Saturday, August 04, 2007

Special Invitation

I don't know you.. so how can I give you a special invitation? Well, most "special" invitations are given to a person who is considered special (uniquely in a position to do something..) well this invitation isn't like that. You're just like everyone else, and I'm not inviting you to give me anything or support me in any way - unlike most "special" invitations. This invitation is special and unique that way, and in others.

Since I don't know you I can't personalize this, so I'm going to rely on things that I know are true of you, because they are true of me and of every other person I've ever met. I'm gonna "chance it" that while you're special in your own unique way, you are also just as human as I am.

Many of you will have heard this "invitation" before. I want to start right off by apologizing to you for all the nutty ways it's been presented to you.. and more for all the times it's been used to get something from you. I'm truly sorry. You don't know me either.. so would you just take my word for that?

Here it is - we're all sinners and we're all accountable for our sins. We're all going to die and we're all going to stand in judgment. The price of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:23 Are you 100% sure that if you died tonight that you'd go to Heaven?

Some of you stopped reading at the last paragraph, yet there are some who have continued. Please let me help you to make sense of this. I'm not asking you to commit intellectual suicide. Really what I'm asking is for you to just be honest for a couple of minutes. It won't take long.

The promise made above is based on the Gospel which is.

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. For
I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

You'll notice, that just as in Romans 6:23 someone had to die for our sins. Yes "our" sins. You are also a sinner, just like I am. Someone who had no sin had to die to pay the price for you and I. If He would have had sin of His own He would have had to have died for His own sins. Since He was sinless - never did anything wrong at all - He didn't have to die but instead chose to on our behalf. God Himself, knowing we couldn't fix our own problem of guilt came here to not only live as we live but also to willingly die for OUR sins.

But are you really a sinner? I know I am, but let's see if you can find out about you. Because, you won't be able to take the Cure unless you honestly see you have the sickness. There IS a Cure, be sure. This might be painful, but it is needed so you will be able to make sense of what I've quoted above.

Regardless of the situation have you ever lied about anything for any reason? Be honest now, it's between you and God. You've got no one to impress.

Regardless of the situation have you ever stolen anything of any value for any reason? Again, be honest. Have you ever taken anything that doesn't belong to you? Cut off early from work? You can think of the situations that apply to you.

Have you ever lusted after someone, looked at them and wanted them sexually or took sexual pleasure from looking at or listening to them?

OK, now that's about the things you and I have done and they are bad enough. Because we can't go back in time to change them and the price to be paid is waiting for us when we die. But even beyond the things we do, God who is the Good Judge of the Universe, is concerned about who we really are.

So, looking forward. Can you imagine any situation were you'd be willing to lie for any reason? The classic example that most people give trying to show that lying can be ok is when it comes to protecting a woman who's being chased by lying about which way she went or where she is. There are several variations but the idea is that it's better to lie than to tell the truth that might get her hurt. This just goes to show how corrupt our thinking has become. Notice I use the word "our" including myself. The "best" option would be to protect her. If we were a "good" person we wouldn't think to lie we'd protect the woman to keep her from being hurt.

Looking forward again, can you imagine any situation where you might be willing to steal something?

How about looking ahead in time to see if you can imagine a situation where you might lust after someone?

If you've been honest, you can see that it's in your nature to lie, steal and lust. If "the price of sin is death" doesn't make these offenses seem serious enough to you check out the way Holy God sees them.

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for
murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars,
their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur,
which is the second death.
See, "all" liars. We suppose there are "white lies" and "black lies" and shades of "grey" but God says that every single person who is a liar will share in the Lake of Fire, what He calls "the Second Death."
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the
unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:
neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men
who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
We see here that thieves will not inherit the Kingdom of God. They will not see Heaven.

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If we even just look at someone with "lustful intent" we have committed Adultery in our hearts. Which means this is who we really are.

Want to try something else? Have you ever been angry at someone? Or could you imagine becoming angry with someone in the future?
Matthew 5:21-22 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.
Getting angry is equated with Murder in God's eyes.

OK this is getting long, and at this point it's starting to not look so good for you and I. I know I'm guilty of all of the above. And after having spoken with hundreds of people about this topic and working with an organization who's main purpose is to have this conversation I can confidently guess that you too are guilty of all the above.

We're going to die and we're going to be judged by the only truly "Good" Judge in the Universe.
Hebrews 9:27-28 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
We just looked at our performance compared to three of the 10 Commandments fairly closely and at the end I tagged on a 4th. You can read them yourself in Exodus 20:1-21 These 10 Commandments reveal God's "Moral Absolutes" to us. It's absolutely wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery and murder. There is never a situation where any of these are the "right" thing to do. Yet we have all done them. What's more God is going to Judge us according to His Moral Absolutes and in our own selves we would be found Guilty.

I quoted the "Gospel" to you near the start of this. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 That Christ Died for our sins, was buried and rose again three days later. All in accordance to what the Scriptures predicted and demanded thousands of years before He was even born. He was seen by more than 500 people on at least 12 occasions in His bodily flesh - really alive. And when these accounts were written down most of the people who had seen Him were still alive.

It's up to you at this moment. You know you are a sinner. You know that because of your sins, and your sinful nature - the real you - that God must cast you into the Lake of Fire - the Second Death on Judgment Day. But He didn't create you to kill you. He created you to have glorious fellowship that He might lavish you with Holy Love and that you might love Him back and to glorify Him. He takes no pleasure in anyone that must die the Second Death.

Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, As I live,
declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,
but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back
from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
You part is this, do it right now. Believe on Jesus Christ for your salvation. Judge yourself, that you are a sinner ( this is Repentance which you can learn more about in this post ), and Trust that the payment of that has been made by Jesus Christ. That He did rise from death three days after having died for your sins. Put your faith in Him.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Going back to the beginning of this post;

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
and know for sure;

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

If somehow the seriousness of this has escaped you, consider that God thought it was serious enough to die for. To experience not only death, but death on a Cross.

Put your faith in Him. He paid the price you can't afford. If you haven't already done so while reading this, may I suggest you follow the model that King David gave us when he was caught in terrible sin. This man, a great sinner, was called by God - "A man after my own heart" in 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22

David gave us this example to follow in repentance of our sins;

Psalm 51
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
5Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Then start reading the Bible daily and obey what it says. A good place to start is the Book of John.

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Luke said...
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Kevl said...
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