Sermon #110††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† Luke Sermons

 

†††† Title: †††† ††† Publicans and Sinners Welcome

†††† Text:††††† ††† Luke 15:1

†††† Subject: ††† The Approachableness of Christ

†††† Date:†††† ††† Sunday EveningóNovember 30, 2003

†††† Tape #†† ††† X-90a

†††† Readings:†† Merle Hart & Larry Criss

†††† Introduction:

 

(Luke 15:1)"Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him."

 

While he walked upon this earth in human flesh, the Son of God courted the company of publicans and sinners. Publicans and sinners were always welcomed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing has changed.

 

Proposition: He who came into the world to save sinners still courts the company of publicans and sinners, welcoming all who come to him.

 

That is the one thing I want you to see in this message. May God the Holy Spirit make it a mighty magnet to draw every sinner here to the Savior. I have no aim, no goal, no purpose tonight except to persuade you for Christís sake to come to him.

 

Our Lord Jesus is one the Mediator between God and men. He is the great Daysman who can lay hold on both God and man, and bring the two together. A mediator is not a mediator of oneó he must be akin to both the parties between whom he mediates. If Jesus Christ shall be a perfect mediator between God and man, he must be able to come to God so near that God shall call him his fellow, and then he must approach to man so closely that he shall not be ashamed to call him brother.

 

This is precisely the case with our Redeemer. He is a mediator, and as a mediator you may come to him. Jacob's ladder reached from earth to heaven. If he had the bottom rungs of the ladder, it would have been a useless thing. Would it not? Who could ascend by it into the hill of the Lord? Christ is the great conjunction, the great connecting link between earth and heaven.

 

We need a mediator between us and God. We dare not think of coming to God without a mediator. But we need no mediator between us and the God-man. Come to Christ, the Mediator. Come and welcome!

 

       Without Preparation

       Without Qualification

       Without Righteousness

       Without Atonement

       Without Experience

       Without Feeling

 

He is the Mediator. He has everything in himself. He requires nothing. He gives everything.

 

Our all-glorious Christ is the Great High Priest. He is not a pretend priest, but a real one. He who is the great High Priest, ever living in heaven is able to save unto the uttermost all who come to God by him. The true priest in Israel was the brother of all the people, and our Lord Jesus Christ is such a Priest. He is not ashamed to call us, poor publicans and sinners, ďbrethren.Ē

 

       The priest was chosen from among the people.

       The priest made atonement.

       The priest blessed.

       The first point of contact between God and the leper was Aaron the High priest. When he was so unclean that no other man could or would touch him, the priest touched him and made himself unclean by doing so, that he might help the poor leper and pronounce him clean.

       It was the priest who absolved guilt.

       The priest made intercession for the transgressors, as one touched with the feeling of their infirmities.

 

It may be that no other mortal wants to touch you, O trembling outcast, but the sinnerís Priest will. You may have separated yourself from all others by your iniquities, but you are not separated from that great Friend of sinners who at this very hour is willing that publicans and sinners should draw near unto him.

 

The Son of God, the Lord Jesus is the sinnerís Savior; too. The priest and the Levite passed by on the other side when the bleeding wretch lay in the road to Jericho. They were not Saviors and could not be. He was the Savior who came to where the man was, stooped over him, and took oil and poured it into his gaping wounds, and poured the wine into his languishing lips. He lifted the man up with tender love, set him on his own beast, and led him to the inn. He who was the Good Samaritan is our true Savior.

 

Frequently, the Scriptures describe the Lord Jesus as the "Lamb." Blessed name! I do not suppose there is any one here who was ever afraid of a lamb. That little girl, if she saw a lamb, would not be scared by it. Every child, almost instinctively, wants to put its hand on the head of a lamb. O that you might come and put your hand on the head of Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

 

"Oh see how Jesus trusts himself
Unto our childish love,
As though by his free ways with us
His earnestness to prove!
His sacred name a common word
On earth he loves to hear;
There is no majesty in him
Which love may not come near."

 

He who is the Lamb of God is also called the Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, and the Shepherd of the sheep. No one fears a shepherd. Sheep are never timid when near the shepherd. O poor wandering sheep, you, perhaps, have come to be afraid of Christ, but there is no reason why you should be, for this heavenly Shepherd says, "I will seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day."

 

Timid, foolish, and wandering though you may be, there is nothing in the good Shepherd to drive you away from him, but everything to entice you to come to him.

 

Christ is our Brother, a Brother born for adversity. You need not think that your troubles are too trifling to bring to your Brother. He has an open ear, an open heart, and an open hand. You may come to our good elder Brother at all hours. If he ever blames you for coming, or turns you away, let me know. But there are brothers who prove to be failures to their brothers.

 

So the Word of God tells us that he Son of God is a Friend, a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.A friendís door is always open. The welcome mat is always out. As soon as you show up on his doorstep, he says, "Come in. Itís so good to see you. How have you been? What can I get you? What can I do for you?" Such a friend is Jesus Christ. He is to be met with by all needy, seeking hearts.

 

Pause a moment to behold the Saviorís magnificent Person and be persuaded that he still welcomes poor, despised publicans and sinners. The person of our Lord Jesus Christ proclaims this truth with a trumpet voice. He is man, born of woman, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. The Lord Jesus Christ is God, but if he were God only, you might well stand at a distance, and shudder at the splendor of his majesty. But he is man as well as God, and so it comes to pass, as Isaac Watts puts itó

 

"Till God in human flesh I see,
My thoughts no comfort find;
The holy, just, and sacred Three
Are terrors to my mind.
But if Immanuel's face appear,
My hope, my joy begins;
His name forbids my slavish fear,
His grace removes my sins."

 

When I see Christ in the manger where the horned ox fed, or hanging on a woman's breast, or obedient to his parents, or "a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," a poor man without a place whereon to lay his head, then I feel that I can freely come to him. When I see him hungry, thirsty, weary, angry, weeping, hurting, even forsaken of God, I think to myself, there is One who knows exactly what I feel, who knows exactly what I need. And he has promised, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

 

What tender language, what gracious words he uses to woo sinners to himself. ― "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ― "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink." ― "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." It is not "I would not," but "ye would not." ― "Come now, and let us reason together: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." ― "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

 

What keeps you from Christ? What is it keeps you back? Let me make one more effort at persuading you how welcome sinners are at the throne of grace. Look away to Calvary, and behold how wiling, how anxious the Son of God is to receive publicans and sinners like you and me.

 

       He hangs there in another manís place.

       He prays for the very men whose hands are red with his blood.

       He dies the just for the unjust, that he might bring the unjust to God.

       He is made to be sin, that sinners might be made the righteousness of God in him.

       He takes embraces a poor thief in the arms of omnipotent mercy, while his arms are nailed to the cursed tree.

       He looks graciously upon a fallen object of his intense love with tender forgiveness.

       He bids you and me look upon him and live (Isa. 45:22).

 

(Isa 45:22)"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."

 

"There is life in a look at the crucified One."

 

Surely, you need not be afraid to come to him who went to Calvary for sinners. Why linger? Why hesitate?

 

"Why art thou afraid to come,
And tell him all thy case?
He will not pronounce thy doom,
Nor frown thee from thy face.
Wilt thou fear Immanuel?
Or dread the Lamb of God,
Who, to save poor souls from hell,
Has shed his precious blood?"

 

 

"Compell'd by bleeding love,
Ye wandering sheep draw near;
Christ calls you from aboveó
His charming accents hear!
Let whosoever will now come,
In mercy's breast there still is room."

 

 

"Let not conscience make you linger,

Nor of fitness fondly dream. ―

All the fitness he requireth,
Is to feel your need of him:
This he gives you;
'Tis the Spirit's rising beam."

 

"Come, and welcome;
Come, and welcome,

Sinners, come, and welcome home!"

 

I stand at mercy's door tonight, and say to every passerby, in the name of the Master, "My oxen and fatlings are killed; come, come, come to the supper!" O that you would come this very night!

 

"Jesus sits on Zion's hill;

He receives poor sinners still.Ē

 

It is my prayer that it may be written of this day and this place, ― "Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him."

 

       A Magdalene

       A Gardarene

       A Zachaeus

       A Canaanite

 

Amen.