competitive nature. Maybe it's a pride thing. Whatever it is, it's not Biblical. So hug your hymnals. Chant your religious creeds. Bow down to the "Mecca" of your choosing. I'm going to keep preaching Christ and Him crucified. I'm going to keep offering grace--pure, unadulterated, unlimited and unselective--to anyone who will call upon the name of Jesus. You see, I still believe that the demonstration of his love on Cavalry was enough--more than enough--to cover me and you and my neighbor and the whole world. Without it, I don't have a chance...neither do you.