Then said he to him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:…
I. ALL EXCUSES FOR DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD ARE VAIN.
1. One is, God makes us sinners, either by creating sin as a substantial property of the soul, or by the laws of propagation, just as the other properties of the mind, or as the members of the body are propagated. But can this be so? No. Sin is man's work. Sin is moral action — the act or exercise of the heart. God creates the man a free moral agent; and the man makes himself a sinner. "O, Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself."
2. Again, it is a sort of standing excuse with some sinners, when urged to perform their duty, to reply, We cannot. But what is the nature of the inability? Their own consciousness, and the Word of God, alike testify that it is the simple inability of disinclination.
3. Others say there are so many hypocrites in the world, that we have our doubts whether, after all, religion be a reality. But why should there be hypocrites, if religion itself is not a reality? If there were no true bank-notes, no bank, would there be counterfeits? Do you excuse one debtor from the payment of his debts, because others have paid you in base coin? There is one principle which exhibits them in all their vanity. God has not revealed His law and precepts for men to alter. He knew all the reasons which would or could exist to impair the obligations of each, to extenuate the guilt of transgression; and as a righteous Sovereign, if one such reason could exist, would have made the exception. But He has not made it.
II. ALL EXCUSES FOR DISOBEDIENCE TO THE WILL OF GOD ARE CRIMINAL. To make an excuse for what we have done is impenitence, and for not doing what we ought to do, is determined disobedience.
III. THIS PRACTICE IS MOST RUINOUS. The real nature of disobedience to God cannot be altered by any delusive covering we can give it. To that heart which "is deceitful above all things," self-delusion is an easy task. Nor is there any form in which it can prove more certainly fatal than by leading us to make habitual excuses. And who shall hope to conquer his sins who refuses to see them; who shall turn from and escape the danger on which he shuts his eyes? The sinner must take the shame and guilt of sin to himself, and clear his Maker, or nothing can be done for him. Concluding remarks:
1. How infatuating is the power of sin.
2. How opposite is the spirit of excuses to the spirit which the gospel inculcates. The one is the spirit of treachery and impenitence — the ether, of frank, open confession, and of devout contrition. The one a spirit of determined perseverance in sin, the other a spirit of prompt, cheerful obedience. The one prays, "Have me excused"; the other, "Search me, O God!"
3. Let all self-excusers reflect how they must appear at the judgment of the great day. Should they be permitted to offer these excuses at the bar of God, how will they look? You plead your inability to love God. Plead it, then, at the judgment-seat of Christ. Go there and expose your ingratitude and enmity, by telling the Judge on the throne, the Saviour that died for you — that you could not help trampling His blood underfoot, by not believing the record of His Son. Plead the incessant occupation of your time — exhibit then its results — shew your bags of gold, your houses, your farms, your shops, and tell Him these so occupied you, that you had no time for the concerns of your soul. Bring forward these and other apologies. Will they dazzle the eye of Omniscience — will they beguile the Judge of the quick and the dead? You know it will not.
(N. W. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: