You are invited.
In Luke 14:16-24 Jesus tells a story of a The Great Supper illustrating salvation to which sinners have been invited. We, His servants, are to take His invitation to the world. Just before Jesus returned to Heaven after His crucifixion and resurrection, He gave His Great Commission to His disciples to take the Gospel to the whole world. Every Christian has the responsibility, regardless of his secular vocation, to obey that Commission.
The Great Supper is also mentioned in Song of Solomon 2:4 and Mathew 22:2-14 This is the banquet of salvation that is offered freely by God’s grace to sinners. It will culminate with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, mentioned in Revelation 19:7-9. Though it is freely offered to us by the grace of God, it cost Jesus everything. The only reason anyone misses out on this banquet is that they, in pride and unbelief, reject Christ’s invitation to come to Him and be saved.
Some might argue, “But what about the people who have never heard of God or the Bible? Abraham answered that question in Genesis 18:22-25. In summary he is declaring that God, the Judge of the earth will always do right. Actually, everyone who is seeking for God’s truth will find God as he considers the glory of God’s creation. Read Psalm 19:1-4. Furthermore, Romans 1:18-23 argues the same truth.
All things are ready
The banquet is ready now, Luke 15:17 declares. God is always ready. He is never behind time. God did not create Adam until there was a garden prepared for his home. God did not make his wife, Eve, until Adam was emotionally ready for her. God did not invite us, His Church, to salvation until the preparation was completed through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus spoke from the cross, “IT IS FINISHED!” Paul reminds us in II Corinthians 6:2 the “Now is the time. Now is the day of salvation!”
Mothers are rightfully upset when dinner is ready and the family is called to come and some straggle in five minutes later. So the Lord of this feast, recorded in Luke 14, is angry when the invited guests begin to make excuses for not coming to the dinner.
Note that these are excuses; not reasons or flat refusals. It’s one thing to refuse to come, but it is even more offensive to make silly excuses. Back of the excuses is a lack of desire to come.
Why do the guests make excuses and refuse to come to the dinner? It’s not that they were invited to a prison to live in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives, or to the hospital for surgery. They were invited to a banquet, a royal feast! How foolish to refuse the invitation!
Listen to their silly excuses. These men were either liars or fools!
1. “I have bought some ground and must go out and see it.” Does a normal person buy property and then go out and check it out, or does he check it out before he buys it? Does he check it out at supper time when it is getting dark? This is a foolish excuse, but basically many are allowing property and material possessions to keep them from trusting Christ for salvation.
2. A second excuse, even sillier, was that a man had bought some oxen and now at supper time had to yoke them and go plough some ground and see if he got a good deal. Would you agree that it wiser to check out the animals before you buy them rather than after you buy them? This is a sample of those who are hindered from accepting Christ’s invitation to salvation for business excuses, even though this one was not a very good excuse.
Married and won’t take your wife out for dinner?
3. The third excuse was given by a man who had just been married and for that reason could not accept the dinner invitation. Really? What wife would not like to go out to a nice banquet? This man represents the excuses people make for rejecting Christ because of family concerns. These are the people who say, “Sunday is my only day with my family. I cannot come to church.”
My answer to such a person is, “What better way could you spend Sunday with your family than by going to church with them and sitting with them and then going home and discussing the sermon with them in the light of the Bible?
The Matthew 22 account augments the Luke 14 story. There we learn that some made light of the invitation and went their own ways just as the prophet Isaiah had prophesied in Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to His own way.”
Some of the invited turned on the servants who invited them and murdered them. The persecution of God’s servants is going on in many parts of the world even today. Sinners despise the Good News of salvation. They despise Christ and Christ’s servants who come to them with the Good News. Provoked by their father, the devil, they hate Christ’s servants almost as much as they hate Christ Himself. That truth is seen throughout the Bible. Read John 15:18-23. If you are a Christian, this explains the source of the hatred you experience from some unbelievers.
Will you be speechless when you stand before Christ?
Some attempted to come to the Wedding Feast without a wedding garment. Read Matthew 22:11-12 When confronted with the fact that they were not wearing the wedding garment it says they were speechless. Why is that? The King provided the spotless wedding garments. These spotless garments speak of God’s righteousness imputed to those who trust Christ. Everyone who goes to Heaven will have that spotless garment of Christ’s righteousness. If you dare to stand before God in your own self-righteousness, you will be speechless when you face His wrath. Paul mentions that again in Romans 1:20 and 3:19.
You may make excuses today for rejecting Christ, but when you stand before Him at the judgment, you will be speechless and silent before Almighty God.
As those men in Bible times made excuses for rejecting the dinner invitation, so people today make their excuses for rejecting Christ. I’ve heard lots of them. Let me list a few. Perhaps one of them is your excuse if you are not a Christian.
1. “Later, perhaps, when it is more convenient for me.” Are you taking that gamble? It has to be the gamble of eternity. It has to be more dangerous than Russian roulette.
Felix after hearing Paul preach, trembled and said, “Go thy way for this time. When I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Acts 24:25
King Agrippa in Acts 26:28 said to Paul, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” There is nothing in Scripture to assure us that these men ever had another chance to get right with God. The facts are that as an unbeliever grows older, his heart grows harder in sin and rejection of the Saviour. That’s why Paul urges, “Now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation.” II Corinthians 6:2
2. “I’m not good enough.” My first impression is that there is something insincere about that excuse. You know that salvation is all of God’s grace; and yet in pride and self-righteousness, you reject God’s grace. On the other hand, if you really feel unworthy, you are half way home. The Gospel is ONLY for those who sense their unworthiness before God and put their trust in Christ alone.
3. “I can’t live the Christian life!” Of course, you can’t. Neither can I. No one can. Christ lives His life through us when we as Christians are controlled by His Holy Spirit. Galatians 2:20
4. I’m too busy with my life and work to think about my condition before God. You are too busy playing marbles, as far as the importance of what you are doing in contrast with what you ought to be concerning yourself.
5. There are too many hypocrites in the church. I’ll agree with you that Christendom is filled with hypocrites. In churches where the Gospel is preached, there are certainly weak Christians, including pastors themselves. A weak Christian is one who is trusting Christ for his salvation, but is struggling with Christ’s lordship in his life and is failing as a good testimony for Christ. Don’t contrast yourself with weak Christians or with hypocrites. Contrast your life with the pure, holy life of Christ alone. He is our ultimate standard; not some weak Christian struggling and failing to walk with God.
Those who refuse to come to Christ are failing to face the truth that it’s a matter of their own will. They refuse to come to Christ. John 5:40
Quit the excuses. Just be honest with God and with yourself. Tell God you are not interested in His salvation, that you want Him to leave you alone in your sins and let you go to hell. The real reason you don’t come to Christ is found in John 3:19-20.
If you choose to reject Christ’s invitation to be saved and to live forever with Him in Heaven, He will turn from you and turn to others needing a Saviour. Luke 14:21-24 He will reject you, If you reject His invitation, it may well be the last invitation you will ever hear or read. Rejecters face His wrath. John 3:36 Ps. 2:12 “Kiss the Son lest He be angry and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.”
RSVP Him today!
Come now; poor, maimed, halt and blind sinner. RSVP Christ today and reserve your place in Heaven at that great wedding Feast of the Lamb.
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