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A Personal Invitation From God

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2023 12:00 am

A Personal Invitation From God

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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December 30, 2023 12:00 am

God loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you. Will you respond to His call?

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley.

The start of a brand new year is around the corner, and this is a great opportunity to regroup and refocus. Stay with us now and learn how you can RSVP to a personal invitation from God. The truth. He appealed to men back in the Old Testament through the prophets. He appealed to men in the New Testament through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He appealed then through the apostles and down through the ages. God has raised up messengers through whom He could appeal to men, women, boys, and girls about their relationship to Him. Now, one of the strongest appeals that he made in the Old Testament is found in Isaiah chapter one. Isaiah chapter one written primarily to Judah because of their sin and disobedience to God. He makes his appeal to them and is still making his appeal today to us through these same passages. Beginning in verse 18 of Isaiah chapter one.

Listen to how he appealed to us. Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are scarlet, they will be as white as snow.

Though they're red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the lamb. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Now listen to the appeal that God Almighty makes to humanity.

Listen. Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be white as snow.

Though they be red like crimson, He says, I will make them like wool, light fluffy wool. Now I want us to examine this invitation, this appeal that our Lord makes here. And his first appeal is an invitation to reason.

Listen. An invitation to reason. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. God's appeal is an invitation to reason, to thinking, to openness, to honesty, to true evaluation about your judgment of who He really is, who you are, and the needs in your life. Now what is the justification by which God would even say such a thing? He says, Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. What justification does God have by saying to us, Come now, making an appeal to us? First of all, He's our Creator.

Without Him, we wouldn't exist. Secondly, His justification is that He has given us His infallible, inerrant Word. From cover to cover, it is the revelation of God. This is the unfolding of the reality of God put in print. If you want to know who God is and what He's like, here's the instruction book.

Here's the guidebook for daily living and for daily instruction. He is justified by making His appeal and the fact that He's our Creator and He's given us a guidebook to live by. Not only that, He has chosen to incarnate Himself in His only begotten Son.

Think about this, God, in all of His greatness and grandeur, majesty and power, condescended to become a little baby in the womb of a mother. And be born into this world as a little child, grow up as a young lad and become a man preaching and teaching and healing and raising people from the dead, giving us a pattern of life and then being crucified voluntarily on the cross. God indeed is justified by making an appeal to humanity to come and reason together. Not only that, He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us, to enable us to understand the Word of God.

The only way you and I can understand the Scriptures is by the ministry of the Holy Spirit who shows us, who opens it up to us, who makes the mysteries of God reality to us until we comprehend what He's saying. This same Holy Spirit is the one who enables us to live the life that our Lord Jesus Christ patterned for us. But not only that, God is justified by making this appeal and the fact that He's told us, one of these days He's coming again. And you and I are going to stand before Him and give an account for our life.

That is, we're going to be accountable to God and therefore on the basis that God makes His invitation, He makes His appeal to us that you and I would come and listen and be quiet and that God show us truth, that we may believe the truth, that we may live by that truth. Let me ask you a question. My friend, when the Spirit of God convicts you of your sin and you know it's what is happening in your life, what is your response?

Do you want to turn it off? Do you want to excuse it? Do you want to rationalize it?

What is your reasoning? What is your response? Listen, when the Spirit of God convicts you of your sin, when He shows you the things in your life that you know that are not right, when He brings to your mind again that you need to be forgiven of your sin, reconciled, brought back to God, what is your response? Is it openness?

Is it honesty? Are you saying yes, Lord, I'm willing to listen? Or are you justifying your sin, running from God, debating with Him, arguing with Him, defending yourself?

He's giving us an invitation. His appeal, first of all, is an appeal to reason, motivated by what? Listen, motivated by God's pure wisdom, motivated by the knowledge of God, that if a man or woman lives a life of sin and rebellion and indifference to God, one of these days they will stand before the Lord and give an account for that life. And God knows that the ultimate consequence of sin is ultimate destruction. Therefore, motivated by love, listen to what He says, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God, while we were dead in our trespasses and sins, sent His only begotten Son.

Even while we weren't sinners, Christ commended, extended, appealed, invited us to experience His loving forgiveness. God does not appeal to us because He sees something in us worthy of appeal. God feels no pressure from us and therefore He wants to get into discussion. It is purely the love of God. He is loved by nature and He is loved by action. God expressing love is continuously appealing to men, women to respond to His love, His forgiveness and be saved from their sins. But I want you to notice something else about this passage and that is this appeal is an invitation not only to reason but it is an appeal to something else and that is to redemption, that is to salvation, not just the reason that's not enough, but to save us.

Notice how he does it. He uses symbolism. Verse 1, Come now let us reason together, says the Lord. Then he says, Though your sins are as what? Scarlet, they will be white as snow. Though they're red like crimson, they will be like wool. Why does God use two words, scarlet and crimson, both of which are words indicating a deep red color? Why would He say, Though your sins be as scarlet? Though they be like crimson, that He will make them white like wool. Now, to my knowledge, it is the only time in the Bible that sin is colored red.

Usually it is black, darkness, walking in darkness, walking in sin, out of the light. But here he's contrasting sin and righteousness with red and white. Now it's interesting here that he uses two different words. Why didn't he just say in this passage, Though your sins be as scarlet? Why didn't he just say it one time?

Why did he say it twice? Could it be that because this is God's way of saying doubly, saying twice what is so very important? Could it have any relationship whatsoever to the fact that you and I came into this world with a, listen, with a bent towards sin that we just automatically and naturally disobey and rebel? And then, of course, even after we learn to be obedient, there are still those incidences in our life where we sin against God.

But listen to what he says. Though your sins be as scarlet, he says they will be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, he says, I'll make them like white, fluffy wool. That's God's appeal, his invitation for a new life, a new standing, a new condition, a new position, a new viewpoint, a new lifestyle, a brand new life.

It is God who is our creator, God who sent his son, God who gave the scriptures, God who is our judge, God who's given the Spirit, this omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, sovereign ruler of the universe, condescending to you and to me, saying to us, Come now, let's reason together. Though your sins be as scarlet, I'll make them white as snow. That is, I will cleanse you and redeem you and make you one of my own. You'll never be as you have been apart from redemption.

What about it, my friend? Have you ever trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior? Have you ever asked God to forgive you of your sins?

Have you ever been willing to be honest and true to him? I mean, simply open the Word of God and say, Lord, speak. If you're there, God, speak to my heart. I guarantee you, my friend, when you open your heart, God will be there to do just what he says.

Come now, let us reason together. And if you'll notice, he didn't say come tomorrow. God never makes any appeals on tomorrow, next month, next year.

And how many of you have sat in church, some church week after week after week, and said in your heart, one of these days, I'm going to be saved. Did you know that you didn't get that from God? God's appeals are never for tomorrow. Is this not the same God who says boast not of tomorrow?

Don't make any big plans without considering God. Now listen to me very carefully. Only a fool, you may not like the terminology, but it's true. Only a fool makes plans without God. Now listen to what he says in this passage. Not only is this appeal an invitation to reason, an invitation to redemption, but it is an invitation to a rich reward. Notice how he puts it to those of Judah. He says, if you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land.

But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Now, the most important part of these three verses is that last phrase. Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken. This is not something that somebody thinks.

This isn't something that somebody wrote. This is the penned revelation of the word of the living God. God says, if you consent and obey, what is he saying here? He simply says, if you consent to reason with God, if you consent to obey, that is the reason with him is to understand who he is, where you are, who his son is and what sin is doing in your life.

And if you obey by faith, receiving his son as your personal savior, he says, if you do this, he says, I have reserved the best for you. To those people in that day, that would have meant bountiful, fruitful, abundant crops. Today, it means something else to you and to me. It means the forgiveness of our sin.

That's part of our rich reward. It means freedom from guilt. It means that you have your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life. It means the Lord Jesus Christ who made the promise he was going to prepare a place for you is doing just that for you.

And it means that one of these days you're going to be caught up in the air with the Lord Jesus Christ and you're going to spend eternity in a perfect heaven built by a perfect God for his saints who trusted in his son as the only, listen, as the only basis for their forgiveness. How rich you and I are in him. You and I are wealthy in that which, listen, money can't buy and death can't steal.

We're wealthy in him. He says you have a choice. He's made the appeal, but you have a choice. He says you can either consent, reason, obey, trust him, or you can refuse and rebel.

Now you have two choices. One of them is to trust him and receive God's best. The other one is to reject him. And in those days, what God was saying to them, he says you will die by the sword. And today, what is he saying to us? You will suffer the consequences of what sin pays in the life of the rebellious. You will suffer ultimate separation from Almighty God. Why is God making this appeal so strong and why is he making the appeal on the now?

He says come now. Let us reason together because God and God only knows that somewhere on your calendar is going to be the day that God turns the key in your life and you are going to die. And when you die, you're going to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and give an account for your life.

If you have trusted him as your savior, heaven is going to be your home. But if you have rejected him, all the reasoning, all the excuses, all the rationalization, all the justification will mean absolutely nothing and you will stand before God. Listen, my friend, not condemned by him, but condemned by your own foolishness. Choosing to reject a loving God and his invitation and his appeal to you when he sent his only begotten son, nailing him to a cross and nailing those arms open wide to ever appeal to mankind, whosoever will may come and whosoever believes in him shall have life everlasting.

Let's be deadly honest for a moment. My friend, do you mean to tell me that you have sat down and carefully read this book? And you have carefully examined the message of this book and you have concluded that this book is false? There is no God. Christ was a phony and life is better without him.

Have you done that? Or, my friend, is the truth that you're scared? You're afraid if you read this book and open your heart, something is going to happen and I can assure you, you are correct. God will save you and change your life.

Now, would you answer this simple question? Is it wisdom to close the book? Lay it aside, deny its truth, run from God, defend yourself, and die and meet him?

Or is it a wise man, a woman, who will open the book, carefully examine it, and give God an opportunity to speak to their heart? My friend, I plead with you in Jesus' name. I plead with you in Jesus' name. Wherever you are, if you'll get on your knees and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins, he will do that. If you refuse the Lord Jesus Christ's rightful place in your life, I warn you, you will stand before him and give an account and you will be eternally separated from God.

And no preachers and no mother's prayers and nothing else will ever be able to bring you back to a second chance. It is a wise man who listens to the appeal of God through his messengers when he says, Come now and let us reason together. Though your sins be as scarlet, I'll make them white as snow.

Though they be red like crimson, I'll make them white like fluffy white wool. I will save you from your sin and take you home to be with me. A wise man, a wise woman, will hear that appeal and respond in the affirmative. I don't know how many chances you're going to have and neither do you. I don't know how much more time you have, but neither do you.

But this I do know, that if you die without him, your chances are all over. A wise man and woman will make preparation for what is inevitable. And I appeal to you in the name of Jesus Christ and in his behalf to place your trust in him right now as your savior and your Lord. Heavenly Father, in Jesus name, on the authority of thy precious word, in the power of the Holy Spirit, I plead with you, Father, for every single person who has heard or will hear this message, that the Holy Spirit will convict them, will bring them to the place of being open and honest about their life, about who you are, about the inevitability of the consequences of their lifestyle if they continue to live as they're living. I pray there will be confession and repentance.

I pray that they might pray the simple prayer. Father, I have sinned against you. Forgive me of my sins. I'm trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and his death on the cross is full payment of my sins. I do believe that Jesus Christ's blood was shed for my sin.

Here and now I receive him as my personal savior. Father, as they pray that prayer in their own words, in their own way, I know that you will save them. I know that you will forgive them. I know that you will cleanse them. And I pray that will happen to multitudes of people. And I thank you for it in advance. In Jesus name. Amen. Thank you for listening to A Personal Invitation from God. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-30 04:49:51 / 2023-12-30 04:57:21 / 8

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