EXCUSES FOR NOT OBEYING THE GOSPEL.
1. The Jews thought the kingdom would be temporal and ushered in by a great supper.
2. At the time of the supper, they expected positions of authority and prominence to be assigned to certain ones. Mk. 10:35-37.
3. In our text, Lk. 14:1, we find Jesus dining with one of the chief Pharisees.
A. In doing so, He observed that some were choosing the chief seats nearest the host at the table. v. 7.
B. In observing this, Jesus begin to teach them a lesson of humility. vss 8-11.
4. After this, He proceeded to rebuke the host for inviting only friends, brethren, and relatives to his feast. vss. 12,13.
A. One of those present immediately assumed that this is how it would be when the kingdom was established upon the earth. He said: "Blessed is everyone who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God." v. 15.
5. Christ replied to this statement in parable form: showing that all are invited. vss. 16-23.
6. He tells of three excuses that those invited gave.
A. "I have bought a piece of ground and I must needs go and see it." vs. 18.
1) Such a one may have reasoned: "Property is very valuable and a means of security for the future for me and my family; I must strike while the iron is hot or I might lose my chance."
a. In answer to this, we need to say that one is foolish to buy a field without first seeing it.
b. That greed and covetousness for this world's goods can destroy the soul. Lk. 12:13-31.
c. It doesn't take a lot of money to blind one; a penny held close enough to the eye will block ones vision.
B. "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them." vs. 19.
1) Such a one may have reasoned: "One can't expect to buy a pig in a poke, sight unseen."
a. In answer to this, we need to say that the oxen would have still been there a couple of hours later after the supper was over.
b. And again, who would buy five yoke of oxen without first trying them?
C. "I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come." vs. 20.
1) Such a one my reason: "This is a whole lifetime matter, I must not rock the boat in the very early stages of my marriage."
a. In answer to this, we need to say; why didn't he bring his wife with him to the feast?
2) Some will say: "I have domestic or family problems that you cannot even imagine."
a. Will staying away from the feast solve them?
3) Two men were fishing on Sunday, when the church bells began to chime. One said to the other: "I should be in church today, but I have a sick wife at home and therefore I could not go."
7. Yes, man is prone to make excuses for his shortcomings.
A. We hear them almost every day about various things.
B. People believe that good excuses will justify their actions.
8. But Jesus offers salvation only to those who obey Him. Heb. 5:8,9; Mt. 11:28-30; 7:21-27.
9. Now, let us note some of the many excuses that are offered by people for not becoming Christians:
I. "I AM AFRAID OF WHAT PEOPLE WILL THINK AND SAY."
A. Too many are ashamed of the gospel. But did this interfere with Paul's dedication to it? Rom. 1:16.
B. Some worry about what their parents or relatives will say.
1. It is true that we are to obey our parents, but only in harmony with the teaching of the Lord. Eph. 6:1-3; Acts 5:29; Lk. 14:26.
2. Some advice given by parents is good, but some may be bad. Many souls have perished in hell because of following the example of parents. Many of the Old Testament kings followed in the steps of their parents and were condemned by God.
3. Would you steal, lie, kill, or cheat if your parents did the same or advised you to do so? Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10.
C. We cannot offord to be ashamed of Christ or His word. Lk. 9:26.
II. "I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH -- I AM TOO MEAN."
A. In your present condition and manner of life, how long do you think it will take you to be "good enough"?
1. As long as one serves the Devil he can never be "good enough" to serve Christ.
2. "Evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse" not better and better. 2 Tim. 3:13.
B. Have you committed sins worse than those found in 1 Cor. 6:9-11?
C. If we were already "good enough" then Christ need not have died. Rom. 3:23.
1. Christ died for sinners. Rom. 5:8. Even the chiefest of sinners. 1 Tim. 1:15.
2. He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Mt. 9:13.
III. "I JUST KNOW THAT I COULD NOT HOLD OUT FAITHFULLY"
A. Look at what Paul endured and he remained faithful. 2 Cor. 11:24- 28; 2 Tim. 4:6-8.
1. We often sing: "One step at a time dear Savior, I can not take anymore."
2. What if the headlights of your car had to shine all the way home, if you were 10 miles away, before you would begin your journey? Would you start out or stay where you were?
B. God requires nothing that is impossible for us to do. Rev. 2:10; 2 Cor. 8:12.
C. He wants us to do our very best; but knows that we are not perfect. 1 Jno. 1:8,9.
1. But, we need to realize that He knows what our best is.
D. Paul said, "For by grace are ye saved through faith." Eph. 2:8,9.
E. God has promised to help. 1 Cor. 10:13. Do you believe Him?
IV. "I AM TOO YOUNG --- OR TOO OLD".
A. Are you old enough to understand that you are a sinner?
1. That you need a Savior?
2. That Christ died for you?
3. That He will save all who come to Him?
B. Do you know that He requires all to obey the gospel to be saved?
1. If you know these things, you are accountable and will be lost if you do not obey.
C. God wants the young to obey before they become so deeply entangled with the things of this life. Eccl. 12:1.
1. Some reason that they have to "sow their wild oats" before they take a serious stand in religion.
a. Most of those that sow wild oats soon pray for a crop failure.
b. To such a one we say, read God's law of sowing and reaping as is found in Gal. 6:7,8.
2. There are those that sow wild oats, but they need to realize that God is not mocked, for as one soweth so shall he reap.
D. This is not to say that those that obey the gospel after they have become old, have lost their reward.
1. For we are reminded of the "eleventh hour" worker. Mt. 20:1-16.
E. I have personally baptized several persons that were well over 70 years old.
F. But the danger lies in letting the opportunities pass by until no more arises.
G. One is never too young or too old to obey the gospel as long as he or shee is accountable.
V. "I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE BIBLE AND GOD."
A. If one waits until he knows all about God and the Bible, he will never be saved. 1 Cor. 8:2,3.
B. You will hear enough in this sermon to obey the gospel.
1. The eunuch in Acts 8 and the Pentecostians in Acts 2 as well as the jailor in Acts 16, heard only one sermon and they understood enough to obey.
a. Such as they will stand against you in the judgment if you obey not the gospel.
C. We are to be born again, and then grow in the grace and know- ledge from a newborn babe to a fullgrown man. Jno. 3:3,5; Heb. 5:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:1-5.
VI. "I AM TOO BUSY TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN JUST NOW."
A. Will you take time out to die when the time comes? Heb. 9:27.
B. Will you take time out to appear before the judgment bar of God? 2 Cor. 5:10.
C. Remember that the seeds that fell among the thorns were those that were choked out by the cares, riches, and pleasures of this world. Lk. 8:14.
D. Martha was "cumbered about with much serving", but Mary "chose the better part." Lk. 10:38-42.
E. The foolish virgins were not ready. Mt. 25:1-14.
F. Felix was not ready. Acts 24:25.
G. Jesus said: "Therefore be ye also ready; for in an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh." Mt. 24:44.
H. Would you agree to obey the gospel next week? What about next month? Next year?
1. You should realize that you have no promise that you will even be alive at any future day or hour.
I. It is a very dangerous thing to become so caught up in the things of this life that you do not have time to obey the Lord. Mt. 6:33; 1 Kgs. 20:40; Jer. 8:20.
1. The song, "All Things Are Ready" was inspired by the text of our lesson.
2. The supper of the Lamb is ready, Jesus is inviting, but stubborn, rebellious man says:
A. "I will reject the bread of life and starve."
B. "I am sick in sin but I do not wish to be healed by the Great Physician."
C. "I know that I am sinking in the quicksand but don't pull me to safety."
D. "I know that the house is burning but I don't want to go outside."
E. Excuses will not stand in the day of judgment. Lk. 14:24.
F. Don't lose your soul because of a field, oxen, or a wife.
G. Why not put away all excuses that might have been hindering you in the past, and render obedience to the Lord today while there is still time and opportunity?
by Jim Sasser
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