September 3, 2000          Have you been chosen?           Mat. 22

INVITATION TO THE FEAST

By Ronald E. George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church

 You have been called, but have you been chosen.  How will you answer Godís invitation? 

 In order to raise money for charity, in April a West German hotelier at Marienheide near Cologne prepared a table some 2,606 feet long.  An estimated 20,000 guests came to the party and lined up for a long, sumptuous meal at what its promoter billed as the longest buffet table ever set. According to the Bible God has arranged and announced a great supper.  The invitation has gone out, "Come; for all things are now ready" (Luke 14:17). There is room at this banquet for all people of the world.  God loves the world -- that's why He welcomes the world to His supper table.

 Scripture Text:  Matt 22:1 (KJS) And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 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. 5 But they made light of [it], and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated [them] spitefully, and slew [them]. 7 But when the king heard [thereof], he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 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.

 1.      The King:  Is the sovereign Lord who has all power in heaven and earth.  He invites people to come to join him and fellowship.  Sharing a meal with someone meant that you were forming a union with that person.  So that his friends were your friends and his enemies were your enemies.  You were joining with the host in a partnership of sorts.  What an honor to be invited to come to sit with the King and enjoy his table. 

 2.      The Feast:  Godís feast is the opportunity of a lifetime.  An opportunity to join with the king and his bounty.  Come to the table of the Lord.  Rev. 3:20.  Donít just come to enjoy the feast at the communion service, but also come to enjoy the presence of the living God on a daily basis.  He says that he stands at the door and knocks waiting for someone to open the door so that he may come in and enjoy a meal at your house. 

 3.      The Servants:  These are Godís messengers who have been sent with the message from the King.  Come to the table of the King.  Honor him with your presence.  Come sit at his table and eat freely with no price.  You are the called or you are becoming a caller.  Will you send out the message to the people that there is room at the table and empty chairs that must be filled.  Come to drink from the cup of the Lord. 

 4.    The Called:   Many are Called.

a.  Must choose to answer the invitation of the King.  Must say yes I want to come to Godís table.   

b.  Must give up their time and plans for his.  The wedding feast would be a  week long celebration.  Many would have to leave their fields and businesses to come.     

c.  Must remember that he is the King and he rules.  No matter what decision we make we must remember that the King will always have the last word on the matter.  Even if we say no, make light of his servants, or kill them.  He will be the one who makes the last move. 

 5.   The Chosen:  but Few are chosen.

a.  Respond to the feast.  Come to eat from the table of the Lord and you never hunger or thirst again.  Come buy without price and take of the gifts of God freely.  

b.  Wear the proper clothes.  Donít try to sneak in the back with your work clothes on.  Give of your best to the master.  Come appropriately dressed to honor the King.  Half heartedness will be rejected by God.    

c.  Eat with the King to enjoy his company.  Come to enjoy the presence of God in your life.  As your partake of the Lordís table, you will taking that which symbolizes God in your life.  God will be in you and you will be in Him.  Will you come to eat?

d.  Honor the Kingís Son by answering his request.  What have you done with your invitation?  Have you received the Lordís request and taken from his table?  This table of the Lord was prepared for you.  Donít reject his plea, because He loves you and has made a space for you.  Donít allow someone else to fill your chair.  Come and become one of the chosen of God. 

 Many were called but few were chosen.