• By John Hicks

The Church...a Hospital for sinners?

Before digging into this, the challenge to the reader is to first provide scriptures that support sinners as being allowed in the church as per the Bible's definition of church. This is a study that all true believers should do seeing that the Church is highlighted as critically important within scriptures.  With that being said, a popular mantra thrown around today is that "the church is a hospital for sinners". This analogy is somewhat far removed from the truth as to what God's church truly is. Let me explain along with a follow up with some proof scriptures as well. God's true church is more comparable to preventative medicine which hospitals really do not focus on. Hospitals for the most part practice reactive medicine and their mortality rates are high because so many people refuse to apply genuine preventative measures in their everyday lives. So maybe there is a degree of truth in the hospital analogy but it must be accurately qualified more so as the "Modern Church is a hospital for sinners".  The true church according to the Bible is the fellowship of born again believers also known as saints. The main role within this fellowship is to bring glory to God. The believers build each other up for that purpose as they provoke each other unto good works and encourage each other to resist temptations to sin. This is in effect sin prevention at it's best.

Truly, according to the Bible, the modern churches today, since they let sinners into their congregations the analogy that best fits them is prison or perhaps a 'prison hospital' in order to stay in line with the initial premise. So if one was to be accurate the saying should be something along the lines of "The Modern Church is a prison hosptial for sinners". 

Look closely at the verses that proceed and support the true context of the most popular verse used for encouraging church attendance, Hebrews 10:25. Of course the verse itself is used completely out of context if one uses it to encourage people to attend a modern church today that allows sinners who are openly and obviously living in sin. 

When you look at the actual context of the verse it specifically states it was intended for believers only. Look at vers 20 where it addresses the passage to "brethren". So when you get to 25 the context is still to the audience of believers only. 

I can hear the arguments now just as I protested years ago, "but sinners are believers too!!!" 

You may think that to be so but let us see what the Bible says about that. Here is Hebrews 10:19-25 for reference:

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, [20] By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; [21] And having an high priest over the house of God; [22] Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. [23] Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) [24] And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: [25] Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is ; but exhorting one another : and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.  Hebrews 10:19-25

You can see that the call to the believers is to hold fast to to their faith without wavering. This means that believers live sanctified and  apart from sin. It says we are to live in a new and living way which Jesus consecrated for us as we encourage each other to love and to do good works. One cannot honestly say that this 'way' includes sin at any level. 

The main focus of the Book of Hebrews is to encourage true believers to not leave their faith. This is clearly evident when the author wrote: "

John was even more direct in this when he wrote:  

"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked (1 John 2:6)...Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1 John 3:6-9)

So in reality the modern church that opens it's doors to sinners is really more like a hospital.  I can say that it some way the modern church gave me at least a place to focus on the Bible for myself and the more I did that the more I realized as I "proved all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21)" that much of what the modern church was doing was actually in opposition to God's Word including "church" itself.

How did we get so far into error without even realizing it? It has everything to do with allowing the sinners in the church. We should have have known better because all the way back in Jeremiah's time we see that Israel fell for the same reason. 

The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation. Lamentations 1:10

#Hospital #church #tradition #doctrine #fellowship

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