Compelling them to come

Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, “Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.” Luke 14:15-24

This is no ordinary supper. This is a parable about eternal life. At the cross everything was completed….all has been made ready. So now the invitation is given —– come to the banquet the Father has prepared. And yet, many… very many, refuse to come. What a sad reality this is, that there are many who reject the offer of eternal life. But heaven is not hindered by man’s rejection. God is a pursuer. He started by sending His servants with an invitation. Then He sends His servants to bring them in. And finally, the servants are instructed to compel them to come. As the hour becomes later, the call to come into the kingdom becomes more urgent and intense.

Do you feel the urgency of heaven? God is not willing that any should perish. We shouldn’t be willing that they perish either. I think we are well beyond the days of invitations, and even of bringing them in. It is time to compel them to come. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, let’s be about the Father’s business that His house may be filled. It’s not a day to be fearful and timid. Eternity is at stake. Souls are in the balance.

It shouldn’t end that way

Yesterday I had jury duty. After they had given us all our instructions, we just had to sit there and wait a few hours for them to choose who would stay and who would be sent home. So while we waited, they played a movie on the 2 large screens in the room. It was called “Taking Chance.” Normally I would have gone into the quiet room to read, but for whatever reason I just stayed in my seat as the movie began. The basic storyline was as follows: The main character was a Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps who worked an office job, but he seemed to feel some stirrings of guilt because was not a part of the very conflict that he had been trained for. He volunteered to escort the remains of a Marine who was killed in combat to the family for burial. It seemed as though on the whole trip he was having an awakening as he considered the young man who was killed in battle as he was sitting safely in a cubicle.

Any my heart was almost exploding because it was like watching a parable of the church….many safe and comfortable on the sidelines while others are risking everything on the battlefield. But there are these moments of clarity when we see…..eternal realities…..God’s purposes….and ourselves somewhere on the outside. It is a moment of truth. A valley of decision. A choice must be made.

I anticipated the ending. He would leave everything and enlist for a tour of duty in Iraq. That was the only reasonable ending. But it wasn’t the ending. He arrived home to his nice house, hugged his wife and kids and shut the door. And the movie was over.

And everything in me screamed “NO…it’s not supposed to end like that!!”

People of God…..please….don’t let that be our ending. We have been trained and equipped for battle and everyone is needed for the fight. It is a moment of truth. A valley of decision. A choice must be made.