by Roberto Ponce
What would you do if someone very important invited you to a gala dinner? Imagine one of the most iconic figures. Picture your invitation coming from a president, king, queen, or famous business or spiritual leader. Would you respond?
If you are reading this blog, chances are you are a Christian. My hope is that you will share this blog post with someone who is not.
Today’s concept is inspired by a sermon preached on April 8, 2012, by Rev. Dudley C. Rutherford from Shepherd of the Hills Church. In fact, the RSVP acronym is derived from the notes I took from his sermon.
Invitation to Heaven
We received an invitation to heaven when Jesus walked on this earth about 2,000 years ago. The concept of His invite to heaven is so clear that Jesus used it as an analogy in the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15–24).
The gospel also clearly states this invitation to heaven in John 3:16. God wants you to join Him in heaven. Jesus paid the price on the cross. Entrance to heaven is not free, for God paid dearly. Yet we all need to accept His invitation.
The acronym RSVP is short for répondez s’il vous plait (“respond, if you please”). When we organize and/or host an event, we usually extend an invitation. An RSVP is the way we expect others to let us know if they are attending or not.
By the way, it is considered rude not to reply. Based on the RSVPs, the host creates a list of the names of those individuals who have accepted the invitation. Individuals who have declined or ignored the invitation don’t get added to the guest list.
Here are four clear steps that comprise an RSVP to Jesus’ invitation to heaven:
Realize your need.
It is impossible to make it to heaven through our own merit or efforts.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
We need to realize eternal life is a gift from God and we can get it only through Jesus. We need to accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
Say you are sorry (repent).
Repentance means wishing not to have done something and turning away from it. We need to turn away from sin.
“But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3)
Verbalize your commitment.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”(Romans 10:9–10)
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32)
Baptism is a symbol of your changed life. While it’s not a requirement, it is something Jesus asked us to do. It is vital enough that Jesus himself was baptized. He led by example (Luke 3:13–16).
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:3–5)
By now, you know Jesus is that Someone important who has sent you the invitation to heaven. “How important?” you may ask. He is important enough to have divided the history of humanity in half … before Him and after Him. It really is up to you to RSVP to His invitation.
Roberto Ponce is Director of University Communications and Media at Global University. Learn more by visiting think.globaluniversity.edu