Tuesday, December 8, 2015

You Are Invited To a Wedding Feast

Delaying your response could mean your name being taken off the guest list.


Dear friend,

You’ve been invited to a wedding celebration, and you need to respond in a timely manner. You can’t hold on to your invitation indefinitely. Delaying your response could mean your name being taken off the guest list. I encourage you to put whatever you are doing on hold and give attention to this invitation. You’ll be glad you did! This is one feast you’d not want to miss.

 You probably want to know the host, the bride, and the groom, and why this invitation is so important. I’ll tell you; God is the host, the Church is the bride, and Jesus Christ is the groom. When you accept this invitation, right away you become part of the bride. I know you don’t quite understand it, but bear with me. That is the beauty of this invitation: being invited to your own wedding! Be patient; you’ll understand as we continue to discuss this invitation. Please note, this is a personal, not a group, invitation—it is not for families, couples, or any type of group.

Your invitation reads: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standards” (Romans 3:23 NLT) and “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). Your invitation is letting you know that you’re a sinner. In order to attend this celebration, you’ll need to admit to the Host that indeed you are a sinner and would like to be pardoned. He will pardon you and make sure your name remains on the guest list, which is also called the Lamb’s book of life. Those whose names are not found in this book of life are thrown into hell-the lake of fire (see Revelation 20:15). Please give this invitation your undivided attention!   

RSVP: You can accept this invitation only while you are alive, and you cannot designate someone else to do it on your behalf. No matter how many secretaries and assistants you might have, this is one responsibility you’ll have to handle yourself. Also, you need to remember that intending to respond, but not doing so for whatever reason, automatically takes your name off the list. So when should one respond to this invitation? The best time is now, because tomorrow could be too late. The Bible says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:7-8 NIV).

Your response needs to be: “Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your Son, Jesus! I believe He died to pay for my sins. I now accept your salvation through His name.” This will be your RSVP! Right away your name will be on the guest list until the date of the feast, and you will be ushered into the banquet hall to meet the host and the groom!

We’ve identified the groom at the wedding feast as Jesus Christ! Who is His bride? The bride of Christ is the Church. And who is the Church? The Church is the body of Christ, consisting of all believers. Are you beginning to understand how you could get invited to your own wedding? When you accept the invitation, you become part of the Church. As the groom enters the banquet hall, a voice from the throne of God will announce, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great! … Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:5-7 NIV).

Do you understand what you’ve read so far? Have you responded? Are you hesitating because you don’t quite understand it? I’ll present it another way. In short, God, the creator of the universe, the One and only Holy God, loves you, a sinner, and wants to have a personal relationship with you. How amazing! How would you respond? This relationship cannot get established until you do your part; He’s already done His! In other words, you need to respond by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If you accept this relationship, you’ll be overwhelmed by the benefits that follow. With your salvation comes ongoing representation by Christ should anything go wrong, guidance, provisions, and -- after this life -- eternal life in the presence of God Almighty! What could be better than this? If you choose to not accept this invitation, I’ve outlined the alternative already—hell. I urge you to decide cautiously; God is waiting to hear from you, but will not wait forever. You probably don’t have as much time as you think! 

Please note that, “Messages God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished” (Hebrew 2:2 NLT). On that premise, please answer this question: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3 NLT). In other words, if you ignore this invitation, you cannot escape the consequences. God will not turn away anyone who calls on Him for salvation (see John 6:37). Call on Him today!

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