The Invitation; January 12, 2021

Revelation 22:17  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

I know I’ve written on this before, but it’s just too magnificent to pass up. This is the ultimate invitation. The only things not mentioned in this verse are repentance and faith, but verse 15 covers those who refuse to repent, and by this point in the book, faith is a given. Many have accused Christian faith of being exclusionary, of being elitist or even racist, but nothing could be further from the truth. As this verse says, the invitation to eternal life is to whoever recognizes their need and desires God’s free gift. There is nothing more colorblind than the Gospel. That’s one of many reasons the current push to “identity politics” is actively anti-Christian. There are absolutely no distinctions of race, gender, or anything else in this verse. As it says clearly, God’s Spirit issues the invitation and the true Church, which is the Bride of Christ, issues the same invitation. Any church that fails to extend the invitation to all risks excluding itself from the Bride of Christ. And then there is the statement, “Let him who hears say, ‘come.’” If we have really heard God’s invitation, we are then to relay it to those around us. The percentage of the world’s Christians who have never shared the Gospel with anyone is huge, and tragic. There is a secular proverb that says, “Love isn’t love until you give it away.” The same may be said of the Gospel. If we don’t share it with anyone, do we really understand that it is Good News, in fact the best news in the world? I actually think not. Different personalities will use different methods of evangelism, but anyone who has a living relationship with the Lord of life is going to share Christ with those around them. I have observed that the more a person shares Christ, the more real Christ is to them personally. If you feel like Christ is far from you, try telling someone else about Him!

Given my home environment, I think I believed the Gospel from the time I had distinct beliefs about anything, but it wasn’t until God baptized me with His Spirit in 1974 that I started actively sharing Christ with total strangers. In fact, the sudden realization that I was doing that for the first time in my life gave me the assurance that God had indeed been true to His Word, as He brought Acts 1:8 to my memory. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” With my personality and gifting I have no fear of speaking to people or even large groups, but I am told that it’s not too common for someone with Teacher gifting to become a missionary. That said, I don’t feel I’m very effective as an evangelist in Japan because I tend to dump too much on people who have no foundation to receive it. And of course, there’s the added factor of Japanese being so ethnically aware that they have trouble accepting that what I, as a Caucasian, am telling them applies to them as a Japanese. However, nothing is impossible for God, and I am to keep spreading the Seed, trusting God for the harvest in His time.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the privilege of extending Your invitation to those around me. Help me do so with joy, speaking Your truth in love, so that Your Spirit may be free to work in the hearts and lives of my hearers, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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