Great Bible Invitations – Sermon
THE INVITATION TO
Intro: I would just remind us today that the Bible is a book
filled with invitations. The first one is found in Gen. 7:1. In that verse God invites Noah and his family to come into
the Ark for
salvation from the flood. The last invitation is found in Rev. 22:20. In that verse John issues an invitation for the Lord to
return quickly. I like both of those invitations. In fact, as I study the
invitations I find throughout the Bible, I am discovering that I like them all.
this passage, the prophet Hosea calls out to the people of Israel. They
have wandered far away from the Lord and he issues a call for them to come back
to God. It is a call for both personal and national revival. Israel had
forsaken the way of the Lord and they had turned away from Him to worship the
idols and false gods of the Canaanites. This invitation is a call for them to
repent of their sins and to turn their hearts back to the one true God.
two of this passage is a prophecy of a future day when Israel will
return to the Lord and He will heal them and restore them to a place of
blessing. There is coming a day when the Jewish people will once again return
to the Lord.
these verses were written to people who lived 2,500 years ago, they still have
a message that speaks to our need today. Just like ancient Israel, America needs a revival! Our nation
has drifted far away from its religious roots. This country has given itself
over to sin and evil of every description. The horror of abortion; the
abomination of sodomite marriage; the rampant rise in sin and perversion of
every flavor, declare that our nation is miles away from God and needs to find
a place of repentance and redemption.
America needs a
revival! She needs to be pulled back from the brink of disaster. But, before
there will ever be a national revival in America,
there must first be a revival within the churches of America. And, before there will be
a revival in our churches, there must be revival in the hearts of individual
passage is call for the people of God to humble themselves before God to seek
His face for forgiveness and restoration. It is, in essence, an Invitation
is a word you don’t hear very often. It describes something you don’t see very
often either. The word “contrition means sincere
sorrow over sin, with a desire to repent of that sin. It describes
people who are broken hearted that they have wronged God. They are sorry for
what they have done and they want to make things right with Him.
is a state of heart that God will honor, Psalm
34:18, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such
as be of a contrite spirit. And, Psalm
51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite
heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
is the people in possession of a contrite heart who will experience revival. Isaiah 57:15,
thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy;
I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and
humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of
the contrite ones.
think this message is one that we need to hear today. We are living in a time
when there is very little contrition and sorrow over sin. People, even church
people, can live any old way and never feel any remorse over their waywardness.
These verses have something to say about that. I want to show you ways God
reaches out to those who are far away from Him. I want to preach on The
Invitation To Contrition.
v. 1a GOD’S
PLEA TO A WANTON PEOPLE
(Ill. The word “wanton means deliberate
and without provocation or reason; sexually lawless; extravagant living.
comes from an Old English word that means to be undisciplined. The people of Israel had
every reason to serve and honor the Lord by their lives. Yet, for no reason,
they had abandoned Him and turn to follow other gods. They were a wanton people!
They had no discipline in their spiritual lives)
The phrase “let us return implies that a closer relationship than the
current relationship once existed. There had been a time in Israels past
when they were closer to the Lord than they were now. There had been a time
when they had followed His Law, sought His face and honored Him above all
others. Now, they are far away from Him. They have allowed their relationship
to grow cold. Their love for Him is not as strong as it used to be. They had
become a wayward, wicked people. Their condition is clearly laid out in Hosea 6-7.
Hos. 6:4-11 They were like
morning cloud and the early dew. Their devotion to
God was like the early morning dew that sparkles like millions of jewels under
the gleam of the sun, but soon burns away. Their devotion to God was shallow
and temporary. They talk about getting right with God, but their repentance and
devotion was fleeting at best!
Hos. 7:1-7 They are called
heated oven. Like an oven heated to its maximum temperature during the
night so that it would be ready for the baker in the morning, Israel burned
with a passion for sin. The use of the words “adulterers, wickedness
bear this out. They should have had a passion for the things of God, but they
loved their sin far more than they loved Him.
Hos. 7:8 Israel is
called “a half-baked cake. The people of this time cooked their bread
on heated rocks. A cake not turned would burn on one side and be raw on the
was burned on her earthly side through sin and compromise with the enemies of
God. Yet, toward the Lord, they were cold and uncooked. They were guilty of
compromise, because God wants our whole body, soul and spirit to be dedicated
Hos. 7:9-10 Israel
is describes as a man whose strength has ebbed away, and he is unaware that
time and age have taken their toll. Israel has lost their power with
the Lord and they aren’t even aware of it. Like Samson, they “wist
not that the LORD was departed from them.
Hos. 7:11-12 Israel
is like a “silly dove. Instead of looking to the Lord and trusting Him,
they flew to Egypt for their
help, and then they flew to Assyria. Yet, had
they listened to the Lord’s prophets, they would have known that these nations
would have failed them. They disobeyed God by making covenants with heathen
Hos. 7:13-16 Israel
is like a “deceitful bow. They cannot be trusted to serve the Lord and
remain faithful to Him. They had been given His Law and they had received His
training. They should have been able to hit a bulls eye, and walk with the
Lord in holiness. Yet, they were a fickle people.
This was the condition of Israel. There had been a time when
they had walked close to the Lord, but now they had drifted far away from Him.
As we look at them, let us not fail to look at ourselves!
How many in this very room can remember a
day when you were closer to the Lord than you are today? Can you remember a day
when the things of God were more precious to your than they are now? Can you
remember a time when His house, His Word, His business, and time spent with Him
thrilled your soul far more than they do now? As I mentioned those six
descriptive phrases God used to describe Israel, can you see parallels
within your own life?
your devotion to God shallow?
you have a greater passion for sin than you do the things of God?
you compromised with the world?
you lost your power with the Lord?
you like a silly dove flitting here and there looking for help in every source
but the Lord?
you like a deceitful bow that cannot be trusted to hit the target of righteous,
If you find yourself in that condition today, you know you are not where
you need to be with the Lord. Like the people in the church in Ephesus, you have “left
your first love, Rev. 2:1-7.
You may be going through the motions, but your heart is not aflame with a
passionate love for the Lord Jesus Christ and the things of God. You have
allowed your soul to drift away from God and this is His call to you to come
back to Him! If I were you, I would respond to Him by coming back home today!
1b GOD’S PLAN FOR A WAYWARD PEOPLE
The reason Israel
is interested in returning to the Lord is found in two words used in verse 1. The word “torn means to
rend, to tear, to be torn in pieces. The word smitten means to
strike, to beat, to hit, to slay or kill; to attack and destroy. These
words describe what Israel
had been going through at the hand of God.
Hosea 4:1-2 indicate that sin had become a way of
life for the people of Israel.
tells us that God will judge Israel
for their sins against Him. He will bring harsh chastisement upon them because
they have refused to walk in His ways. Hosea 5:12-15
describe the Lord as a lion that comes upon this wayward people to tear them
and punish them for what they have done. Then, after inflicting judgment, the
Lord will withdraw His presence from them to wait for them to seek His face.
It is clear from these verses that Israel is going
to pay a terrible price for their sinful ways.
Just as surely as the Lord brought harsh judgment upon the nation of Israel for
their disobedience; He will do the same to those who are saved but who refuse
to walk in His will. The Bible is clear, the Lord will bring chastisement into
the lives of all those who try to walk away from Him, Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:5-12; Pro. 3:11-12; 15:10; 15:32; Job 15:17. You are deceiving no one but
yourself when you think you can turn your back on the Lord and get away with
it. There is a price to pay for disobedience!
The painful effects of chastisement can be clearly seen in the lives of
many of the people in the Bible. Consider David. His sin with Bathsheba in 2 Sam. 11 brought the chastisement of God into
David’s life and family for many years. An infant son was taken in death; a son
grew up a rebel to his father; another son raped his sister and was murdered by
another brother. Psalm 51:8 and 38:3 make it clear that David was
suffering under the chastisement of God Almighty.
We need to understand this truth: no one
ever gets away with sin! When we allow sin to grow in our lives, we are
inviting God to chastise us. He will use whatever means He finds necessary to
get our attention. Like Absalom did to Joab, God will burn your barley fields
if He has to in order to get your attention, 2 Sam. 14:28-32. He
is not afraid to pull your heartstring, if He has to, to get to you.
are families that have suffered financial ruin because of their sins against
God. Others have endured sickness and death because someone refused to make
things right with God, 1 Cor. 5:5;
I John 5:16; 1 Cor. 11:30.
knows how to get our attention. He will do whatever He has to do to get us
where He wants us to be!
v. 1b-2 GOD’S PROMISE TO A WOUNDED PEOPLE
Some people see these words as foolish thinking on the part of Israel.
They think the people are trying out a religious formula. They are saying, “If we
act in a certain way then God is obligated to respond to us in a certain
manner. While this may be true, there is a ray of hope here for those
who have allowed sin to come between them and the Lord.
suffered at the hand of the Lord, but if they will return to Him with their whole
heart, He will minister to their needs. The word “heal means to
make healthy and whole. The word bind means to tie up a wound. Yes,
God had afflicted them and smitten them, but He would prove to be their
salvation and healing if they would on come back to Him.
If they would return to Him, God would
minister to them personally. He would meet their needs quickly and He would
restore them to a place of help and blessing.
If we will hear His voice; see where we have strayed from Him and return
to Him, He will restore us to wholeness once again. We need the blessings
mentioned in these verses. Let’s look at them for just a moment.
Those who have been enduring God’s chastisement need His “healing
ministry. Those who have been torn and smitten by Him need His
personal, healing ministry in their lives. You can have that in your life if
you will come to Him!
Each one of us needs God to do in us what Israel expects Him to do for
them. They expected Him to “revive
them; to raise them up; to cause them to live in His sight. These
three things are the very essence of genuine revival! When He gives us new
life; causes us to stand for Him once again; and causes us to walk in His
presence, He has given us a revival! That is just what we need in these days!
More than anything in this world, we need to come to a place where we
get honest about our condition before the Lord. He already knows what kind of
shape we are in, and so do we! When we come to the place where we can confess
our need of revival, our need of Him and the depths of our sins, we will have
the move of God we need. His promise to us is clear, 2 Chron. 7:14. He is as eager to hear us and heal us as
should be to be restored, 1 John 1:9. When we are ready to come home, He
is ready to receive us, Ill.
Conc: Now, we all agree that we need revival. We need revival in our
churches, our nation and in our personal lives. The only way God is ever going
to send real revival to us is when we heed His call and humble ourselves before
Him in contrition and broken-hearted repentance.
the Lord spoken to your heart about your walk with Him today? Can you remember
a time when you were closer to Him than you are today? Can you look back at a
time when you were more excited about Him than you are today? Aren’t you tired
of a powerless life? Are you tired of God’s efforts to get your attention?
Wouldn’t you like to have His blessings rather than His chastisement?
home! Let Him heal you and bind up your wounds. Let Him restore unto you the
joy of His salvation. Let Him give you the peace, joy and blessing you have
squandered out there in the far country. Come home!
friend, you can come to God today. If you are tired of a life of sin and long
for more, you can come to Jesus if He is calling you. You can be saved today if
you will come to God.
Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a
broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.