This morning at the close of this message we will have what we call "The Invitation". We will sing a song and make an appeal for you to come to the altar. Many churches will have a sermon today but will close with prayer and dismiss. We believe that it is important to give each of you an opportunity to respond to the message of God today. Some will accept this invitation to come and some will not. There are days when no one comes in response to the invitation. However, that will not stop us from inviting you to come. This morning we want to look at a passage of Scripture where Jesus Christ invites us to come. There is something special about being invited to come. Whether it is an invitation to come to a wedding, a graduation, a birthday party, a nice dinner, or some other type of celebration the invitation makes it special. It means that someone desires your presence. It makes me feel good to know that I am wanted by someone! I am thankful that Jesus Christ invites me and you to come. That tells me that He cares about us! I have a cartoon calendar on my desk that I received as a Christmas gift this year. Each day there is a new cartoon, and last week there was one where a man on the street was shoving a gospel tract in the face of a woman on the street. The caption read, "Here's the Good News! Now you can't say you never been warned."
I have known some people who have had that attitude toward reaching the lost and inviting them to come to Christ. Almost as if they resented anyone who wasn't a Christian. I am thankful that when I was confronted with the gospel it was in the spirit of love and compassion. That is the spirit that we see in our text this morning as Jesus Christ invites us to come unto Him.
Read: Matthew 11:28-30
I. The Invitation: Come Unto Me...
A. He gives us an invitation to come to a person.
1. Not an invitation to come to an institution.
2. Not an invitation to come to a religion.
3. But this is a personal invitation to come unto Him.
B. Who is He?
1. He is the One who was rejected, and yet invites us to come.
2. He is the One who was without sin and yet was crucified to pay for ours.
3. He is the One who has the power to receive and keep all who come to Him. cf. Jn. 6:37b, "...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
4. This is no empty invitation, Jesus Christ means exactly what He says, and He invites us with open arms to come unto Him.
C. Here is a fundamental difference between Christianity and all other religions of the world.
1. Salvation is in the person of Jesus Christ!
2. When Christ invites us to come unto Him it is to receive eternal life.
3. John 3:17, "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved."
4. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." cf 1 Jn. 5:12
II. The Invited: All ye...
A. Jesus' invitation is all inclusive.
1. When we send out invitations we send only to a select few.
2. I am thankful that with Jesus the invitation is "Whosoever will may come"!
3. And we sing that old song, "Whosoever surely meaneth me!"
4. You say, "Pastor, He didn't say whoso ever in this verse!"
5. I know, but He did say "All ye that labor and are heavy laden" and that includes everyone!
B. This invitation is to you and I today!
1. To all who are burdened with a load of sin.
a. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
b. That means that every man, woman, boy, and girl is in the same boat.
c. We are helpless to do anything in and of ourselves to alleviate the burden of sin!
d. Illustration: In the ancient city of Venice there was a bridge called "The Bridge of Sighs". At one end of the bridge there was a courtroom; at the other end there was a dungeon. Above the door to the dungeon were the words, "Abandon hope all ye that enter herein." Picture a man who has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in that dungeon with no hope of release. That is where we were under the burden of sin, but Jesus came to set us free! Jn. 8:36, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
2. To all who are broken and conquered by sin.
a. There are some who are slaves to sin, their sin has them in a death grip.
b. They are like a man in quicksand.
1) Some see them and say, "I am sorry for you, but I can't help you."
2) Others say, "You should be more careful next time!"
3) But Jesus says, "Come unto Me, and I will lift you out of your sin."
4) The songwriter put it this way: "From sinking sand He lifted me, With tender hand he lifted me, From shades of night, to plains of light. Oh, praise His name, He lifted me!"
3. To all who are burdened with sorrow and doubt.
a. Perhaps this is your case this morning.
b. The events of life can certainly bring heavy burdens upon us.
c. Tragedy comes and we ask why?
d. This in turn brings great sorrow, but Jesus Christ can lift you out of the depths of despair and fill your heart with singing!
e. Maybe you are plagued with doubt and unbelief.
f. Wondering if the promises of His Word are true.
g. Find relief from those doubts and concerns...trust Christ today!
III. The Promise: ...I will give you rest.
A. The need for rest is evident.
1. We are living in the most restless age ever in this world.
2. There was a time when folks were content to take a slow buggy ride, but now we rush down the freeway in order to save time!
3. We get so busy with the affairs of life that we find ourselves struggling with life rather than enjoying it.
4. Listen to David's cry in Psalm 55:4-6.
5. Oh to get away from it all and find rest!
6. Jesus says, "Come unto me...and I will give you rest."
B. He alone can give us the rest we need.
1. The real need is not so much rest for our bodies, but rest for our souls.
2. This rest is found only in the service of our Lord. cf. v29
3. We come to Him for salvation, take upon us the yoke of service, and learn more about Him and we will find rest for our souls.
4. Some have said that it is too hard to be a Christian and live for the Lord, but Jesus said His yoke was easy and His burden light.
5. Proverbs 13:15, "Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of trans- gressors is hard."
Conclusion: How will you respond to Christ's invitation this morning? He calls on each of us to come unto Him and we will find rest for our souls. Are you burdened with sin today? Jesus can give you rest. Are you heavy laden with the affairs of this life? Come to Him today. Whatever your need, whatever burden you may be carrying, Jesus beckons you to come. Will you reject His invitation or will you come? The choice is yours today.