And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” —Luke 5:20-24

After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” —Luke 5:27-32

            Jesus has the authority to forgive people their sins and to call people to follow Him.  He knows the ones that desire to be forgiven and He knows the ones who will follow Him.  Are you forgiven?  Are you following?

            There are those who don’t desire to be forgiven and don’t think they need to be accountable to anyone.  But death comes to all “just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  Man will die and then man will be judged.  There is no escaping the fact that man will die.  Everyone would acknowledge that, but not all will acknowledge there will be a judgment awaiting them.  But just as surely as death happens, so judgment will also happen so, “prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12).  If you have not prepared to die, then you are not prepared to meet God.  Please get ready now before it is two late.  We do not know the day of our death.

            There are those who don’t desire to follow Jesus, but then there are those who do.  Brothers and sisters, fellow followers of Jesus, we need to invite people to follow Jesus just as Jesus invited us and so many others to follow Him.  So, let us encourage people to be forgiven for their sins and to follow Jesus.  Then they can know Him now and be with Him forever in that Perfect Place that we all desire.  Brothers and sisters, followers of Jesus, let us be faithful to encourage people to call on Jesus, be forgiven by Jesus and to follow Jesus.  Yes, Dear Father, may this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus.  So be it!

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