THE INVITATION
Sunday, November 26, 2017
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"Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish." Matthew 13:47

Jesus tells a very sobering parable that takes place at the end of the age. Using the imagery of fishing, He describes what the kingdom of heaven is like. Continuing from the verse above, He said, "When it [the net] was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age” (Matthew 13:48-49).

This is an incredibly significant parable, which tells of the net being pulled in for the final time. There are three stages Jesus speaks of here; the first, a time of invitation when the net is on the lake; the second, a day of culmination when the net is drawn in, and the third, an eternity of separation when the fish are divided, the good from the bad. These images are very solemn and challenging, but it is extremely important we understand each phase.

The invitation, the Gospel net, as we might call it, is being let down during the period between the first and second coming of Christ. This is what we call the "Gospel Age", and it is a Gospel offered to everyone. It is about a universal remedy being offered to a universal need. And the plea Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:20 is, "We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." It is the work of God through His people to proclaim the message of salvation and repentance in order that others may be reconciled to God.

There is no limit on the scope of the Gospel, but there is a limit on the time of the Gospel. Many people have heard the message of salvation and have felt drawn by the Holy Spirit, yet for whatever reason, they have resisted or delayed accepting Christ. The longer we delay, the less moved we are by the Gospel message. We cannot take the reckless position, "Well, there's always tomorrow," because Scripture tells us no one is promised tomorrow.

The Gospel is not only limited to this brief time on earth, but limited to the life span of each of our lives. Hebrews 9:27 says, "Just as people are destined to die once and after that the judgment…” This is what gives urgency to our need to be made right with God. The writer to the Hebrews asks, "…how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:2-3). Every one of us has a glorious opportunity of accepting Christ as our Lord and Saviour. It is Jesus alone who saves and this is the time of invitation.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray for so many people who have not yet accepted You as their Lord and Saviour. May their eyes be opened to the truth, and their hearts drawn to You. Thank You, Jesus


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