Salvation is very simply the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. If we accept this free gift we are spared eternal separation from God. Although salvation is purely based on God’s grace, He chooses to use people like you and me as channels of that grace.
In Colossians 2:6-8, it says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
When we admit our need for Christ and we believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose again to save us … we gain salvation, which is to be eternally connected to our Creator and Lord. We do not gain a religion or a ritual, but a real relationship with the Lord of the universe. A real relationship that has changed billions of lives including mine. So, why hasn't this "real" relationship changed the lives of those in your Oikos? (more on that later).
As we cling to our hope in Jesus, we also need to share our hope with others. In the past year we’ve talked about how essential church is because we ALL need hope to cope ... maybe now more than ever. While hope is in demand, there is by no means a short supply. Not only is there more than enough grace, but it is sufficient even when you feel unworthy (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Who in your life needs to hear about the hope you have in Jesus Christ? Why is Jesus the answer for you? It’s not a trick question. Your story matters to God! That’s why He uses us to reach others. At Skyline Church, we believe that God has supernaturally and strategically positioned every one of us to share the “Good News” about Jesus. On average, we all have 8-15 people in our Oikos. “Oikos” is a Greek word in the Bible that means "relational network." It means to share the Good News with your friends, family members, grocery clerk, gym buddy, neighbor, etc.
These 8-15 people are the ones you come in contact with regularly that may not have put their trust in Jesus … yet. This is how the Kingdom of God is built. It isn’t by standing on the corner with a megaphone and a sign yelling at people to “Turn or Burn.” Not only is that impersonal, but the one yelling can come off as a real jerk. The Bible doesn’t tell us to act like jerks. Rather, it tells us to be more like Jesus, which means loving people right where they are in life. I want to encourage you to invite them to Skyline Church this weekend and let them decide for themselves if God’s message is true that there’s no perfect people allowed. Because no matter where they've been or what they've done, they will be welcomed. Romans 15:7 says, "So warmly welcome each other into the church, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified."
Never forget, an invite can change a life. I'll never forget my friend Mark inviting me to baseball chapel. My entire life began to change after that invitation. You just never know what the Holy Spirit might be whispering to people's hearts when you come along and extend an invitation.
You may be thinking, “Pastor, they’re going to say no if I invite them to church.” And I’d say, that’s okay, invite them anyway. This world is full of difficulty and hardships and people have put their hope in a lot of things that haven’t lived up to their expectations. People are tired of being let down. While we know and have experienced that Jesus is the ONLY one that is WORTH putting our hope in, others are still coming around and it may take more time. Many times it takes more than one invitation for a person to say "yes." Whether you’re the first or the eleventh person to invite them, or somewhere in between … God isn’t done with them yet, and it's only a matter of time before they say "YES!" If they have a pulse, God still has a purpose for their life. Their story matters to God and it matters to us. We hope this weekend they say "yes." But don’t let a "no" discourage you into thinking they will never experience the blessings you have in your faith and salvation. God has something incredible planned for their life and you can be a part of that story by simply extending a welcoming invitation. Because truly, an invite can change a life.