george hancockstefanSinsations, the gentlemen’s club on Route 36, announced its grand opening on Saint Patrick’s Day. I did not know if I was supposed to laugh or to cry! Was this a stroke of business genius or another way of using a church event to advertise sin? (I guess I should be thankful that they didn’t decide to open on Good Friday!)

I have been in this area for the past 25 years and within this time period, three enterprises for gentlemen have opened. Having four daughters with whom I travel, we often we wonder what people are going in. But the parking lots usually seem pretty full.

As I puzzled over these events, I thought that some of the great Christian leaders have gone into worse places than the three gentlemen’s clubs on Route 36. St. Augustine, the great Christian writer, was taken to a house of prostitution when he reached his teen years. He struggled with sexual immorality for close to 20 years. He took a concubine and he had a son, yet could not stop frequenting those places in the Roman Empire. Augustine’s mother was the devout Monica who prayed constantly for his son’s conversion, but his father was a pagan who thought that the greatest gift he could give to his son was to introduce him to the sex workers of Rome.

Finally, Augustine converted to Christianity, was baptized, and became one of the most influential Christian leaders. Yet everyone who studies his life has become convinced that St. Augustine’s understanding of the human family and human sexuality has been damaged by the time that he spent in the Roman brothels.

“Saved, saved, saved to the uttermost, this is all my plea, Jesus died for all mankind and Jesus died for me,” is a well-known song in our churches. There is no sin for which there is not forgiveness in the blood of the Lamb. There is no sinner who could ever say that he has sinned so much that God cannot forgive him. No matter what we do, God calls all the sinners to repent, experience His forgiveness, and become saints.