Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We Are NOT Invited --

We are commanded.

CHRIST JESUS preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of GOD -- Repent, and believe in the gospel. (Mark 1:15)

John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness -- Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! (Matthew 3:2)

Paul the Apostle exhorted -- ...repent, turn to GOD, and do works befitting repentance. (Acts 26:20)

Peter the Apostle declared -- Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy SPIRIT.( (Acts 2:38)

The One True GOD is holy. Exalt the LORD our GOD, and worship at His holy hill; for the LORD our GOD is holy. (Psalm 99:9)

GOD hates sin.

The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. (Psalm 11:5) These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies,

and one who sows discord among brethren.
(Proverbs 6:16-19)

...bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, malice... (Ephesians 4:31) ...adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries... (Galatians 5:19-21)

...evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies... (Matthew 15:19)

unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; whisperers, backbiters, haters of GOD, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful... (Romans 1:29-31) ...debased mind... vile passions (Romans 1:26-27)

Because GOD is good -- because He is a holy and righteous GOD -- He must judge and punish sin. The wrath of GOD is what each sinner has in store for all eternity.

The Good News -- Sinless GOD the Son drank the bitter cup of GOD the Father's wrath that was meant for you and me... for all sinners. JESUS was the Lamb sacrificed on the Cross at Calvary and took upon Himself the full, unabated deluge of the wrath of GOD for all of mankind's sins -- past, present and future.

All of us have broken the Ten Commandments of GOD. All of us have done those sins that GOD hates. We deserve the punishment from GOD, the Creator who is infinitely holy and just.

The Good News -- Blameless Son of GOD took our punishment and died in our stead -- the scourging, the crown of thorns, the nails hammered in His hands and feet, the abandonment of the Father -- the unabated wrath of GOD.

All of humankind are born with sin-nature. There is no one good -- NOT ONE (Psalm 53:3). All have sinned. All have broken the first and foremost commandment -- love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37) All have done evil in the sight of a holy GOD.

The Good News -- CHRIST accomplished the atoning work He and the Father have ordained before the foundation of the world. It is finished! (John 19:30)

GOD is holy Judge... He must punish evil, sinful man -- you and me... all sinners. No one escapes His judgment. No one escapes His righteous wrath.

GOD is also perfect love... He provided the Substitute -- CHRIST JESUS. He paid in full all our sin-debts.

Now JESUS commands a response. He doesn't invite you to receive Him -- He commands us to repent -- to turn from our sins... to turn to Him. Repent, and believe in the gospel!

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (excerpt from Faith and Repentance Inseparable in italics) remarked "that the gospel which CHRIST preached was, very plainly, a command... though He condescended to reason, to persuade, to invite, and to beseech, still His gospel had in it all the dignity and force of a command; and if we would preach it in these days as CHRIST did, we must proclaim it as a command from GOD, attended with a divine sanction, and not to be neglected save at the infinite peril of the soul.

Repent is as much a command of GOD as You shall not steal. Believe on the LORD JESUS CHRIST has as fully a divine authority as You shall love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. Think not, O men, that the gospel is a thing left to your option to choose it or not! Dream not, O sinners, that you may despise the Word from heaven and incur no guilt! Think not that you may neglect it and no ill consequences shall follow! It is just this neglect and despising of yours which shall fill up the measure of your iniquity. It is this concerning which we cry aloud, How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation! GOD commands you to repent.

It is one of the saddest proofs of man's utter depravity that he will not obey this command, but that he will despise CHRIST, and so make his doom worse than the doom of Sodom and Gomorrah.

"Repentance is to leave
the sins we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve, by doing so no more."

To repent does mean a change of mind; but then it is a thorough change of the understanding and all that is in the mind, so that it includes an illumination, an illumination of the Holy SPIRIT; and I think it includes a discovery of iniquity and a hatred of it, without which there can hardly be a genuine repentance. We must not, I think, undervalue repentance. It is a blessed grace of GOD the Holy SPIRIT, and it is absolutely necessary unto salvation.

...a repentance which makes me weep and abhor my past life because of the love of CHRIST which has pardoned it, is the right repentance.

...the repentance which makes us avoid present sin because of the love of GOD who died for us, this also is saving repentance.

...when I avoid it
and seek to lead a holy life because CHRIST loved me and gave Himself up for me, and because I am not my own, but am bought with a price, this is the work of the SPIRIT of GOD.

The repentance which is here commanded is the result of faith; it is born at the same time with faith—they are twins... It is a great mystery... the fact being that they come into the soul together.

Believe the gospel. Faith means trust in CHRIST.

No faith can be genuine but such as is perfectly consistent with repentance for past sin... no faith is true but that which is linked with a hearty and sincere repentance on account of past sin.

Why, dear friends, do you expect to be saved while you are in your sins? Are you to be allowed to love your iniquities, and yet go to heaven? What, you think to have poison in your veins, and yet be healthy? What, man, keep the thief in doors, and yet be acquitted of dishonesty? Be stained, and yet be thought spotless? Harbour the disease and yet be in health? Ridiculous! Absurd! The demand for a change of heart is absolutely necessary; it is but a reasonable service.

This is a command which demands immediate obedience.

"Today," the gospel always cries, for if it tolerated sin a single day, it were an unholy gospel. If the gospel told men to repent of sin tomorrow, it would give them an allowance to continue in it today, and that would indeed be to pander to men's lusts. But the gospel makes a clean sweep of sin, and demands of man that he should throw down the weapons of his rebellion now.

Sinner, it is your time. This is the only time you can call your own. Tomorrow! Is there such a thing? In what calendar is it written save in the almanack of the fool?
...on the great white throne the Judge shall sit, there will be not a man, or woman, or child, able to make excuse and say, "I did not hear the gospel; I did not know what I must do to be saved!" You have heard it: Repent, and believe the gospel. That is, trust CHRIST; believe that He is able and willing to save you." (Words of C. H. Spurgeon -- updated English and emphasis mine.)

The Gospel of CHRIST JESUS is not an invitation -- it is a command from GOD that demands a response today.

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  1. This was really a good post. You're right...it is a command . God is not asking...He's telling.

  2. i've never heard the "invitation" as a command until i started listening to John MacArthur's expositions and Paul Washer's gospel-oriented sermons.

    GOD is GOD -- He doesn't need to plead with prideful sinners to acknowledge His Son as LORD. It is an amazing privilege!

  3. Interesting post.