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« The Way That Seems Right | Main | What We Forget about God »

The Urgency of the Call 

“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son.” Matthew 22:2 

There are certain phone calls you receive, or letters sent to you that demand immediate action on your part, like a call to register for the draft, jury duty, a subpoena or a letter from the IRS. But, no call is more urgent than the call of God on your life.  The parable of the Kingdom of Heaven explains why.  The kingdom of Heaven is not about the future destination of the saved; it is a spiritual kingdom that exists down here on earth.  In other words, if you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven here, you will never enter the actual place called heaven up there.  This was a picture of Jesus, as the Messiah, appearing to His people after the flesh, the Hebrew nation, only to be rejected of them.  John wrote about this.  “He came unto his own and his own received him not.” John 1:11. That’s when God turned to the Gentiles to take a bride for his namesake.  

But, beyond the application of the parable to the Jews, it is also an accurate depiction of the call of God to all people.  God, in his role as the Father, has invited us to a spiritual event, the unveiling of Jesus Christ as the bridegroom.  Few social events are more important, then and now, than a wedding.  Imagine the frustration of the Father when the guests rejected His invitation. There were two invitations typically sent out in Middle Eastern societies.  The first was a general announcement of a wedding; the second was the detailed invitation of the event’s logistics.  To be invited was an honor.  These invited guests were rude by saying they would not come.  But they seemed to be excused by the King as though they didn’t understand the seriousness of the invitation.  We don’t really know why they refused. 

There are lots of people who have no time for God.  Atheists and Agnostics are two classes of people who have at least contemplated the existence of God.  There are billions of others who live in ignorance of the one, true and living God.  The vast majority of people in Western Society are so caught up in the business of life that they never think about God in a serious way.  After the king excused the first refusal, he sent out the specific word on the wedding feast.  “All things are ready.  I have specific plans.”  This was not a joke, not a whim, not an abstract thought. 

There is a moment in time when a letter—in a manner of speaking—shows up in our mailbox.  It is the moment of truth.  A brush with death, an intense spiritual experience, a dream, a testimony, a song, an event in the news, whatever—something bears the imprimatur of a divine invitation to think about God. God says, “You haven’t had time for me, and I’ve let you go your way.  I’ve let you get away with it.  But now, I have some specific instructions for you.”  The invited guests, however, spurned the second call.  Thus, the King opened the banquet up to everyone. 

The king did not call off the wedding because the invited guests would not come.  Neither does God discard His eternal strategy based on human response.  Other people who never had a chance benefitted from the rejection of Jesus by his own people.  The people who were invited at last were not held up to a standard pedigree.  They were both good and bad.  In other words, the kind of person you are is not a qualifier for worthiness.  None of the elite guests came, but those who were not invited at first did come, and the wedding feast got underway. 

This parable depicted the Jewish people who rejected the Messiah, and the Gentiles who received Him.  To us, it demonstrates both the patience and the resolve of God.  God may allow you to hesitate, procrastinate, deviate and equivocate for a period of time.  The day will come, however, when you can no longer toy with the divine call.  How long has God been hinting at your future?  Don’t wait too long to answer the knock at the door!

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