Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Asking to be Excused Does Not Bring Forgiveness

By Gerald Cowan

    A certain man planned a great dinner party and invited a number of people (Luke 14:16-33). Many evidently accepted the invitation and so he went ahead with the preparation. When things were ready he sent a servant to remind the guests of their obligation to come. But they began, one and all, to excuse themselves. One had a real estate deal he wanted to investigate. Another wanted to test some hew farm equipment. One couldn’t leave his wife, and apparently did not want to bring her along. And so it went. All offered apologies and were sorry for any inconvenience to the host, but ... “You know how it is. A fellow just can’t do all he wants to do when he wants to do it.” Well, you can imagine that the host was pretty well put out by the whole thing. So he said, “Those people had their chance and missed it. Someone else will enjoy what they have refused.” There is no indication that he gave any of them a second chance.
    What is the lesson?  Just this: If you are going to accept the Lord’s invitation, count the cost and do not say yes unless you mean to follow through. Do not think you can commit yourself now and back out later with some flimsy selfish excuse. Asking to be excused then does not mean you will be forgiven.

- Gerald Cowan, a longtime preacher and missionary, is retired from full-time pulpit preaching. Gerald publishes an e-mail newsletter entitled GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICAL WRITINGS. He is available for Gospel Meetings and he may be contacted at

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