Reading: Luke 14:16-27
[a] Churches the world over, have had a renewed emphasis on
evangelism, which of course is marvellous!
I think to some degree, it is linked with the great urgency in
the knowledge that all around us, we see, as never before,
absolute proofs that we are in THE LAST OF THE LAST DAYS,
before the return of the Lord!
[d] One of the problems Christians have, is that often we
can turn round and say, "Oh it's just another campaign!"
"ANOTHER BRIGHT IDEA FROM THE OFFICER OR THE MINISTER!" GOD FORBID!
[e] All too often, Christians are guilty of sitting there
in their church or corps, with the attitude, "Oh well,
if God wants to bring people in I suppose He will!"
True to a degree, but how often have we heard it said, "HE HAS
NO HANDS BUT MY HANDS, NO LIPS BUT MY LIPS...."
[f] WHAT GOD WANTS TO DO, HAS TO BE DONE THROUGH YOU AND ME - AND
THAT CANNOT BE, IF WE FAIL TO COMMIT OURSELVES TO HIS SERVICE!
[e] It is WE, who MUST COMMIT OURSELVES to go into the
highways and byways COMPELLING them to come in!!
POINT 1 KEEP AT IT
[a] The Scottish, Robert the Bruce had been defeated in battle,
and dejectedly took refuge in a cave. He felt that he had failed
to rid his country of it's enemies and was on the point of giving up.
[b] Then he saw a spider in the corner, trying to get back up to
it's web on a fine silken thread. Time and time again it would try,
only to fall onto the floor of the cave.
[c] But it was determined not to give up until it had reached
it's goal, and eventually it was successful!
[d] That spider, gave Robert the Bruce the will to carry on, for
he felt it typified his own efforts, and failure to reach the
goal over and over again. The king took courage, and persevered,
and the example of that spider brought it's reward in due time.
[e] The doggedness, and perseverance of the spider are mentioned
in Proverbs 30:28, where it says, "The spider taketh hold with
her hands, and is in the king's palaces."
[f] Jesus reminds us how important persistence is in
spiritual matters, when He says in Matthew 7:7 as translated
in the Amplified Bible,
"KEEP ON ASKING, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN YOU; KEEP ON SEEKING AND
YOU WILL FIND; KEEP ON KNOCKING AND THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED TO YOU.
[g] When you're endeavouring to win souls to Christ, and you get
a knockback, DON'T GIVE UP! REMEMBER ROBERT THE BRUCE'S SPIDER!
POINT 2 SHOWING SINCERITY
[a] A friend in Belfast, Bobby, was in the Communist party, and
would have said he was an atheist.
Because of the persistence of a Christian neighbour, often in the
face of insult, Bobby found the Lord, when he eventually went
to a meeting with the neighbour and the hardened communist
became a preacher winning many others to Christ.
[b] There are perhaps people living beside each one of us who
need the Saviour and His Salvation!
Under the hand of God, it is OUR OPPORTUNITY to
quite literally PESTER THEM to come along to the meetings! Some of
you may have done that in days gone by - and been successful!!
[c] Remember the 'P's:
PESTERING, backed with PRAYER, can PERFORM PLENTY!
[d] You see, if you genuinely care about someone, and where they
will spend eternity, can you risk leaving them to find their own
way - which will almost certainly NOT be God's way!
[e] WE MUST SHOW WE CARE!
POINT 3 THE DANGERS OF
[a] I'm reminded of the conversation between two brothers as one
was dying! He had just made a death-bed decision for Christ. To
the other brother who had been a Christian for many years,
he said, emotionally,
"Why didn't you tell me I needed to be saved??" "But I did" he
said! "Yes", replied the other brother, "But you were always so
calm about it! Why didn't you grab hold of me and shake me, and
show some emotion about it! I HAVE ALMOST SLEPT MYSELF INTO HELL!!"
[b] We must endeavour to FOCUS OUR MINDS!
All the problems, the failures, the difficulties, of the past, must
be put completely out of our minds - WHEN WE HAVE ALLOWED GOD
TO DEAL WITH THEM, then we can concentrate on the task in
hand, for God's Kingdom!
[c] Every day we have before us a completely NEW
UNTRIED OPPORTUNITY to bring others to Christ!
[d] If we are FAITHFUL in going into the highways and byways,
and COMPELLING them to come in - THEN I BELIEVE WE CAN SEE A
MIGHTY MOVE OF GOD! GOD WANTS TO DO HIS PART - BUT HE CANNOT, IF WE
FRUSTRATE HIS PURPOSE, AND DO NOT DO OURS!
[e] So often in so many places, where we've been stationed,
I have heard people say, "It's been like this ever since I
can remember, so it's not going to change now!"
GOD DOESN'T WORK BY THOSE PRINCIPLES!
[a] Remember Robert the Bruce's Spider, and the lesson it taught
about not giving up!
[b] God is not limited by the failures or neglect of the past -
He would want us to start this moment with renewed
commitment, knowing that in the words of the children's Singing
Company song, "If your heart's alright - you'll do."
[c] That's where it must start. The Lord will take care of the rest!