Today we return to John’s vision in Revelation of the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. The emphasis of this great passage focuses our attention on the joy and jubilation of heaven’s gathering. We need to know that the joy of our reunion with Christ and all those who have preceded us there is worth every effort we make to live for Jesus here. Scripture speaks of this great promise in terms of an “invitation.” This word in the New Testament means “CALLED,” or “SUMMONED.”
Jesus taught the multitudes through the use of parables. One of His parables was about a rich man who prepared a great Marriage Feast and invited (SUMMONED) many guests to attend. These guests received their invitation and began to make excuses and refused to participate. Rather than fret over the ones who did not choose to participate, the rich man went to the streets and to the byways inviting anyone who would accept the invitation to come. The result was that the “…wedding hall was filled with dinner guests” (Matthew 22:10). This parable of Jesus finishes with a very profound truth, “For many are called (invited), but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). The truth this parable conveys is how very special the invitation to respond to Jesus is. Christ’s invitation is open to all, but only received by those who respond in faith and belief in Jesus.
This is why we call people every Sunday morning to respond to the gospel of Christ. We call it “The Invitation Time.” We do not call it an “altar call.” We do not call it “a time of commitment,” or “surrender.” These moments at the end of our worship involve the altar, commitment and surrender, but there is more. It is an invitation that comes directly from Jesus. It is an invitation to respond to Him. It is a calling by which He summons us to come in obedience and faith to follow Him. The invitation of Jesus follows us all the way to heaven.
In a different church once, I had a person come forward to the altar during the invitation and say, “Preacher, what translation of the Bible did you use this morning?” When I told him, he said, “I don’t agree with that translation.” The invitation time is not about what you think about the sermon, or if you agree with the translation of the Bible used. Invitations are not asking whether or not you liked the service or enjoyed the music selected. These invitation moments are specifically provided for people to respond to what Jesus has done for them or said to them. The invitation is the Lord’s time and provides you with an opportunity to say “Yes,” to Him.
When we get to heaven and celebrate the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, we will be together with all those people who have been invited and have said “Yes,” to Jesus. Think about what joy it will be to join with all those “Yesses,” in that happy reunion. Only “Yes” people will be there. I CAN’T WAIT!!