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Come to the Banquet

I believe scripture teaches that God has invited everyone to His marriage supper of the Lamb, which will be a great feast and celebration in Heaven at the end of this age. One scripture that supports that is 2 Peter 3:9, which states that “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” I believe that God wants everyone to be saved. “For God so loved THE WORLD…”, we read in John 3:16.

But, just like with a normal wedding invitation, it will depend on how people respond to the invitation. And it is obvious that not all will come. During His sermon on the mount, Jesus instructed us to “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

When I contemplate the offer the Lord is making to us – salvation from our sins and a home in heaven with Him for eternity – I wonder, “Why would anyone reject that?” But I, too, once rejected that offer. I was blinded by sin and the things in my life and did not clearly see the gift that was before me. Unfortunately, many people fall into that category.

When Jesus was teaching the people in Luke 14, He told a parable about a man who was giving a great banquet. The man invited many guests, but when it was time for the banquet to begin, many gave excuses not to come. “I just bought a field.” “I am on my way to try out my new yoke of oxen.” “I just got married.” I am sure, to the people saying those things, that they were good reasons not to come. But what were their underlying motives?

The first man was putting his business ahead of Jesus. He bought a field and so he was probably a farmer. He didn’t say he had to plow it; he said he just wanted to ‘see it’. The second man said he needed to try out his yoke of oxen. His possessions got in the way of attending the banquet. Certainly, he could have tried them out another time, couldn’t he? The third man just got married and so, for whatever reason, could not find time to attend the banquet.

When we put our business, our possessions, and – yes – even our families ahead of Christ, we demonstrate that He is not sitting on the throne of our hearts. Jesus taught us in Matthew 10:37 that “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” He must be the number one priority in our lives. Why is that? Because when we put God first, everything works better. We do our jobs better. We don’t allow the things we own to own us. We love our families with a more genuine love. And, when we put Christ first, it lessens the risk that these other things will pull us away from Him.

If we want to have a healthy spiritual life, we need to do critical self-assessments, which requires us to be honest with ourselves. Do we truly have Christ first in our lives, or is something or someone standing between Him and us? If it is the latter, do make it your priority to rectify that situation. Otherwise, your seat at the marriage supper of the Lamb may be vacant, and – trust me – you don’t want to miss that celebration. Nothing in this life – not families, not possessions, not businesses – can match what God has in store for us in Heaven. My prayer is that you will be in attendance for that glorious feast.

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