The mindset of being called
Mathew22:1-14; BCBC/IOUC; 4/18/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
We may be a little unfamiliar with the phrase “being called” , with some misunderstanding, some expectation, and some ignorance, won’t we? Jesus uses a narrative style in today’s Scripture, portraying a picture of being called. It teaches us about what is “being called” in front of God. Let’s look at the first point:
Preparing a banquet
This seems to be God’s way of doing things. He likes to set up banquets, especially in front of enemies, right? First, a banquet of wedding. The scripture tells us that the essence of being called is actually to be invited to attend a wedding banquet. Moses went to Pharaoh and told Pharaoh, God said, let my people go. Where are you going? Mount Sinai. What will you do? Go there to meet and meet the Lord Jehovah. John records the first miracle Jesus did at a wedding feast in Cana where he turned water to wine. Paul even talked about the mystery of marriage means Christ marries the church as his wife. Our weekly meeting is to rehearse our uniting with Christ in the future. Therefore Paul advises us not to stop gatherings, right? As the bride of Christ, how can we miss the wedding banquet in the future?
Second, sending out the calling. The wedding banquet has been prepared, and waiting for someone to attend. Send the servant to invite, and then say: Come, the wedding feast of Christ has begun, come and get together! Come on, come on! From Abraham, to the advent of Christ, God witnessed to all nations through the chosen people of Israel. This testimony is revealed in God’s chosen people, Israelites, through a history of two thousand years. Two thousand years later, God sent His Son into the world again, and once again extended invitations to the marriage feast. The Bible says in Matthew 22:4: “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”
“Don’t you see that another two thousand years have passed, the church has almost preached the gospel to every corner of the world? Isn’t it? Our “International United Online Church” has a vision to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth! Are you willing to participate in it?
Lastly, no one responds. The evangelists may feel sad when he hears that people do not respond to the news of the gospel? Won’t they? The church has a small number of people and the pastor may lose his face? The deacons have no “dignity”? There are not many people left in the churches after the plague. Most Chinese churches are “leaders gathered, congregations are limited”, isn’t it? And the churches dare not say to “outsiders”. The result is that pastors seem to get fatter and fatter, isn’t it? Keeping up appearances and pretending to be fat? In fact, there is no need to worry about this. Even the feast of Jesus is not attended by many people. So why do you mind about the number of people? We only need to be faithful before God, and the number of people is not the basis for us to give an account. Let’s look at the second point:
Inviting to the banquet
Jesus sent out invitation，But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. (Matthew22:5) How did he deal with that？ First, just an invitation. Since you are a servant of God, you should keep your duty and send the invitation of Christ to people according to his request. Our church has Brother Cao Jie making exquisite posters, and there are very beautiful posters with text and pictures every week. Have you seen it? There is a music poster made by Brother Ashi, accompanied by a beautiful scripture reading, have you heard it? We posted invitations on many social media: Come, let us meet God together! This is the call of God, do you want to be called by God? Maybe you are also afraid of viruses, afraid of plague, afraid of being infected. It’s okay, continue the gathering online! We are a church of multi-functions, multi-angle, multi-dimensions, multi-covering, and multi-serving. You are welcome to join us in any way, and fight the good fight for the Lord!
Second, must pay the price. There are many reasons why someone should come and not come to church. The Bible says: “One to his field, another to his business. (Matthew 22:5b).” Each of us will have to come to the face of God , we are only responsible for sending the invitation, right? But the Bible mentions the rest, namely: “The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. (Matthew 22:6).” This is also a “way of no return” for being a servant of God, that is to be faithful till death, do you agree? If you don’t agree, don’t run on this mission, right? There is no reason to run halfway and then go back to the world! Even if you have full reasons to do that! You see, I’m going to send a letter of invitation for Christ, preach the gospel, and testify. However, they actually grabbed me, humiliated me, and wanted to kill me! I quit! I’ll go home and have my own business! it’s OK?
Lastly, God is watching. Doesn’t God know what we suffer? Don’t worry, He is watching! Who can escape from God’s eyes? Do you know how our great king will uphold justice for us? The Bible says: The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. (Matthew 22:7) “God is watching, He will do justice!” It means that we don’t need to do righteous by ourselves, because we are not righteous! For more than 20 years, I have seen some people humiliated me. Apart from praying for God’s mercy on them, I didn’t do any other things. Many years have passed, when I look back, God’s full wrath was on them, they were curses and disciplined! The Lord is not to be taken lightly, He is really here! Let’s look at the third point:
Many are called, few are chosen
Why are there so few people on the road to heaven? It is a narrow road in itself, so few people go there, isn’t it? What’s so strange about the small number of people? The same is true in the church, there are few people attending the worship, and more people left the church! Why is it so deep in our hearts that we cannot accept the loneliness of Gethsemane and the pain on the cross? First, the person who was called is unworthy to come. I remember when I first believed in the Lord, I shared the gospel with a good friend. I said, do you think everyone can believe in the Lord? No, you must be a person chosen by God. You, not sure! He was not convinced, and turned to find the students in the theology institute at that time, and asked to believe in the Lord. When people saw that the young man looked good and wanted to believe in Jesus, that’s good, so they prayed for him to become a believer! 20 years later, I went back and found that he has been far from God and no longer returns to church! We are close friends, and I am puzzled. Why don’t such good people believe it? The man who brought him to the Lord also married his sister, and the church has expectations of him too! The wedding banquet is ready, but he God invited did not deserve to come. I think there is only this reason: he is not deserved! Are you deserved?
Second, will all the people come? This is the result that many of us have hoped for, that everyone is saved, will it? The Bible also says: So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find. (Matthew 22:9) All to be invited? is it possible? Today the church is deeply influenced by this “universal salvation theory” and spreads very widely. Some large-scale crusades may also be affected by this kind of thinking, such as the gatherings in Stadium in Hong Kong, the Grand Theater in New York, the mega-church in California, etc., are all of this type. The large number of people saved is of course the Lord’s will. But the premise is the number of people saved, not the people who wear wedding clothes! You don’t even wear wedding clothes, how scornful you should be to the Lord! Coming to the church, there is no life growth, no evangelism, no dedication, including tithing, time dedication, and service commitment. When you come to church, you just see what you can make use of. Such as looking for a beautiful, simple girl to fall in love? Or let the church help to get some legal documentation, demand great amount of God’s grace, but not the God who grants grace! Excuse me, are you one of those people?
Lastly, few are chosen. What’s the use of more people? Came to the church, but didn’t really believe in Jesus. What did you do when you came? Can I dress up neatly when I come to meet the Lord on Sunday? We are doing a rehearse for meeting the Lord later, do you know? If you don’t prepare wedding clothes today, the Lord is not to be taken lightly! What will he do? The Bible says: Then the king told the attendants, ‘ Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 22:13) ” In fact, the truth is very simple. There are many people on the road of faith today, and they will be not many truly saved in the future!
Dear brothers and sisters, the words in the bible, I don’t want you not to know! While Christ still can
be found, you need to seek Him! God prepares a banquet and sends out the invitation, will you come? On the path to the heaven，many are called, few are chosen, will you be discouraged? Our attitude towards God is the proof of God’s choosing among us. Are you the one?