Fact or Invitation?
Allen Michael Rea | Pastor
Dunn Memorial Baptist Church, Baxley, GA
In Luke 15:2 the Bible says: “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” In the hustle and bustle of the season we may be murmuring. Complaining is a wide and broad road and many travel on it. Thankfulness is a narrow and straight road that few find. Is it strange that what the Pharisees were complaining about is what I am most thankful for? I am thankful for the fact that Christ receives sinful men. This is a biblical fact that I will never doubt. Paul put it this way: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). Why did He come? To do miracles? To give us a good example? To write a book? None of the above. He came to receive and redeem sinners. This is a glorious fact because every person ever born is a sinner (Romans 3:23), so that means Christ died for every single person. Friend, it is a fact: Christ receives sinful men. He receives sinners based on His great grace and willingness to forgive. The sinner comes repentant of his ways believing everything that the Bible says about Jesus Christ.
The question is NEVER “Does Christ receive sinners?” but “Do sinners receive Christ?” He opens His arms wide for sinners, but many sinners close their minds and hearts to Him. He would accept them, but they reject Him. That’s ok, right? I mean that’s their choice. Sure, it’s their choice, but that choice has horrible consequences: eternal hell. We, Christians, are too often silent when we should be outspoken. Jude clearly compels us to snatch sinners from the fire, but we let them simmer (Jude 23). We are afraid of offending or inconveniencing them. I know that there are innumerable souls in hell that wished someone had inconvenienced or offended them. Let us offend! Let us inconvenience them! One door knock or one conversation can change a soul forever.
The fact that Jesus receives sinners is not fiction, it is a biblical fact. Inside this wonderful fact is an invitation. Sinner, you are received by Christ, but will you receive Him? Stop delaying and stop rejecting! You must repent (turn) from your sin. You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ! Why will you not accept Him who has accepted you? How do you accept Him? Voice an honest prayer like this: “Lord Jesus, I know I am condemned as a sinner. I know that you freely died for sinners. I welcome, I accept Your love and forgiveness! Please Lord, be Lord of all my life! In Jesus’ Name: Amen!” If you said a prayer like that and meant it, NOTHING, will stop you from attending a Bible-believing church on Sunday and speaking to the pastor about baptism. I know a Bible-believing church right down from I.G.A. in Baxley that would love to disciple you as you grow in Christ.
Sinner: come to Jesus! Christian: get off your “blessed assurance” and share the Gospel. The Gospel is a fact that is embedded with an invitation