I am not sure how you measure friendship, but the best friend I have ever had is a man I know would do anything for me. Equally, I would do anything for him. The only thing I don’t seem to be able to do is introduce him to Jesus. And it hurts. I dread seeing him standing before God one day, and then looking across and saying to me, “why didn’t you tell me?”
I have tried to tell him, but it’s like there is a brick wall around him concerning spiritual matters. A sort of ‘anti-God’ barrier. There is certainly some sort of problem because he doesn’t even like going into a church. The last visit was when his daughter got married, and he was in such a rush to escape after the service that he left the groom’s mother behind.
If church is the issue for my friend then I have to be challenged about the unattractiveness of church to those outside. I am glad to be part of a church with huge vision. It is a church that is reaching out to serve the community, to feed the hungry and give drinks to the thirsty, to provide for the homeless, and all the other stuff that Jesus taught about in Matthew 25. There is no doubt that an outsider walking into our building on a Sunday morning would be made welcome. But what would they make of it? Are we really the church that Jesus expects us to be? The more I think about it the more I am convinced that what happens on Sunday is not church. Church is what happens during the rest of the week.
“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:31-40