MOMENTS OF TRUTH
Well, this morning our Lesson is entitled “I’m Too” (too with 2 o’s). And we will be talking about excuses. Which seem to be very common in our world and may be getting more frequent.
Today there are many in this world who want to make excuses as to not serve God. This morning I want to talk about what a few of those excuses might be. In Luke 14:15-24, we see a man who gives an invitation and the people's response to this invitation. “15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”
Those who were invited to this great supper made excuses so they could get out of this dinner. Christ gives us an invitation today to obey him and to join him and many, just like those invited to this dinner make excuses to ignore Christ’s invitation.
One of these excuses that people make is “I’m too busy”. Just like in the parable Jesus told in Luke 14 people will explain how they are too busy to go to services, serve God, or be a Christian.The people invited to this dinner got caught up in the cares of the world. Their priorities were off and out of touch with what they needed to be. What they were doing and taking care of may not have been inherently sinful, but it should not have taken precedence over what truly mattered. Just like those invited to this dinner many in our world today prioritize the cares of this world over the wants and the will of God. While these things may not be sinful alone, they become an issue when put before God’s commands. Matthew 10:37-38 shows us where God should be on our priority list “37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” God should be number ONE on our priority list. We do not want to fall among the thorns like the seed in the parable of the sower and get “choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life.”
Another excuse that many people use is “I’m too young”. Many will say I am too young to think about God right now. I will wait until I am older to be faithful. Solomon says to “Remember now thy Creator” in Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1 “9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, And put away evil from your flesh, For childhood and youth are vanity. Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come,And the years draw near when you say,“I have no pleasure in them”:” God will judge all of our actions that we make even from our youth. Solomon also says to “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,” and goes on to mention the “evil days” which refer to old age and the difficulty one has in them. Solomon admonishes us to remember God now while it is easier to serve him and follow his word. We also read in Galatians 6:7-8 “7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” So what we do now while we are younger we will reap when become older. If we choose to serve the flesh we will see corruption and if we serve the spirit we will see life everlasting.
Many people believe “I’m too smart” for God. Romans 1:22 “22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,” Many today believe they have all the answers. Many believe they can “prove” there is no God. These people professing their “wisdom” suppress the truth and make themselves foolish. Man’s wisdom is nothing compared to God and infinite wisdom and power. 1 Corinthians 1:25 “25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” And God says in Isaiah 55:9 “9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” God has infinite power and wisdom and we are nothing compared to our Awesome God. No matter how smart we think we are we will never be too smart for God.
Others might say “I’m too Content”. This is a very dangerous attitude to have. Many believe that they have everything they want or need in life, so they believe they do not need God. This could not be further from the truth. The things of this world are nothing and will fade away. Matthew 16:26 says “26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” It does not matter what we have or what we own. We can not take it with us when we die, so focus on God and not on the things of this world. In Luke 12:16-21 we read of a certain rich man with this exact issue of being “too content” “16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” We need to be rich towards God and not lay up treasure for ourselves here on earth. We need to not be content with ourselves. We need to take ease and comfort in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Some have the thought process of “I’m too good” for God. Pride and arrogance is more and more common in this world. There are some who believe “I do not need God” “I can do this on my own” or “What has God ever done for me”. Well it’s important to grasp that we all need God. No matter who you are or what you have accomplished. Proverbs 16:18 says “18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” The pride of life is one of the ways that Satan tempts us and is very is to fall into. Romans 12:3 also says “3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think,” We are rather to be humble and lowly. Philippians 2:3 “3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” We need to humble, meek and lowly. Not haughty and high minded. This leads to destruction.
Another excuse that may feel all too real for many of us is the exact opposite of I’m too good and it is “I’m too bad”. It is not uncommon at all for someone to believe they are not good enough to be a christian or to get to heaven. This could not be further from the truth. While none of us can earn our way into heaven, this does not mean it is out of our reach. Not one person is perfect, but God through his grace and mercy has given us a way to get to heaven. Paul takes claim to being chief of sinners in 1 Timothy 1:12-15 “12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” Paul was no perfect person. He is someone who persecuted Christ as well as his disciples even consented to the stoning of Stephen in Acts chapter 7, He held the coats of the people throwing the stones!! If Paul can make it so can you.
And one last “I’m too” before we finish our lesson and that is “I’m too late”. This is truly the saddest of them all and can not be fixed. We all must serve God and follow Christ in order to get home with them one day. There is a story of a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus. In Luke 16:19-31 we see how it was too late for the rich man. I want us to really pay attention to the rich man and his disposition before and after death. “19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” It was too late for the rich man was he died his fate was sealed. He could not even send word back to his family. This is tragic! We can all avoid this rich man’s fate as long as we obey God while we are still alive. There is a way to receive God’s grace, be added to the Church, and have that hope of heaven.
The way to get there is referred to the plan of salvation by many. We all must take the Word of God seriously and take on His will as our own. Do what He would have us. Philippians 2:12 says “12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;”
We all MUST believe in Jesus Christ Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Let us all hear God’s word and have faith and believe on it.
Next, we all need to repent, which is to change. Acts 2:38 “Repent, and let everyone 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.”
We all MUST confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Matthew 10:32 “32 Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.”
And Romans 10:9-10 “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
We MUST also be baptized Mark 16:16 “16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved;” We are also given an example of confession and baptism in Acts 8:36-39 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.”
And finally we must live faithfully. Revelation 2:10 “...Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
If we can follow this “plan of salvation” and not use any of these “I’m too” excuses we can certainly serve God and get to heaven one day with him. Whatever excuse we have in life God has an answer for. We should have no reason not to serve God. God is the only answer.