Have you accepted your invitation?

banquet table

A man and his wife were awakened at 3:00 am by a loud pounding on the door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push. “Not a chance,” says the husband, “it is 3:00 in the morning!” He slams the door and returns to bed.

“Who was that?” asked his wife.

“Just some drunk guy asking for a push,” he answers.

“Did you help him?” she asks.

“NO, I did NOT, it’s 3 am in the morning and it’s bloody pouring rain out there!”

“Well, you have a short memory,” says his wife. “Can’t you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!” “God loves drunk people too you know.”

The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pounding rain. He calls out into the dark, “Hello, are you still there?”
“Yes,” comes back the answer.
“Do you still need a push?” calls out the husband.
“Yes, please!” comes the reply from the dark.
“Where are you?” asks the husband. “Over here on the swing,” replied the drunk.

That story came to me by email; I have no idea of its origin, but it struck my heart funny this morning with a twinge of truth. Sometimes I feel that silly when trying to convince some people of their need of salvation. They’re playing games while I’m doing my best to help them out. They’re dangling over the pits of Hell on Satan’s swingset, giggling like a school child and I’m out in the cold exposed to the elements.

There was a similar story in the 22nd Book of Matthew.  Jesus spoke a parable (a story that illustrates a spiritual lesson) about a man whose son was about to get married. So he sent his servants out to invite his friends and family, but they wouldn’t come. He then sent his servants out a second time to extend the invitation with greater details about how awesome the event was going to be, but still they didn’t come. Some of them went so far as to kill his servants. Needless to say the king was angry and sent forth his military to destroy their city. The king then extended the invitation to people he didn’t even know, and the wedding party was on! Except for one guest, who came to the party but not for the Son.

Matthew 22:11-14 ~ And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.For many are called, but few are chosen.

Why was the King so concerned about his dress? Because the outward appearance reflected the inward man. He was playing games. He had not counted it a privilege and honor to come to the wedding, but had shown up expecting to enjoy the event as a spectator, not as a participant. And so it shall be with many on the day when Christ returns to take his church home. (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

That’s why it’s so heart wrenching when I share the Word of God with someone and they take it lightly. I am that servant that God has sent to invite them to the greatest event of their life, and yet I’ve been mocked and ignored (which is nothing in comparison to Christians in other areas of the world). But I do so without regret because of the few chosen.

Monday, during my lunch break, a friend and I stopped in at a Nursing Home in Glenville, WV. I hadn’t planned on stopping, it just kind of happened. I stopped by the rooms of a couple of our church members and encouraged them and loved on them a little… and then I made my way to the room of an unsaved man and invited him to the wedding. He didn’t have on his wedding garment yet. He was in bedclothes, disheveled from wrestling with life. But He accepted the invitation and his wedding garments are laid up for him in Heaven. God doesn’t care what we look like down here, but when we get to where He is, we better be wearing the robe of salvation.

If you’re not “churchy” let me help the rubber meet the road. Because of sin, man is separated from God who is 100% Holy. God’s only Son, was crucified on a cross to pay the penalty for sin, and open a door of communication between us and the Father. When this world ends… and it will, there’s a huge party in Heaven where we’ll be ushered in as the bride of Christ (because He loves us that much). But only those have accepted the invitations from God, who uses people like me (the servants of God) will be there. You can call me crazy, you can poke fun and refuse the invitation, but you’ve now been invited and are without excuse. Are you ready?

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