Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. Ephesians 4:17-18
Great Britain's five-year-old Alex Nash is a popular guy.
Being popular and getting invited to places can be a good thing unless you find yourself being asked to go to too many places. That was the situation for Nash.
Nash was invited and accepted an offer to attend a friend's birthday party at a ski and snowboard center. It was to be quite the production. But Nash is a popular guy, and he was also asked to spend some time, the same time, with his grandparents. It was a tough choice, but eventually time with the grandparents won out.
Nash ended up missing the birthday party with his pal. Normally, that would be the end of the story, but this is hardly a normal story.
A few days after the party had taken place, Nash's dad, Derek, received a letter, which included a bill for $24. It took Nash a while to figure out his son was being charged for not having gone to his buddy's birthday party. It seems the folks throwing the party had to pay $24 for non-showing Nash. They didn't mind paying his price for admission if he had come, but they were pretty upset for having to pay for him not showing.
You know, I think maybe Jesus feels the same way.
He came into this world to rescue us from sin, death and devil. To that end He lived His life, He suffered, and was crucified. It was a tremendous price to pay, but He was willing to do it so heaven might be filled with saved and forgiven sinners.
Jesus gave His all so we might be invited and received into that never-ending heavenly party.
Sadly, there are people who aren't going to be there. You may even know some of them. They are the ones whose understanding is darkened; who are ignorant of the life Jesus wishes to give them; whose hearts are hard and unreceptive to the risen Redeemer and the Holy Spirit's call.
It is a sad picture, and it is also a picture that will not last forever.
The day is coming when Jesus will stop calling. The day is coming when He will move away from these lost souls, and the time of salvation will be over. The day is coming when those who wanted to live without Jesus will be granted that wish, and they will live forever without Him.
That's tragic, and it is also why you and I, our Synod, and Lutheran Hour Ministries must continue to do all we can so Jesus may gain admission to those hearts.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for Jesus' sacrifice and His invitation to forgiveness and salvation. May others join us in believing and allow the Savior to come in. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries