Perhaps you’ve heard the statement by Morton Kelsey: “The church is not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners.” Is this true?
Without a doubt Jesus never intended the church to be a museum for the saints. The church is not to be merely a beautiful building with fine furnishing designed and built to impress Christians. Buildings and furnishing have their place, but they are not the church!
How about the statement about the church being a hospital for sinners? There is certainly some validity to this. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. That means we all start from the same place – we are sinners in desperate need of a Savior.
There is, however, a shift that takes place when we come to a sincere faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Bible says that we become a new creation! We are born again! We have a new nature! And God sees us as His, as saints, as holy, as people set apart for a purpose. We move from death to life, from darkness to life, from sinners to saints.
Does that mean we stop sinning? Sadly, it does not. We still struggle with the old patterns of the flesh until the Lord calls us home. Daily we have to take off the old and put on the new. We have to learn to live as the person we are in Christ not the person we used to be. So maybe we should change Kelsey’s statement a bit. Perhaps we should say that the church is a hospital for the saints as daily we cease conforming to the pattern of the world and continue our transformation to be more like Jesus.