The Truth: He pursues sinners – sinners do not pursue Him. Unless God provided the way, we’d all be lost.
“Men do not seek God ﬁrst; God seeks them ﬁrst; and if any of you are seeking Him today it is because He has ﬁrst sought you” (Charles Spurgeon).
Our prayer: “Save Me From Myself” – as Unbelievers and Believers
Matt. 22 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.
Not ‘willing’ to come
Prevenient Grace – God’s grace is given to everyone. They have the ability to accept, or reject, the gospel. And since everyone receives this ability, those who believe are not especially favored by God in comparison with those who don’t believe.
There is nothing good in us – was there anything evil in Adam? The ability to perform evil is not evil.
Can unbelievers love their children…is that something “good” in them? The ability to perform what God commands does not mean that we are good.
Irresistible Grace teaches that God’s saving grace is applied to those whom God has predetermined to save. God overcomes their resistance to repent.
1. John 6:44,65, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
2. Acts 13:48, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”
Luther – “Bondage of the will” AND Augustine’s – “The Retractation”
Would Not vs. Could Not
Matthew Henry, “The reason why sinners come not to Christ and salvation by Him, is, not because they cannot, but because they will not.”
Refer to My Home Bible – references in the back
God, Save Me From Myself
Practical Application: 1. Maintain a Healthy Tension 2. Are You Rejecting God? This is why a person is called an “Unbeliever” – they are rejecting, refusing, and disobeying?
4 Again [and again, and again…going to hell is not easy], he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’
Servants are messengers – that’s God’s chosen means.
In the book, Spirit Empowered Preaching, the author said, “It must be understood that the preacher does not share, he declares…Preaching is not a little talk. It is not a fireside chat.
The Gospel is an invitation to experience the good news.
5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.
“They made light of it” – To treat something as if it were unimportant or humorous.
Every Sat. Night Live skit that mocks Christians…Every Hollywood play that demeans Christ…and every Atheist group that laughs at God will stand before Him.
IN AN INSTANT, THEIR JEERS WILL BE TURNED TO TEARS. We feel fear, but nothing will compare…
Right now we can say, “Oh God save me…” BUT WHO WILL SAVE YOU FROM GOD?
God’s been drawing you since you were a child, His existence is clearly seen throughout creation – from the rising sun, to the complex molecular structure of the Universe. This is why the true preaching of the true gospel upsets you – “you are making light of eternal consequences”!
1 John 2:15 – “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Westside and Eastside – suburban and the ghetto
They accepted the invitation
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
This man refused to accept and put on the garment – he arrived to the wedding by some other means – “crashed the party”.
“Garments” often refer to our character…“clothe yourself with humility” ; “I have a few names in Sardis who have not defiled their garments.”
Do you truly know Him?
A Glimpse into the Future – The Rich Man and Lazarus paraphrase
[True story because names are used] LUKE 16:19 Jesus said, “There was a rich man who always dressed in the finest clothes and lived in luxury every day. 20 And a very poor man named Lazarus, whose body was covered with sores, was laid at the rich man’s gate…22 Later, Lazarus died, and the angels carried him to the arms of Abraham. The rich man died, too, and was buried …in the place of the dead – he was in much pain. The rich man saw Abraham far away with Lazarus at his side. 24 He called, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am suffering in this fire!’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember when you were alive you had the good things in life, but bad things happened to Lazarus. Now he is comforted here, and you are suffering. 26 Besides, there is a big pit between you and us, so no one can cross over to you, and no one can leave there and come here.’ 27 The rich man said, ‘Father, then please send Lazarus to my father’s house. 28 I have five brothers, and Lazarus could warn them so that they will not come to this place of pain.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets; let them learn from them.’30 The rich man said, ‘No, father Abraham! If someone goes to them from the dead, they would believe and change their hearts and lives.’ 31 But Abraham said to him, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not listen to someone who comes back from the dead.’”
Can you imagine the FATHER…let me go back. I misled my family. I allowed garbage into my home. I chased everything but God.
Can you imagine the MOTHER. I allowed New Age philosophy and daytime TV into my home to influence my kids.
Can you imagine the YOUTH…let me go back and warn my friends.
Do you honestly believe that anyone who is spending eternity separated from God would encourage you to stay on that same path?
BUT SHANE, “Encouragement is the great motivator, BUT so is reality.”
YOU’RE SCARING ME – NO, I’M PREPARING YOU!
Save Me From Myself