Luke 14:15-24




Two thousand years ago, people didn't have the conveniences we have today.

They couldn't put a lamb in the oven;



Set a timer;

Go home at noon;



And have it ready to eat.

If they ran short of something, they couldn't hop in the car;



Drive to the local supermarket;

And get it.



So when they planned a feast, they let people know well in advance.

They gathered things up;



And when everything was ready;

They went back and said, “Come; for all things are now ready.”



This is what Jesus was talking about.

A certain man invited many people to a great feast.



He gathered things up;

Got everything ready;



And sent forth his servants saying, “Come; for all things are now ready.”

But a problem developed.



Some of the invited guests didn't want to attend.

They began to make excuses;



The 1st was a farmer.

He said, “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it.”



Not many people buy a piece of ground sight unseen.

But we will give this farmer the benefit of the doubt.



Perhaps he did.

Anyway, he was letting a business transaction (the purchase of land) interfere          

with his going to the feast.



The 2nd man said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them.”

Some people like to buy horses and try them out;



Buy a team of mules and see what they can do.

They find pleasure in doing that.



And this man was letting pleasure interfere with his going to the feast.

The 3rd man said, “I have married a wife, and, therefore, I cannot come.”



Marriage is ordained of God.

It's a good thing.



So this man was letting a good thing interfere with his going to the feast.

Do you see what these people were doing?

They were using the pursuit of business, pleasure and the good things of life

as an excuse to get out of doing something they didn't want to do.

Many people do this today.



They’re too busy at work;

Too busy on the farm;



Too busy in the garden.

They like to hunt, fish, golf, quilt, sew, watch TV, work in the yard, tend the  

flowers, etc.



Some even use their marriage or their children as an excuse.

I know a man who says, “My wife won't attend Church with me.”



I've heard people say, “My children don't have anyone their age at Church.”

Some are busy with the PTA, Boy Scouts, Little League, Football, and         




This is the problem.

God never intended for the good things of life to interfere with our      

relationship with Him.



But multitudes use the blessings of God as an excuse for not doing His will.

I say they are risking spiritual suicide;



I call it spiritual because they are placing their spirit at risk.

I call it suicide because no one is making them take this risk:



They are choosing to take it;

Choosing to risk voluntary spiritual death in the Lake of Fire.


I want to explain.

The Bible teaches that there are two kinds of death:



Physical death and spiritual death.

Both kinds of death are a separation.



And neither kind of death is the end of things.

Physical death is a separation of the soul and spirit from the body.



Physical death will bring the end of the body.

But not the end of the soul and spirit.



They just separate from the body.

Spiritual death is a separation too.



Spiritual death is a separation of the soul and spirit from God.

We are born spiritually dead;



And we can remain spiritually dead.

We must be born again.



Or we will spend eternity spiritually separated from God.

Do you hear me?



All who are not born again will be eternally separated from God.

They will be cast into the Lake of Fire.



That is eternal;

And that is terrible.


But no one has to tolerate spiritual death.

No one has to remain spiritually separated from God.



This is a choice we make.

We can choose to be born again.



Or choose to make excuses.

And commit spiritual suicide.



I wonder if I'm speaking to someone who has been risking spiritual suicide   

with the excuse that you are too busy to get involved.

Remember the parable of the sower?



The Word. of God falls on four kinds of hearts.

The 1st heart is like hard soil.



These people hear the Word of God.

But they ignore it.



It just lays there.

It never grows in their heart.



The 2nd heart is like shallow rocky soil.

These people hear the Word of God.



It sprouts and takes root.

But later they get mad, leave the Church and fall away.



The 3rd heart is like a field of weeds.

These people hear the Word of God.

But they are caught up in worldly pursuits, their job, sports, whatever;

And the Word of God gets choked out.



The 4th heart is like good soil.

These people hear the Word of God;



Receive it;

Give it priority in their life.



It grows;

And bears fruit for God.



Notice, that only one heart in four bears fruit.

Do you know what Jesus said about bearing fruit?



He said if we aren’t bearing fruit, we deserve to be cast into a fire and


We deserve to burn in the Lake of Fire.



I wonder if I'm speaking to someone who has been risking spiritual suicide   

with the excuse that you are too bad to enter heaven.

I don't know what you've done.



But MURDER won't keep you out of heaven.

Being a HARLOT won't keep you out of heaven.



Being an ADULTERER won't keep you out of heaven.

Being a LIAR won't keep you out of heaven.




PERSECUTING THE CHURCH won't keep you out of heaven.

Unbelief is the only sin that will keep you out of heaven.



It’s the only sin that God will not forgive;

The only unpardonable sin;



The only sin not covered by the grace of God.

Moses killed a man.



But Moses cast his lot with God.

And of all the people on earth God could have chosen to lead His people,



He chose Moses;

And the killer Moses was perfect in God's sight.



Rahab was a harlot.

But Rahab turned to God.



She had faith in God.

And the harlot Rahab became an ancestor of our Lord Jesus Christ.



David committed adultery.

But God blessed David more than any king of Israel or Judah.




Because the adulterous David repented of his sins and tried to live a godly    




Peter lied.

He denied Jesus three times before the cross.

But the Scriptures teach that Jesus appeared to Mary after His resurrection.

He told her to go and tell Peter I’m alive.



Some say Peter is the first disciple to see Jesus.




Because Jesus wanted Peter to know He loved him.

He forgave him for lying and denying Him.



Paul persecuted Christians.

Later, he accepted Christ.



Then, God called him to be the Apostle to the Gentiles.

And I don't know what you think.



But I think Paul was one of the greatest men who ever lived.

You haven't been too bad.



I wonder if I'm speaking to someone who has been risking spiritual suicide   

with the excuse that you are leading a good enough life to get you into heaven.

I remind you of the rich young ruler?



He went to Jesus and asked, “What must I do to be saved?”

Jesus replied,” “Do not commit adultery.”



“Do not kill.”

“Do not steal.”




“Do not bear false witness.”

“Honor thy father and thy mother.”



This man interrupted Jesus right there.

He said, “But I do all these things and have done them since my youth up.”



Jesus had quoted five of the Ten Commandments.

And the Ten Commandments can be broken down into two categories:



Those that refer to a man's relationship with his fellowman;

And those that refer to a man's relationship with God.



This rich young ruler was keeping the Commandments that refer to his          

relationship with his fellowman.

He wasn't an adulterer;



Not a killer;

Not a thief;



Not a liar;

He honored his parents.



His problem was the fact that he was breaking the Commandments that deal  

with our relationship with God.

He was living a good life.



But his heart wasn't right with God.

So he went away lost.




“A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus        

Christ” (Gal. 2:19).

Salvation is a gift for those who believe in Jesus Christ.



I wonder if I'm speaking to someone who has been risking spiritual suicide   

with the excuse that you are afraid of what others might think if you     

make a confession of faith in Christ.

I will tell you that there are only two kinds of people:



The saved.

And the lost.



The saved will rejoice, if you accept Christ.

The Holy Spirit moves us to rejoice when people get saved.



But the lost might frown on it.

The lost might question it.



But do you know what Jesus said about this?

“Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you,”



“And say all manner of evil against you falsely for my names sake.”

“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven.”



Do you know why?

Because when you take a stand for God;



When you make a commitment to Christ, in spite of what others might say or         


You glorify Christ.


I wonder if I'm speaking to someone who has been risking spiritual suicide   

with the excuse that you think there are many ways to be saved.

You've heard the Devil say we are all trying to go to the same place.



You've heard the hiss of a serpent.

He said everybody will go to heaven.



That's not what Jesus said.

He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (Jn. 14:6).



“No man cometh unto the Father BUT-----by me.”

Heaven belongs to God.



If you're planning to go to heaven, you should plan to go God's way.

If you think you have another way, you best build your own heaven.



You need to do that just in case the Bible is right.

And God won't let you in His.



I wonder if I'm speaking to someone who has been risking spiritual suicide   

with the excuse maybe later.

You want to put off this decision.



You want to wait for a more convenient season.

God's Word doesn't say seek ye the Lord when you want too.



It says, “Seek ye the Lord WHILE He may be found” (Isa. 55:6).

Jesus said, “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me   

draw him" (Jn. 6:44).



The only time a person can make a decision is when God is dealing with that


When the great prophet Isaiah was called, God told him to “Make the heart of        

this people fat,”



“And make their ears heavy,”

“And shut their eyes lest they see with their eyes,”



“And hear with their ears and understand with their hearts,”

“And convert and be healed” (Isa. 6:10).



Isaiah asked, “How long?”

And God replied, “Until the cities be wasted without inhabitants,”



“And the houses without man and the land be utterly desolate,”

“And the Lord have removed men far away and there be a great forsaking in

the midst of the land.”



Why would God do something like this?

Because He called and called and called;



Over and over and over again.

And the people rejected Him again and again and again.



God gave up on them.

You may say maybe later.



But if God isn't in it, it won't happen.

Many plan to be saved.



Few plan to go to hell.

But hell is populated with people who had good intentions.



I wonder if I'm speaking to someone who has been risking spiritual suicide   

with the excuse that there are too many hypocrites in the church.

Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”



“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”

“And with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”



“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest        

not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Why? Why would you consider other people's sins and not consider your    




Why would you let what others do keep you from going to heaven?

Someone has said, “If you let a hypocrite stand between you and heaven, the         

hypocrite is closer to heaven than you are.”



I wonder if I'm speaking to someone who has been risking spiritual suicide   

with the excuse that you cannot go down in front of people.

Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I     

confess also before my Father which is in heaven.”



“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my    

Father which is in heaven.”

Notice, the twofold nature of these words.



1st-------Jesus promised to confess those who confess Him.

But 2nd---Jesus promised to deny those who deny Him.



His holiness requires Him to keep His promises.

He cannot lie.



I wonder if I'm speaking to someone who has been risking spiritual suicide   

with the excuse that you need to clean _up your life before you make a         


Everyone can live better, but no one can clean themselves up.



The Word of God says, “repent ye and be converted that your sins be blotted        


God has to blot our sins out or we will not go to heaven.



And He will not blot our sins out unless we accept Jesus as our Lord and     


“Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.”



Well---these are some of the excuses that lead to spiritual suicide.

Use them and you are choosing to wind up eternally separated from God;



Use them and you are choosing to step out of this life into an eternal   

existence in hell.

I call it spiritual suicide because you make the choice.



Will you stop gambling with your soul and spirit?

Will you cast aside the excuses?



And come to Christ?

I read a story about a High School Senior who made valedictorian of his       





His pastor congratulated him and asked, “What are your plans for the future?”

The student said, “I plan to go to college.”



“What then,” asked his pastor?

“I plan to go to med-school and become a doctor,” the student said.



“What then?”

“I plan to get married and start a practice.”



“What then?”

“I guess I will retire and fish.”



“What then?”

“I guess I will die.”



“What then,” asked his pastor?

We can make all the excuses we want.



But it is appointed unto man once to die.

What then?



If you will cast aside the excuses and accept Christ in this life, you won't have        

to worry about the “what then.”

Will you do that?



Second Invitation


The great Hyman J. Appleman once told a story about a woman who was     

trapped on the top floor of a blazing building.

The fire department was called and they quickly rushed an escape ladder up  

to her.

A fireman made his way to the top of the ladder.

He leaned with outstretched arms to help the woman to safety.



She turned and ran back into the building.

She perished in the fire.



The fireman climbed back down the ladder.

He said, “I tried to save her, but she didn't let me.”



This woman committed physical suicide.

But it wasn't the fireman's fault.



Many will commit spiritual suicide.

But it's not God's fault.



He's not willing that any should perish.

He has made provision for the salvation of everyone.



Will you come to Christ?

Will you do it now?