Invited and Chosen

Preparing for a Banquet

Preparing for a Banquet (Photo credit: Rennett Stowe)

“Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn’t want to come. Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: Look, I’ve prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the other seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them. The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city. Then he told his slaves, ‘The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’ So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen.”—Matthew 22: 1-14

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” That verse has been coming to me a lot lately, since I wrote my previous post, Chosen. So I looked up the verse to see the context. The parable that precedes this verse really made me stop and think. The King (Yahweh) tells His slaves (believers) to tell the invited guests the feast was ready. The invited guests mistreated His slaves and ignored the invitation. The King sent his slaves out to invite everyone they could find for the wedding feast of His Son (Yeshua). And they did…both evil and good. (That’s our call to share the gospel with everyone…whether they listen or not.)

So, the guests arrived and the King came into the banquet and noticed a man that was not dressed in the proper attire. When He questioned the man, the man was “speechless”…without excuse. I wonder why the man came without the proper clothing. He knew he was going to a wedding…if he didn’t have the proper attire, I think he would have told that to the king…he didn’t have an excuse. Maybe he just thought he could go to the King on his own terms, and not the terms the King had set forth.

The invitation goes out to everyone (many are invited), after all, it is not the King’s will that any should perish, but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). But not everyone answers the call…and sometimes those that do accept the call aren’t willing to meet the King on His terms (few are chosen).

When the king threw the man into the outer darkness, it made me think of Yeshua’s words in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers.’

Are we willing answer the call and meet the King on His terms? Do we know Him? Does He know us?

Chosen

Sun Beams

Sun Beams (Photo credit: fdecomite)

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”—Jeremiah 1:5

“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.”—Ephesians 1:4-6

Have you ever stopped to meditate on these verses? Have you ever wondered why…? Why did Yahweh choose Mary to be the mother of Yeshua? What was so special about her? Why did Yahweh choose Abraham… Moses… David… Peter… Paul…etc.? What was so special about them? Why did Yahweh choose me? What’s so special about me? And here’s the answer…because He could. He is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. Not because any of us are more special than anyone else (Romans 3:23), but because He shows mercy to whom He will show mercy and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15).

Yahweh chose us, we didn’t choose Him (John 15:16). He chose His before the foundation of the world…out of His sovereign grace…according to His will. Yahweh’s elect are chosen before they are born (before they do any good or evil–Romans 9:11)…not because of anything they would do in the future, not because of human will or effort, but because of Yahweh’s mercy (Romans 9:16).

And why are we called? Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 1:4 tells us we were chosen, “to be holy and blameless in His sight.” John 15:16 says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.” Because He has called us, redeemed us, justified us, we conform our lives to Him. We bring Him glory.

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in this world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.”–2 Peter 1:3-11

Unless

 

There’s a list in His word

That says away we’ll be sent

Far, far to the depths

Unless we choose to repent.

 

As believers, we’ve chosen

This path and this door.

But what about those

Who don’t know Him deep down in their core?

 

We should be like Ezekiel,

A watchman at the gate…

Warning, warning

Before it’s too late.

 

It is our duty

With care and with thought

To tell them sin’s wrong

Whether they listen or not.

 

But do so with love

With compassion and care.

Show them The Christ

So they will not despair.

 

Say, “Crucify your flesh

With its passions and desires

Set your sights upon

His ways that are so much higher”

 

Do we love our neighbor enough,

That we are willing to say,

“Turn, turn from your sin

Please follow The Way.”

 

Unless we are willing

To speak up and warn

Their blood is on our hands

So weep for them, and mourn.

Stop! Look around you! There are people perishing every minute of every day. We need to have Yahweh’s heart. It is not His will that any should perish…but they are—people we meet and walk by every day. We need to have His eyes, His heart–We should be in anguish that there are people dying and going to Hell and we are so busy arguing unprofitably with one another, we don’t tell them. (Scriptures from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ezekiel 3, Galatians 5:24)