Copyright August 21, 2022 by Rev. Bruce Goettsche
At one time or another you probably have received a formal invitation in the mail.
It may have been for a wedding, a party, or a shower of some kind.
Often you are asked to RSVP, which stands for “Répondez, S'il VousPlaît” or “please respond.”
These responses allow the host to plan appropriately for the event scheduled.
In Isaiah 53 read about the suffering servant, a vibrant picture of the suffering, cross, and burial of Christ.
We were told this suffering was in our place and for our sin.
In Isaiah 54, we were given the benefits of what Christ did on the cross for those who put their trust in Him.
Now in chapter 55, all of this comes to a conclusion with an invitation to make the choice to choose to follow Christ.
The Scope of God’s Invitation
Look at all the expressions of invitation and response that in the first 7 verse of Isaiah 55.
1 “Is anyone thirsty?
Come and drink—
even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
it’s all free!
2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
You will enjoy the finest food.
3 “Come to me with your ears wide open.
Listen, and you will find life.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
4 See how I used him to display my power among the peoples.
I made him a leader among the nations.
5 You also will command nations you do not know,
and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,
because I, the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”
6 Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
7 Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
The invitations are all encourage people to take action!
It is good to learn about the Messiah (Jesus).
It is good to know the prophecies.
It is even good to know the reasons for trusting the Bible as the Word of God, and being convinced that Jesus rose from the dead.
However. . .
that is not all that is required.
A choice must be made.
God calls us not only to know, but to respond to what we know.
The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law were the most knowledgeable and revered men of the day.
Unfortunately, Jesus took aim at them because of their unbelief.
Knowledge by itself can save no one.
It is not enough to know that the bridge is out on the road you travel to work every day.
You can know the bridge is out and still insist on driving your normal route.
In which case, you are going to have some major repair bills IF you survive driving over a bridge that is not operational.
Information requires a response for it to be helpful in our lives.
The Lord tells us those who respond to Him, will no longer be thirsty, they will find what is good, they will find life, and they will be part of God’s eternal family.
The Lord extends the invitation to everyone.
We are told if ANYONE is thirsty they can come.
You don’t have to have money, status, or a long resume.
You don’t even have to be knowledgeable.
You just have to come to Him.
Those who truly come will not be turned away.
It doesn’t matter where you have been or what you have done . . .
God sends you and invitation.
The Conditions of the Invitation
The Lord asks a simple question: “Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
Why pay for food that does you no good?”
Today, we would say “Why are you eating only junk food?”
The first step to coming to him is to recognize that you are currently heading in the wrong direction.
Before Christ we were on a treadmill of futility.
You will never turn to the Lord until you recognize that you cannot get to Him apart from Christ.
We are desperately stubborn people.
We are continually trying to “fix” ourselves.
We continue to think if we push the right buttons, we can earn God’s favor and a spot in Heaven.
We must abandon such thinking before we can come to Him.
Second, we must repent.
The old adage is true: one is a fool who thinks they will change the outcome by continuing to do what they have always done.
I’ve watched a show called “Restaurant Renovation.”
It is about a Master Chef who comes to a restaurant that is headed in the wrong direction.
One of the first things that must be done is help the owner and staff see that they cannot get to where they want to be by continuing to do what got them in trouble to start with!
Likewise, you must admit you sin and want to change.
You will never be able to get out of debt unless you change your spending habits.
You won’t lose weight until you stop binge eating.
You will not save your marriage if you insist on continuing to bicker about everything!
In the same way, you can’t follow Christ while at the same time trying to live like the rest of the world.
Finally, we must receive and follow.
The person who genuinely trusts in Christ is the One who takes God at His Word that those who trust in Him are forgiven and have new life.
We must rest in that truth.
Then, we follow Him.
We don’t really believe in Him if aren’t willing to try to live as He told us to live.
We are told to call on Him “while He is near.”
The door is now open, but that will not always be the case.
This should not surprise us.
Store sales only last for so long.
Warranties and money back guarantees do not last forever.
Job openings are open for only a brief time.
And God’s invitation to be part of His family will not last forever.
There is coming a day when God will bring this offer to an end.
On that day, our Lord Jesus will return in the clouds and the world will face His judgment.
The urgency of the invitation is not only because the offer will one day be withdrawn . . . it is urgent because if we put off responding now, it is to drift away.
However, it is easy to slowly drift away from the Lord until we no longer think about it.
Satan is smart.