Summary: Jesus has made salvation available to all people. Why are not all people saved? When the Doorbell to our heart rings, am I home???
Iliff and Saltillo UM Churches
December 26, 2004
“When the Doorbell Rings, Am I Home?”
INTRODUCTION: How many of you have already had someone stop by your house at this Christmas season or will sometime before the end of December? How did you know they were at your door? You might say, “Well, I heard the door bell ring, or I heard the door knocker, or they pounded on the door so I could hear. Or maybe they opened the door and yelled, “Anybody home?” There are many different ways of getting our attention. Fancy brass door knockers, or door bells that play different tunes are some of the ways of alerting us to guests.
ILLUSTRATION: A couple of years ago we had an assignment to do at Lowes. We were to find the door bells and press the button to ring them. They had a row of door bells. I went one by one ringing them. Walter asked, “Why are you ringing all the door bells?” I said, “that’s what we’re supposed to do to see if they are working properly. There was quite a range of attention-getting doorbells--from beautiful Westminister Chimes to the one that plays 60 different songs.
1. Salvation--There for the Asking: What does this have to do with today’s scripture. I think it has several connections to our spiritual life. We celebrated Christmas day just yesterday when Jesus came into our world to bring us good news of salvation. The prophets spok of this hundreds of years beforehand. Finally the day came when He made salvation available to all people. We didn’t deserve His great love for us but today’s scripture says, “for the grace of God has been revealed bringing salvation to all people.” You might ask, “then why are all people not saved--why are people still struggling with their sins when Jesus came to bring a different lifestyle?
I’ve entitled today’s message “When the door bell rings, am I home?” Just as there are many ways at our home to hear someone at our door, God uses many approaches in our life to get our attention. Often it comes in a crisis moment when things are out of control in our lives. Sometimes a loss of some kind. Often in our ordinary daily routine we ignore Him and will not answer His knock at our heart’s door.
ILLUSTRATION: A preacher had a glass front door on his house. When his parishioners would stop by his house, they could see him sitting at his table, and he could see them. They would stand at the door and ring the door bell and he would not go to the door. He ignored them until they would give up and walk away.
He said, “if they want to talk to me they can call my secretary and make an appointment at the office.”
You might say, “I can’t believe anyone would do this.” It sounds very rude, but many people are “not home” when the Lord tries to get their attention. He wants to say, “it’s time for you to receive me into your heart and life...to start living a different way.” Have you ever just ignored the Lord’s message and refused to open the door?
ILLUSTRATION: When I was growing up my family stopped to pick up a man who was disabled and took him to church every Sunday. We did this for years. Sometimes he was not ready when we got there, and we would go to the door and knock. His mother was always in the house--because you could see the curtains rustling--but she would never come to the door. She would leave us standing out there.
When the door bell rings, am I home? When it comes to people? When it comes to Jesus? How often do we just ignore Him and go on with our busy lives never finding the answer to our problems and our sin filled lives? It seems as if we are just not home--at least not at the moment.
2. Why Am I Not Home?: Why is it so difficult to open the door of our lives to the Savior? Scripture tells us that it would certainly be an improvement over our sinful lifestyle. But we hesitate. There are numerous reasons we should consider and see if we can identify ourselves in his mirror.
Maybe we are not home because we fear new experiences. We don’t quite know what to expect. What if I receive Jesus and He turns me into a Jesus freak? What if I lose all my friends? What if He requires me to give up too much? Fear can keep us from the abundant life He came to bring us.
Maybe we feel we are too busy right now. “It’s an inconvenient time, Lord.” “I’ll catch you later when I don’t have to work as much, or when the kids are finished with sports, when school is out, when the weather gets warmer, when the flu season is over....It’s just not the right time. I’m running all the time--don’t have a minute to spare, Lord.” I just don’t want to be bothered right now. It’s an imposition on my time.”