Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Christ and church invite all to experience ‘incitations’


February 3, 2015


Religion Columnist

I was typing a message with the word “invited,” recently, but I got my fingers crossed and typed “incited” instead (the “c” is next to the “v” on typewriters and keyboards). When I noticed my mistake, I thought to myself that those two words have a similar meaning and could be interchangeable. That being said, my well-worn copy of “The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (publisher and date unknown)” defines “Invite” as, “1 : entice, tempt 2 : to increase the likelihood of 3 : to request the presence or participation of : ASK 4 : to request formally 5 : ENCOURAGE.” “Incite” on the other hand it defines as, “to arouse to action : stir up (bolding and spacing for both definitions are as in the dictionary). Most people connect inciting with something bad, like riots, and inviting with something good, like parties.

The Bible talks about inviting and inciting connectedly, but they aren’t synonymous, and each can apply to both good and evil.

For their good, Jesus invites everyone to come to him with an incitation (I made that word up) to a working rest – rest from the wearying burden of sin and guilt to carrying a yoke of service that’s not burdensome (2 Timothy 3:6; 1 John 5:3; Ephesians 2:8-10). Among the non-burdening parts are that when we’ve heard and believed that God’s son, Jesus, died in our place for our sins and was raised from the dead, we’re to turn from sin (repent), confess Jesus as Lord, and be baptized to be forgiven and to receive his indwelling Spirit (Acts 2:38-39; 22:16; Romans 10:8-13; Romans 8:9-11).

Jesus, through his Spirit, isn’t the only extender of this invitation with incitation; his bride – the church – also participates (Revelation 22:17; Ephesians 5:25-27; Matthew 28:18-20). Christians are to other Christians to take up the yoke of service, which is well documented in Hebrews 10:19-25, which also includes instructions about how we’re to come to God through faith, repentance, confession, baptism (sprinkling the heart and having their whole bodies washed).

Spell check and grammar check tools wouldn’t have caught my misspelling of “invite” with “incite.” It’s each person’s responsibility to make sure that what they write expresses their intent. Christians must always check ourselves against God’s standard, seeking forgiveness when we sin (2 Corinthians 13:5; 1 John 1:5-9). Then, I won’t have to cross my fingers hoping I’ll pass the judgment because I’ll know I’ve taken up Jesus’ yoke that’s not burdensome rather than following a misleading spirit who also invites and incites, but only for evil (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 5:13, 18-20; 4:1-5).

The Spirit and the bride invite all those who haven’t yet come to the Lord to have their sins forgiven and so that they’ll receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit. We also invite and incite those who have come, but aren’t active, to become active in living the life that shows our salvation as being attractive by doing good works at every opportunity (Galatians 6:9-10; Titus 2:9-14).

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at [email protected]


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