What exactly does the phrase “Come as you are” mean? We recognize that it is an invitation extended to non-believers and non-church goers to come to church. To be exact, it is an extended personal invitation from the Lord Jesus to all people, welcoming them to come to Him, and He will meet their needs. All are welcome to come regardless of their social standings, physical, mental, or spiritual conditions; regardless of abilities or disabilities, or financial status. Come expecting to be made whole, and to be free from sin and bondage. Come expecting to receive more than you bargain for. While these things are true, you should come with a willingness to change, and a desire to live a prosperous life.
Of course, this involves getting acquainted with God, reverencing His holiness, following his commandments, and having an expectation of growing spiritually. While the invitation is extended, I believe that some people fail to realize that there are stipulations that accompany the call.
The first step is to receive eternal salvation by confessing Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. Salvation is received by faith in believing that Jesus bore our sins, gave His life on the Cross at Calvary; He was buried and on the third day God raised him from the dead. The next step is to commit to learning more about God and Christianity. Reading your Bible will teach you and equip you for your spiritual journey ahead. Finding a Church home will aid you in growing spiritually. As you conform to Christian ways, you will begin seeing a transformation taking place by the renewing of your mind. All old behaviors are done away with, and a new lifestyle will begin to manifest. Your future generations are apt to adapt to a higher standard and quality of living as well. This is the essence of Christianity.
I would like to make a few things clear, when you come to Jesus expecting to receive changes in your personal and private life, your current standards of living should change to a higher standard because you have agreed to live according to godly principles. This means that you are following the instructions given for holy living. God is Holy and He expects his children to be holy; (Lev. 11:44; 19:2). To be “holy” means, “to be set apart”; it means that you are living according to Christian standards and beliefs; (John 17:16). God is not expecting believers to be perfect, but to be distinct from the world. 1st Peter 2:9 describes believers as “a holy nation.” Holiness only results from a right relationship with God. True believers recognize their position in Christ which automatically sets them apart from the world.
The next step is to reverence God for who He is. We reverence God by showing Him the utmost level of respect as God, Creator, Provider, and Lord overall. Another word used for reverence is “fear”. Proverbs 1:7 tells us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Unless we understand who God is and develop a reverential fear of Him, we cannot have true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from understanding that God is holy, just, and righteous. The fear of God also means obeying Him and submitting to His ways. God is a spirit and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth; (John 4:24). He has established His Kingdom in Heaven, where He sits on His throne; (Ps. 11:4).
When You Pray
When we speak to God, we come to Him via our prayers. Our prayer life consists of us having a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, which is essential to our identity as His children. We have access to God by faith, believing that He hears our petitions when we pray. If you call on any other name than those found in the Bible, chances are that you are not speaking to Jehovah God, who has a Son named Jesus. He does not answer to “the man upstairs”, or “hey dude.” It is respectful to address Him as “Father, God, or Abba”. He does not appreciate or tolerate disrespect. Your earthly buddies are referred to as “being cool with you”, but not our HOLY FATHER.