Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Sunday Sermon Review - Have you Accepted the Invitation?

Sunday Sermon Review - April 14, 2013 
( from my home church I attend regularly )

The service began with singing several songs including "You are Amazing God" and "It is Well With My Soul".
The Speaker today was Pastor Ben continuing on in our Matthew series.
Text was Matthew 22: 1-14And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.13 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.14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Here is some of what Pastor Ben said:

The story of our text is a story of warning of what will happen if Jesus is rejected.
The Kingdom of Heaven is described as "where God rules".
The wedding feast is a time of rejoicing. It would go on for days with celebrations and joy.
We see in our text that the people were invited but refused to come to the wedding.
The question we ask is - Why did they not want to come?
Refusing to come would be considered borderline rebellion against the King. 
The invited guests refuse to come causing the King to become enraged and he destroys all those who refused to come. Judgement came.

In verses 8-10 the King sends out his servant to invited anyone they can find to the wedding. The bad and the good were invited. Our attention is drawn to the man who came without wearing the wedding clothes. He never cleaned himself up for the wedding. This is disrespectful and rude.
He receives the due judgment and is thrown out.

There are consequences for our behavior.
Continual rejection of God leads to judgment.
People spit in the face of God thinking nothing will happen BUT there are consequences. SOMETHING is going to happen.

This is not about becoming more religious.
The Pharisees were like "religious on steroids".

We want justice in our world but we hesitate when it comes to us.
We can taste both heaven and hell before death.

The Invitation
The King invites people twice - this shows mercy and grace.
The King invites all people - the bad and the good. God shows mercy.

We are the ones God has invited - YOU have been invited.
We are invited to participate with God to be partners with Him in His Kingdom.

The choice is ours - 
We can reject - refuse the invitation and go about our daily tasks as though God didn't exist.
We can accept His invitation and receive the full benefits of the Kingdom.
We can accept but not let it change us at all.

We live out God's kingdom.
Our actions matter.
We cannot earn our salvation.

When we come to God - He changes us.
We accept God's mercy and pass it on to those around us.

We struggle sometimes to show mercy. Showing mercy is not an optional. We must not harden our hearts and we must not refuse to show mercy to others.
We must allow God to influence us.

Are we willing to change?
Have you accepted His invitation?
Is God challenging you today?

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