Summary: Why does God continue to search for us?
Calluses and Compassion
Max Lucado tells of a time, as a young child, he was in church and his father’s hand was on his lap. He noticed the calluses and wondered how hard they were. He found a pin in the welcome packet and began to probe his father’s hand. It took a while for the pin to penetrate deep enough before his father felt it and reacted. He recalls how that same hand was used to discipline him later that day. Many years later, in his office preparing a sermon, he recalled that incident. He wondered, isn’t that what he is still trying to do today. Only today he isn’t probing callused hands, he is probing callused hearts, and it isn’t with a pin, but now with the Word of God.
A. What causes a heart to be callused or hardened?
i. Former cult members who are tired of being misled.
ii. Religiosity that does not satisfy
iii. Failed promises of health, wealth and prosperity.
i. People cannot live up to expectations
ii. Belief system that fails.
iii. SIN (Proverbs 6:16-19)
PR 6:16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
B. The Landowner (Matt 21:33ff
a. Sent servants
i. They were mistreated, beaten and eventually killed
ii. They killed the SON
iii. The tenants were hard hearted, sin has hardened their hearts. GREED consumed them.
C. The Wedding Feast (Matt 22:1ff)
a. The messengers were ignored
b. Other things became more important
c. The servants were seized, mistreated and killed
d. The city was burned.
In both cases, hard, callused hearts refused the king what was right. Both cases the people had what was given to them or for them taken away and given to those who responded.
Sometime ago, I was shopping with Elizabeth. I had a lot to do, a list in my head to get. During our shopping, Elizabeth disappeared. I could not find her anywhere. Panic took over, nothing else mattered but finding her. No price too high, called out her name, did not care who saw. I searched and searched, no effort too demanding, and the same it is with God.
God’s greatest creation is not the stars, not the vastness of the universe, but you and me.
D. Notice his patience
a. He sent servants
b. Then he sent more servants
c. Finally, He sent his SON
d. Nothing greater than God’s passion for you and me.
The Pharisees knew Jesus was speaking about them. God sent the Prophets, he sent the teachers, and finally he sent His Son. He is patient to our mistakes, he waits and waits for us, He does everything He can to find us. But a time is coming when he will no longer wait, he will give the kingdom over to those who will do what needs to be done.
Belinda LeTulle is working on a missionary course. One of the articles she had to critique asked the question about those who have not heard, would God be just in sending someone who has not heard the gospel to Hell. The true question though is not asked.