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ID-10023653If you have ever been invited to a special event, it is likely you would have received an invitation either by email or by mail. Invitations are designed to formally invite each guest or person that is enlisted. This is so they can participate in an event that is deemed to be celebratory or of special recognition to the honoree/s. Each person who is invited is in some way affiliated with whoever is the focal point of the ceremony or gathering.  One can surmise that the guest has a relationship or at least know of those who they were invited by. As a guest, one can expect to be given special treatment and acceptance which is a by-product of the affiliation with the honoree/s.  In most cases, however, invitations that are sent, are usually exclusive rather than inclusive of all.

The large difference between an event that is exclusive to the public, and the invitation that God offers through Jesus Christ, is that God’s invitation is inclusive to all.  One of the most quoted and most familiar passages of scripture can be found in John 3:16.  It says:

(NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The key word in this verse of scripture is “whoever” or as some translations say, “whosoever”. This scripture has become a testament and the crux of the love that God has shown to all of humanity.  It highlights the decision that God made on behalf of humanity to send Jesus Christ, His one and only son to die for the Earth’s sins. As a result of Christ’s death on the cross, humanity has an opportunity to receive salvation.  As this scripture says, “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That means, regardless of who you are, and what you have done in your past – if you trust in Jesus Christ and believe He was raised from the dead, then salvation is available to you.

The great thing about God is, He always provides an alternative for humanity. If you look at the world around you, there is a constant decay that has and continues to occur before our eyes. The rapid decadence that is on display is a result of the sinfulness that has run rampant. However, the alternative is a life that is lived through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God made a way for humanity to escape His wrath and to escape Hell.

The truth is, all of us deserve to be destroyed, because of our sinful nature. In Psalm 51:5, the psalmist David says that he was a sinner at birth, which also applies to each human being.  It is because of the sin that Adam & Eve committed in the Garden of Eden, that our original destiny was one of destruction and sinfulness.  However, the alternative to that plan was Jesus Christ who is the giver of life.

In 2 Peter 3:9 it says, (NIV) “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  This scripture essentially means that throughout all of the sins that we commit, God shows us patience. This can be understood as God’s grace unto us which God extends to every person.  The grace of God is something that many have been covered by, even when we deserved the worst of what should have happened to us.

The above scripture also makes it clear, that God does not desire to see humanity perish but to come to repentance.  That is His desire for you and I. When we are unrepentant in our sin, then the penalty is death both spiritually and physically as it says in Romans 6:23. All of the sinfulness that is now being promoted within our society, it has a cost. The legalization of homosexuals being able to marry in 21 countries is not only an abomination to God’s order, but it is a sin.  This sin among other sins has a high price to pay. However, God does not want humanity to pay for its sin through destruction.

Jesus Christ died for you and I so that we would not have to pay the price that we owe. All of the lawlessness that has become “the law” only puts our global society into more confusion.  However, God wants us to repent as a human race.  By repenting, we are acknowledging that we have sinned and that we are ready to surrender our lives unto God through Jesus Christ.  While God’s grace is available to all, the thing about His grace is, that it eventually runs out. While God is patient with us, once He has given us ample time to repent and we do not, the consequences begin to take effect.

In Romans 6: 1-4 the Apostle Paul says:

(NIV) What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

In this passage, the Apostle Paul begins by asking a question of whether or not we should continue sinning so that grace may abound. His answer is an emphatic, no. Instead, Paul encourages us not to continue in sin but to remember that because Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, we too have an opportunity to have a new life. It is this invitation to a brand new life, that God offers to every person through Jesus Christ.

What the world offers to us, is the alternative to a life of destruction.  Much of the temptations and pressures to conform to this world system, result in a lower quality of life, in addition to an eternity that is spent in separation from God’s presence.  However, the way out is by accepting the invitation that Jesus offers through His sacrifice.  Just like any invitation, you have the opportunity to accept or decline. It is based on your free-will.  God will not force you to love Him or accept His grace and mercy, but rather He wants you and I to choose Him.  Will you accept God’s invitation? He is waiting for you so that you can have life and life abundantly.

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