Jun 03

Print this Post


At the conclusion of the sermon is offered what we call the invitation. The invitation invites two classes of people: (1) those who are not Christians, and (2) those who are Christians but have publically sinned.
Although God’s required response of such an individual is not elaborated upon at the end of each sermon, such responses are clearly described within the new covenant.
I. To those who are not Christians, God explains the following is required:
1. Hear the Gospel. Obviously, if any person is going to have any chance of becoming a Christian, he will first have to hear it. “How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom. 10:14). John 6:44,45 also makes clear that no one will be able to come to God, unless they have been taught. Those who teach that one learns of God by a direct operation of the Holy Spirit are not in harmony with the Scriptures on this point.
2. Believe the Gospel. After hearing the account of Jesus, one will either believe or disbelieve. If one disbelieves, his condition has not changed; “but he that disbelieves shall be condemned” (Mk. 16:16). However, if one does believe, “to them gave he the power [the privilege, GRH] to become the sons of God” (Jn. 1:12). Like hearing, if one stops at the point of believing and proceeds no further, his lost condition does not change, for “faith without works is dead also” (Jas. 2:26).
3. Repentance. One work of faith is repentance. What is repentance? Jesus said that “the men of Ninevah…repented at the preaching of Jonah” (Matt. 12:41). If we can learn what the Ninevites did, then we can learn what repentance is. We find the answer in Jonah 3:10, “God saw their works, that they turned from their evil ways.” Thus, repentance is turning from the sinful ways in which one has been engaged, and of which the change of attitude is evidenced by his works. The same truth is also taught in Matthew 21:28-29 with the two sons. John the Baptist also taught the need of the change of attitude being evidenced by works (Matt. 3:8). Zaccheus was one who understood this matter, and whose works of repentance proved to, and prompted Jesus to say, “this day is salvation come to this house” (Luke 19:8,9).

That repentance is necessary to the non-Christian is made evident in Acts 2:38: “And Peter said unto them, Repent ye…unto the remission of your sins.” Thus, since sin separates a person from God (Isa. 59:1,2), one of the works of faith which (with the other works of faith) must occur is genuine, unfeigned repentance. (see: Jer. 3:10). (Continued next week)

Gary Henson

Permanent link to this article: http://okcsbs.com/the-invitation/