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The Evangelism Excuse
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Delivered By
Brian Winburn
Delivered On
June 4, 2017
Central Passage
Luke 14:12-23
Description

We apologize for not being able to include the Intro to the message. Below are the pastor’s notes, this is not a transcript.

Intro:

Givers or takers, Nosey church members and You owe me

When you are not with God for the right reason. Jesus gives 2 reasons as to why you wish to be in His company, but not a disciple. 1) you are nosey. You want to know what He is up to.

2) you wish to make Him your debtor. You think that inviting Him will lead Him to owe you something.

Some people attend church just so they can know what everyone else is up to. Some attend because they think that God will owe them a reward later on. Well I went to church so God owes me a better job, happy life, etc…

IF you aren’t doing what Christ came to do, glorify God through evangelism, then you are here because you are nosey or you want to make God your debtor. God will never ever owe you.

Luke 14:12-14 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

What is happening here? What reason does Jesus give for not inviting their friends, family, or the wealthy?

It’s about motive. Why do we do what we do here at High Point Baptist Church? Are we looking for what we can get out of it or what we can give?

Is Evangelism at the heart of all that we do? Is our SS based on the desire to win people to Jesus or to train people up so they can serve us and our desires?

Take an honest moment and think this over.

Describe for me what a church that is self-serving looks like. Could you hold anyone accountable? Why not? Fear of not getting invited, right?

So who or what would run this type of church or life? Others, rejection, fear

Let’s lighten the mood a little. Why don’t you invite the poor, crippled, lame and blind? They can only take and give little in return

So who repays our kindness? God

Who’s payment would you rather have, God’s or man’s?

Then why don’t we make a greater effort towards reaching those who don’t know the Lord.

God’s vision to save the world involves using the testimony of those who are saved to reach those who aren’t. Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you everything.

 

Luke 14:15-24 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

V15 is like a back handed compliment, Bless em Lord. Duh, everyone that is in heaven is blessed, what does that mean? Jesus took full advantage to remind the man that there are people who think they are saved that aren’t. One way to know is devotion to God’s vision or plan. Another thing Jesus is saying is that just because you are a Jew doesn’t mean that you are saved. 

Where is this man’s focus? On the man that is blessed.

The church or person whose focus is not on what they can give, but what they can get will look blessed to the outside world. Yet, only God’s rewards matter.

3 excuses:

  1. V 18 I bought I field I have not seen, Please excuse me
  2. V19 I bought 5 oxen I need to go examine them, please excuse me
  3. V 20 I just got married, I can not come

Now what does these excuses mean and even deeper what are they being excused from?

I believe what they are invited to is a simple feast. It’s not like they rejected an offer to heaven. Yet, that’s the point.

1st they see it as something that is not that important. They’ve diminished a relationship with God and elevated the things of this world.

2nd they refuse to see how much they need the presence of the one that invited them. Since they’ve diminished the feast, they have also diminished the value of the one that invited them.

3rd They expect the inviter to not be offended. We trample on the name of God as if He doesn’t care.

Their excuses:

  1. Can land move? So the land can wait and not be offended? What are the things that can wait, least you offend God?
    1. Surely God will understand, right?
    2. Do you own your possessions or do they own you?
    3. The fact that he hasn’t seen the land means that he is relying on other people’s word. This is symbolic of people who rely on what people say about God more than what God says about God.
    4. Why not invite the poor? Because they don’t have the same possessions
  2. Ox are Ox right? They work or else. So what is this guy saying? Here is someone who puts work before God.
    1. I’ve got to get this done. NO you have to believe in Jesus.
    2. You brought nothing into this world, but you better take Jesus with you when you leave this world.
    3. Why not invite the poor, crippled, sick, etc, because it messes with what you want to do.
  3. There is no greater human relationship than that of a man and wife. So what does that have to do with not going?
    1. We will use our relationships as an excuse rather than as a tool to reach people for Jesus.
    2. Is your spouse, family, a tool or an excuse?
    3. Why not invite the poor? It messes up our relationship with others. It takes the focus off of us and puts it where it should be. The lost, sick, and needy for Jesus.

None of those that rejected God with the politest of excuses will spend eternity with Him. But this message goes deeper to also include a sign as to whether we truly are for God or not. That sign are we evangelizing or living for our possessions, work, and relationships.

 

In every case the people have failed to manage their time. They have failed to prioritize. How did this happen? Where does it begin? When we put a vision forth that is not immersed in reach the lost for Christ. When our purpose is no longer to glorify God by knowing Him and making Him known. Oh, how guilty I am of not sharing often enough about the Salvation of God and to top it all off I act as if its okay with God to be that way.

There is a terrible false doctrine in our area. I am finding that men use to preach to the church that it is so much better than the lost world, because of how it looked, talked, acted, possessed, etc. and not because of the presence of God. Because of that teaching many have become white washed tombs.

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