Intro: We met with a Baptist Revitalization Pastor and he asked what things the people who live around the church are interested in.
“Mostly seniors, fairly well-off,” I answered.
Then he said, “They care about financial security, grandkids, & health mostly.”
Will I have enough to live on at the end of life?
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
There is a solid investment strategy straight from the mouth of God.
“…you will be repaid…”
The words of Jesus:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
What is valuable to you?
Where is my treasure?
Answer: Where do you spend your time and money?
Example: Grandma, “I’m ready to go!” She was out of time, had a bad body…
“The ransom of a man's life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat.”
Why is it hard for those with “much” to enter the kingdom of heaven?
Answer: Those with “wealth” think they have a lot to loose.
Example: Nations like the USA, Switzerland, and Japan are the toughest.
The youth have a harder time than older people.
15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
Not everyone who says “blessed is the one who enters the kingdom of God" will choose to be there.
“But they all alike began to make excuses…”
Bought a field, try out the oxen, and recently married.
Their “treasure” was revealed by their excuses.
Jesus knows we are selfish.
“…But store up for yourselves…”
Older people tend to be concerned with health, grandkids, and finances.
Younger people are concerned with finding a partner, a career, personal appearance, and possessions.
The kingdom of heaven was right there within reach.
Jesus, live in the flesh, told them a parable about themselves.
1 John 2:17
Billy Graham: defined “the world” in 3 ways
1. Created world that God made in Genesis, “In the beginning God created…”
2. the inhabitants of the world, John 3:16, “ For God so loved the world…”
3. the “Cosmos” or world system, which is headed by Satan and based upon self, greed and pride.
This is the world that God warns about, and it is this world system and philosophy that Christians are to shun and remain free from.
The opposite is also true.
Storing up treasure in heaven…
1. attracts worldly opposition.
You will be unpopular.. at a minimum.
What did Jesus say about popularity?
The good is the enemy of the best.
If you have all these things, but not love, you have nothing.
2. generates internal opposition.
The Bible teaches that worldliness is a force, a spirit, an atmosphere of the cosmos that is in opposition to all that is godly and Christian. Its goal is selfish pleasure, material success and the pride of life. It is ambitious, self-centered. God is not necessarily denied; He is just ignored and forgotten.
~ Billy Graham
“But they all alike began to make excuses…”
They valued many things more than Jesus.
Count on an internal struggle.
Can you remember a time you were more “on fire” than you are now?
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
2 Timothy 1:6
Example: Making a campfire with wet wood at Honokane Iki Valley.
How much TV am I watching?
Who am I listening to for advice?
How is your prayer life?
Good questions, but is it enough just to try harder?
No amount of human effort will do.
Satan used logical attacks on Jesus and will do the same on us.
“Giving to those who won’t pay you back is not a wise investment.”
We can’t outsmart him.
They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
3. is the fruit of a life spent at the Cross.