Summary: Part 5 in the series Faith Basics. This sermon looks at the six most common reasons that people do not turn to God.
Excuses for Rejecting God
Faith Basics, part 5
Wildwind Community Church
David K. Flowers
September 23, 2007
Jesus told a story about the excuses people make for rejecting God.
Luke 14:16-24 (NIV)
16 Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.
17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ’Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ’I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 "Another said, ’I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 "Still another said, ’I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ’Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 "’Sir,’ the servant said, ’what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 "Then the master told his servant, ’Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.
24 I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’"
I want to call attention to verse 18, which says, “They all alike began to make excuses." They made excuses, because they did not have any to offer without making them. A man has a feast and his friends make no excuses; but God has a feast, and not only prepares a table, but He goes out and invites people to come. They cannot go; they would like to go, they say, but cannot possibly, they have so much to do. Folks, today I want to show you what these excuses are, and you will see that actually they are downright lies. The Scripture says, "They began to make excuses." If those men had been invited to clean portajohns, if they had been invited to go to a hospital to witness some terrible operation, or if they had been invited to an execution, they would have had some reason for giving excuses; but these men were invited to a royal feast. It is not often that common people like you and me get an invitation to a royal feast. If Queen Elizabeth were to invite us to a feast at Windsor Castle, do you think we’d regard that as a huge honor? Do you suppose you would make excuses? I want to talk to you about an invitation today that is a thousand times beyond that. It is from God himself. It’s an invitation to join him in a feast at the end of time, when he calls his church to himself to be with him forever. It’s going to be a feast, a party, a huge banquet, and he wants to see you all there. The invitation is to every one here. All are invited - the lowest, the highest, the richest, the poorest, all can come. If they will. And that’s the catch.
Let’s look at the excuses of the three men mentioned here. Now you might say, “You can’t pick this apart, it’s just a story.” It is. But this story is meant to put the lie to our excuses, so let’s see if these excuses hold water. You already know the answer to that.
The first man had bought some ground, and he needed to go and see it. I ask you, why didn’t he see the ground before he bought it? If he had been a good businessman, he would have seen it first. That would have been the better way. But he said he must go and see his ground. He had an invitation to the supper, and said, I would like to go, but I can’t." And he said to the servant, "Tell the Lord I would be delighted to be there. I do not know anything that would please me more than to go, but business is so pressing it will be utterly impossible for me to go. I just can’t do it – what can I say, I can’t!" If God’s enemy the devil can get us off into some cradle of excuses and rock us off to sleep, that is all he wants. If would have been better if this man had been honest and said to the servant, "Tell the Lord I don’t want to go to the feast." It is better to be honest than to seek a refuge of lies and false excuses.
The other man could not accept the invitation either. I suppose he thought to himself, "How shall I get out of it?" So he said, "I have just bought five yoke of oxen. I will give that as my excuse." Perhaps he asked his wife, "What shall I tell him?" Perhaps his wife told him, "Say you have just bought five yoke of oxen, and that you have to go and make sure they are good." Now again, why didn’t he do that before he bought them? And besides, did he not have plenty of time to do it? It was not necessary for him to go just at the hour of the feast to do this, was it? He manufactured the excuse. The third man’s excuse is more absurd than the others. He said, "I have just married a wife." What difference did that make about his going? Why didn’t he take his wife along? You can see that that excuse was a downright lie. So these three men made excuses, and when the messenger came back and gave the excuses to the Lord, he said, "Not one of those that were invited and have refused shall taste of my supper. Go and get the beggars from the highways and hedges, and the tramps and the poor, the lame, the maimed, the dumb, the blind, and if these men won’t accept the invitation, let those who will, come. Let those that will accept the invitation and press into the Kingdom. Thank God that His Gospel is for the poor as well as for the rich. If the rich won’t have it, thank God that the poor are pressing in.