North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

There once was a king who gave a wedding supper for his son. He sent his servants to tell the people and to give them an invitation to come to the supper. But the people didn’t want to come. He even sent other servants, saying to them, “Tell those who have been asked to come, see my supper is ready. The food has been prepared. Everything is ready. Come to the wedding supper!” But they didn’t listen and went on working. One went to his farm. Another went to his store, while others took hold of their servants, and hurt them and killed them (Matt. 22:1-6).

The people were free to make a decision, but their choice had only two possible conclusions. They could attend and rejoice with the King, or they could refuse and face destruction. The people were given an opportunity to get ready for the feast. They had time to clean their calendar and to take care of any pressing matters beforehand.

Jesus told this as a parable or a picture-story to describe God’s relationship with His people. God wants us to share in the joys of His Kingdom. He shows that He does by continuing to issue an invitation to them. Surprisingly, some people refuse to come. In rejecting God’s offer, they also reject Him and His authority over their lives. The question for all of us is, have we accepted or rejected God’s invitation?

So many times we follow the dictates of our rebellious natures. In our own rebellion we reveal an inability to recognize certain inevitable disasters. You don’t have to look far to find people like this in today’s modern society. Critiques, skeptics, and misguided people will say, “Faith is just a crutch for emotional cripples.” Or they may acknowledge their need of salvation, but insist they’ve got some more sinning to do before they’re willing to be saved. They don’t say it, but that’s what they mean. Most of us can find every kind of excuse for our behaviors, but the day of excuses is ending. It will come as a surprise for many when some stand before God; they won’t be able to find anything to defend themselves. They will come face-to-face with the unvarnished truth about themselves.

Still others just ignore the church and salvation altogether. They’re not atheists; they just don’t take time for God or anything spiritual. These kinds of people put all other things like their business, their family, or some leisure activity ahead of God. Either way, such people will face the same consequences. Those who reject or ignore God’s invitation to salvation exclude themselves from the blessings of being saved. Refusing God’s way of life is open rebellion, and death lies at the end of it.

The positive side is self-destruction need not be your lot in life. In Proverbs 18:24, the Bible explains there are friends who are unreliable and there are friends who destroy each other, but there is a real friend, a kindred spirit, who sticks closer than a brother. His name is Jesus. God has given YOU the ability to experience joy in your daily living right where you are. You can be confident in your Christian life and you can go on making plans to rejoice for the rest of your days; for in Christ you can stand up to any challenge and come out the victor. Though you may trip, make mistakes, and even fall—nevertheless, God loves you and cares about what happens to you. Christ can become for you, you’re most precious possession, and your future can be promising because of the relationship you have with Him.

From our vantage point in time, we can see God has opened His invitation of life to all people, regardless of race, nationality, or circumstances. All it takes is a willful acknowledgment and trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Those who accept God’s invitation share in the joys of His Kingdom. It’s true; God has set the terms and requirements of salvation. It’s His will that no one should perish. The invitation is broad and people respond in a variety of ways. Some accept it—they repent of their sins, trust Jesus Christ as their Savior, and publicly confess Him. Don’t refuse God’s invitation, but rather join in the fellowship of a Bible-believing, Holy-Spirit filled church where your faith can be strengthened and encouraged.

This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Sep 28 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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