Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. - Hebrews 13:8
We are living in a time now that is described as postmodern. And in church circles, there is a lot of talk about how to reach the postmodern generation. But the gospel doesn't change, whether it is for the ancient culture, the modern culture, the premodern, the postmodern, or the post-postmodern. The gospel never will change.
Sometimes in our attempts to relate, we end up becoming more like the people we are trying to reach. They are bringing us their way more than we are bringing them our way. So we need to be very careful in this area. The rationalization is, Well, you know Jesus hung around sinners. . . . But to be specific, Jesus didn't really hang around sinners. Yes, He had plenty of contact with them. But He hung around His disciples for the most part. And when He came into contact with sinners, they were changed.
He conversed with the Samaritan woman, but He also confronted her about her sin, and she became a believer that day. He didn't say, "Hey, it's cool. Whatever! Let's just hang out." When He spoke to the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, He pointed out what she had done wrong, and she submitted to His lordship. When He was a guest in the home of Zacchaeus, the once-corrupt tax collector emerged into a changed man.
So when Jesus spent time around sinners, they were changed. And this is what we must always want to accomplish as we seek to reach unbelievers with the gospel. We want to bring them to faith in Christ, not end up being like them. We must be careful that we don't overcompromise. Because when we lower our standards to extend our reach, we will end up reaching no one.