God’s call for eternal celebration:
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
God has created every individual to fulfil a specific purpose in life. God knows what that purpose is and how we can achieve it but we often make choices based on our perceived priorities that are contrary to God’s will. Our priorities in life dictate our choices and our choices determine the outcome of our lives. Our choices are often between alternatives that appear equally attractive but lead to entirely different results as Proverbs 14:12 says, for “there is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death”. Adam and Eve made the choice to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil rather than the fruit of the tree of life. Their choice affected not only their own lives but also affected his descendants lives as well, as Romans 3:23 says, for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. But “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. God continues to give us the opportunity to change our destiny by making the right choice. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. John 3:17 says, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”. All that we need for our salvation is to make the right choice and accept Jesus Christ as Lord in obedience to God’s call.
God’s call is an invitation to freedom. His call is to free us from slavery to Satan, sin and death. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin to redeem us from destruction and reconcile us to God. God’s call is not only to free us from slavery but also to bless us with His presence. God created us to worship Him and enjoy His presence and since He is holy His call makes provision to make us holy and righteous. The righteousness of God is one that has never known sin before. God’s righteousness restores our godly image and the authority and dominion that Satan stole from man.
The call of God is often resisted by opposing forces trying to keep man in his sinful condition. An effective weapon of the enemy is to promote an attitude of trusting in one’s self. Trusting in one’s self will always lead to disobeying God. It is trusting in self that makes many people not to believe God and still believe they have to do something to deserve salvation. Another weapon of the enemy is to promote an attitude of indifference. The enemy very subtly instils pride into a person making him think that he is deserving of God’s invitation. Pride makes us so busy impressing the world that we become indifferent to God. The enemy is an expert at promoting an attitude of rejection. He just has to convince a person of what they are capable of doing when they are in control of their own lives. The attitude of the world is to do what they like without being held accountable and they believe this is possible by rejecting God. An attitude of rejection leaves no room for acknowledging sin and seeing the need for repentance.
Incredibly, the enemy has prevented many people from accepting God’s invitation. It was not a question of forgetting because they were not only invited but were also reminded. The invitation to the celebration, in their view, was just not important enough. They had no idea of its eternal value. When the intended guests refused to attend, the invitation was extended to other people who came in their numbers. This is a direct reference to the Jews who believed in their religious heritage and godly lives. They believed they met the requirements of the Law and did not need the grace of God. Are we not making the same mistake today? Do some of us not put our trust in our Christian background and Church membership? Do some of us not put our trust in our support of and involvement in Church activities? Do some of us not put our trust in our own righteousness? We all need the grace of God, for God would not have allowed Christ’s sacrifice on the cross if there had been any other way. Have we accepted God’s invitation or are we presuming on a relationship with God because of your background and privileges as the Jews did?
Obedience to God’s invitation has eternal value. When Christ shed His blood in our place God fulfilled His promise to “forgive our iniquity, and remember our sin no more”. Christ paid the penalty for sin for our justification. It is ‘just as if we had’ never sinned. We become a new creation with the life of Christ.
In Bible times a king hosting a feast also supplied the garments to be worn. To show up wearing something else is either to say that the occasion was not important enough or that we considered what we were wearing to be good enough. This of course would be an insult to the host and would immediately be noticed. How can we fail to notice someone wearing something different at a very exclusive party? It is a picture of boasting about our ‘good works’ and appearing before God clothed in the filthy rags of our own righteousness. God went to great lengths to cover us with the perfection of His Son, His righteousness. Jesus died our death that we might have His life. We cannot honour the Lord’s invitation dressed in anything other than what Christ has provided. Have we been clothed with the righteousness of Christ. The only way to obtain this robe of righteousness is to believe in Jesus Christ who shed His blood for our salvation.
God has invited everyone to the celebration, the honourable and respected, the rich and poor, the cheats and murderers, and the rapists and prostitutes. Christ died on the cross for everyone. He was made sin for us that we might be made righteous and no single person was left out. The only thing that leaves us out is our own indifference and our own refusal to accept His invitation. Accepting His invitation is to accept His terms. A lot of people want to be part of the celebration but do not want to submit to God’s terms. How about us?
Question to Ponder:
Have I accepted the invitation to God’s call for freedom?
Have a blessed week that you would obey God’s call to the freedom!