Summary: Why do we give an invitation? Here are three reasons...Three invitations really.
A man stepped up to the first tee to begin his round of golf. He teed up the ball, took a mighty swing and missed the ball, but hit a rather large ant hill; ants, parts of ants, turf and dirt scattered everywhere. He swung again, missed the ball again, making thousands more ant widows and widowers.
After a third swing and a Hiroshima-effect on the now flattened ant hill there were only two living ants – dazed and battered. One ant looked at the other and announced, That guy’s gonna kill us if we don’t get on the ball!
There are all sorts of ways to make decisions. A wife found a list on her husband’s desk one fall. It was entitled: THINGS TO DO BEFORE WINTER SETS IN…
a. Install Franklin fireplace & Chop firewood
b. Check weather-stripping & Clean furnace
c. Clean and repair snow blower & Replace broken storm window
a. Get the heck out of Wisconsin (1)
I like the story that comes out of the Vietnam era. A sergeant served his combat duty tour and was reassigned to a stateside induction center. It was his job to advise the new recruits about government benefits, especially GI insurance. Soon he had a nearly 100% insurance sales record. His officers were amazed. Rather than ask him how he did it, an officer stood in the back of the room one day and listened to the sales pitch.
The sergeant explained the basics of GI insurance to the new recruits, and then said, If you HAVE GI insurance, and go into battle and are killed, the government has to pay $35,000 to your beneficiaries. If you DON’T have GI insurance and go into battle and are killed, the government has to pay only a maximum of $3,000. Now, he concluded, which bunch do you think they’re going to send into battle first? (2)
Decisions in life are important. Every week, at the end of each service, there is an invitation to choose the Christian way. Invitation; what is it? The same thing you got in the mail when you were 10, and your friend or classmate wanted you to come to the party.
Here, you are invited to the Lord’s "party". But, the invitation was only partially complete. Most of the time there was an RSVP at the bottom. That stands for some foreign phrase that I’ve never been able to pronounce.
But what it always meant was: "Nag the dickens out of Mom until she says you can go & lets you call your friend to tell him so!" That always created a crisis at our house. Mom sometimes didn’t want me to go. The invitation was clearly for me. But Mom had veto power, and the choice of attending had to pass through higher hands.
Every week decisions are made regarding the invitation to Christ. Some respond with what becomes a life-changing experience of saying "Yes" to God.
Once in a while, a person makes the definite, resounding, final, eternally significant "NO, leave me alone".
The overwhelming majority of decisions fall in the
"I’m uncertain what to do" category.
To you who have ever been that way...This one’s for you! If you’ve ever asked silently, "What does that preacher expect me to do, and how will that affect my life if I do it," listen closely...today can make a difference to you that will last for an eternity.
Invitation and choice; those are our subjects. I simply want to share with you three invitations this morning.
FIRST CHOICE: TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD.
There is a Bible verse that has meant literally everything to me. I gave my life to Christ, accepting Him as Savior and Lord on the strength of its’ call. Joshua was the leader in the Old Testament who took over for Moses, and led the people of God into the Promised Land.
Moses led them out of Egypt by God’s hand, but Joshua followed God into the place He’d chosen and promised long ago to Abraham.
After years of leadership and conquering all enemies, Joshua was about to die. So he sent word that all the people should gather for some final instructions. Joshua’s reminded the nation about their great God, Who had led them, protected them, provided for them.
Joshua says God is worthy of, their devotion.
And then the invitation....
"...choose ye this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
You note that Joshua says "choose".
The invitation is offered, a crisis arises; to choose, or not to choose?