Sunday in my sermon I said because God’s kingdom has come exclusively in Jesus we have a choice to make. Jesus extends an invitation to all of us who believe to live the new way in His kingdom, but we each have a choice; we can accept Jesus’ invitation or reject it.
Now let me be clear, I believe there are two invitations, although one directly follows the other. First Jesus invites us to believe; to believe God’s promises are being fulfilled in Him. Salvation (forgiveness of sins and eternal life) come to all who accept Jesus invitation to believe in Him. Yet once we accept that invitation, Jesus invites us to embrace a new way of living; life in His kingdom where increasingly sad things are coming untrue.
Yet this second invitation is the one we most often refuse. Why? I suppose because it requires sacrifice. It is the world where we are called to set aside our “rights” and “privileges” for the good of others. It is the world where we are called to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, give more than is required, love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, offer forgiveness freely, set aside judgment, let go of worry, etc.
(see Matthew 5-7). It is not about earning our salvation or even adding to it. Jesus took care of that at the cross. Rather it is about living in the way God always intended for us to live. And now we can because the Holy Spirit lives in us.
I was reminded last night of the scene from “The Matrix” when Morpheus offers Neo a choice between the “red pill” and the “blue pill”. If he chooses “blue” his life will go on as it always had, he will know nothing more, and he will be unchanged. However, if he chooses “red” then his eyes will open, truth will be revealed, and his life will forever be changed. I believe Jesus is offering His children the same choice when He invites us into kingdom living.
So the question remains for each one of us: Are we going to accept Jesus’ second invitation? Will we accept his invitation and begin to live the new way as we journey together along the way….?