Summary: If we have embraced Christ’s forgiveness then we will long for others to embrace it too.
Purpose: To declare God's invitation to eternal life.
Aim: I want the listener to come to Christ and to call others to Christ.
INTRODUCTION: A few centuries before Christ a man named Alexander conquered almost all of the known world using military strength, cleverness and a bit of diplomacy. The story is told that Alexander and a small company of soldiers approached a strongly fortified walled city. Alexander, standing outside the walls, raised his voice and demanded to see the king.
When the king arrived, Alexander insisted that the king surrender the city and its inhabitants to Alexander and his little band of fighting men. The king laughed, "Why should I surrender to you? You can't do us any harm!" But Alexander offered to give the king a demonstration. He ordered his men to line up single file and start marching. He marched them straight toward a sheer cliff. The townspeople gathered on the wall and watched in shocked silence as, one by one, Alexander's soldiers marched without hesitation right off the cliff to their deaths! After ten soldiers died, Alexander ordered the rest of the men to return to his side.
The people in the city and the king immediately surrendered to Alexander the Great. They realized that if a few men were actually willing to commit suicide at the command of this dynamic leader, then nothing could stop his eventual victory. How committed are we to conquering the world for Christ?
1:1-20 I. John's Vision of the Past "the things which you have seen"
2:1-5:14 II. Christ's Vision of the Present "the things which are"
Ch.6-22 III. John's Vision of the Future "things which will take places"
6-7; 12-14 A. Satan's war against God's creation- the first six seals
8-11; 13:11-18; 15-18 B. Savior's war against Satan: The wrath of God- the seventh seal
Ch.19-20 C. The worship of God
Ch.21-22:5 D. The wonder of eternal bliss
22:6-21 E. The responsibilities of those going to heaven
Vs.6-7 1. Be alert "I am coming quickly"
Vs.8-9 2. Worship God alone "Worship God."
Vs.10-11 3. Spread God's message "Do not seal...the prophecy"
Vs.12-13 4. Live in light of God's presence "I am the Alpha and the Omega"
Vs.14-15 5. Rejoice in the blessings of salvation "Blessed are those who wash their robes"
Vs.16 6. Exalt Jesus Christ "bright morning star"
Vs.17 7. Invite others to Jesus Christ
It has been well over 2,000 years since Jesus left the earth. Peter said that in the last days people will scoff, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3:4). But let's remember that delay does not mean that God has forgotten or changed His mind because, "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
Today's verse begins with a challenge.
a. The call to come to Christ
There are five "calls" in this verse. I understand that the first three "calls" at the beginning of this verse can be a call for Christ to come back to earth like we see in verse 20, or it could a call for others to come to Christ. Either way it is both an invitation and a warning to anyone who is still outside of Christ.
I have decided to primarily take this text as a call to those who do not know Christ as Savior. This would parallel what Paul said in 2 Corinthians: "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God " (2 Corinthians 5:19--20).
The call to come to Christ comes from three directions.
(1) From the Holy Spirit "The Spirit"
Jesus told us very plainly what the Holy Spirit was going to do: "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged" (John 16:7--11).
By the way, this is our message to the world, too. Paul used these three same truths when he was sharing the Gospel with Governor Felix, "But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, 'Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you' " (Acts 24:24--25).