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NO MORE EXCUSES! You cannot hide behind immoral sexual pleasures, alcoholism, your social standing, worldly wealth, the ideologies of this world, your thoughts about your reputation, or those with whom you associate. There is no excuse for not serving God and securing your place of eternal life with Him. So, shake yourself free of the sin and grip of Satan and come to Jesus just as you are. With a compelling sense of urgency, American minister Dr Russell Cephas Jr, founder of Church Growth International, told his listeners on October 14 that there is absolutely no excuse for not serving God who invites everyone to His banqueting table. Cephas was addressing members of the Salvation Army, the Church of God, Church of the Nazarene, Wesleyan Holiness Church, and the Christian Mission Church [now under the aegis of the new Barbados Holiness Movement] during a church service at the Wildey Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Complex. It was a service filled with special ministry in song, worship and drama. In his well received message, Cephas based his sermon on Luke 14:15 to 23 – the Parable Of The Great Banquet, where each person invited by the Lord to the banquet had an excuse for not attending. Cephas said making excuses of one kind or another “has become a way of life for many people”. He noted that man’s first excuse was made by Adam when he blamed his wife Eve for giving him the forbidden fruit to eat in the Garden Of Eden. “We are prone to make excuses to cover up our bad decisions. These excuses help people to hide behind their selfish agendas,” he explained. “In our text we discover that all three persons, regardless of their backgrounds and conditions, gave the master of the banquet excuses why they could not be his special guests. They tried to justify their reasons and excuses,” he added. “Who buys a piece of land without first looking it over and buys oxen without doing the same?” Cephas told his congregation “there is coming a day when we will have to stand before a sovereign God and on that day His all-piercing eyes will see through all our excuses. “There is no hiding place from the Holy God. You choose to make your bed in Heaven or in Hell. Cephas stressed: “Young people make excuses why they cannot serve God. Young adults going off to university pursue their education and careers; young men and women are planning families; even the old make excuses that they are too old to serve God, but there is coming a day when there will be no more excuses.” He told the congregation: “You can be saved no matter who you are. “Make no more excuses for turning your back on a loving Saviour, shutting the door in His face and trying to run from Him. There is no hiding place. No matter where you go, the Spirit of God will hunt you down.” He invited those within earshot to “come reason together”. “There is a Holy God who wants to extend an arm of mercy and grace to you. He is looking for you to submit. Though your sins be as red as scarlet, they can be as white as snow.” Cephas said the Parable Of The Great Banquet was grounded in evangelism “and points the reader to the critical need to respond with haste and urgency when God calls”. He told them again: “There is coming a day when believers will be invited to the Great Banquet with Jesus. The question is, will you be sitting at the table or continue to strive against God?” • To have your church featured in Altar Call, please contact Cheryl Harewood at 430-5494 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.