Friday, January 25, 2013

Everyone's Invited!

In a parable He once told, Jesus said that when we have parties, don't invite the folks you know best or the rich neighbors. They'll all feel obligated to return your favor. Instead, Jesus said, "Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind..." (Luke 14:12-14).

In Jesus' time, "the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind" were often excluded from worshiping God because they were considered impure. There are people today's society may consider too impure to associate with or too impure to be objects of God's blessing and love.

But God wants to include all people in His kingdom, His eternal party, in which the return of His rebel people to fellowship with Him is celebrated forever.
And what God wants should be the desire of every Christian who, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, has already become part of God's kingdom.

The Bible teaches that the only ones to be "excluded" from God's kingdom are those who have decided to exclude themselves.

They do this by rejecting Jesus and the Gospel (the Good News) about Him and God's revealed will for the human race.

As Jesus says in John 3:18, referring to Himself in the third persons, "Those who believe in Him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God."

We Christians are to invite others--no matter how different from or like us they may be--to know and follow Jesus because we remember that we too are sinners saved by God's charity (grace). As Jesus tells us, "For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted" (Luke 14:11).

I hope that all of us who believe in Christ will exalt God by inviting others to "come and see" Jesus in our churches and in our lives (John 1:46) so that, they can turn from sin and trust in Jesus for life.

[Jesus said:] "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news" (Mark 1:15).

And here's the good news, according to Jesus, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Let's not give any of our friends, relatives, or others a reason to exclude themselves from God's kingdom.

Let's invite them to the "feast that has no end" so that they too can be part of the celebration that starts now and lasts for all eternity for those who believe in Jesus!

[Read here. It inspired this post.]

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