The Grand Party Few Want to Attend
I’m one who never turns down the chance to partake in good food and drink. My stomach usually leads the way. Who doesn’t like ham, steak, cakes, and pies? Who doesn’t like to laugh and to fellowship with others? However, there is one party that if you follow with your stomach you eventually will not attend. I’m talking about the marriage feast of the Lamb, eternal life with God.
Matthew 22:2-14 states, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 “And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4 “Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.” ’ 5 “But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7 “But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 8 “Then he *said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10 “Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. 11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he *said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The invitation goes out to all but very few accept the invite (Matt 7:14, Lk 13:23-30). Joel 2:28 states that God has poured out His Spirit on all flesh. The call has gone out to all because His Spirit has gone out to all. One cannot see or find God unless His Spirit enables them to see into the spiritual realm (1 Cor 2:12). Man has no excuse for unbelief because of the gracious illumination by His Spirit and the evidence of His creation. Man is without excuse because he has every opportunity to see the fingerprints of God on everything (Romans 1:20). Yet, many choose not to see. They love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). They like sin over purity. They prefer dishonesty to honesty. They choose the devil over God.
There are those, however, who accept God’s invitation, and in return, God chooses them. He sees from all eternity those who will choose and those who will not choose Him (1 Peter 1:2). He hardens those who outright reject Him (Heb 6:1-8, John12:40) He predestines those to be his sons who accept Him(Eph 1:5). He chooses them before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). He sees into the future and chooses those who will choose Him (1 Peter 1:2).
I know this sounds like blatant Arminianism (theology founded by Jacob Arminius) and it is. I make no apologies. This position harmonizes with all of Scripture. It upholds the sovereignty of God because only by His Spirit and mercy can man be saved (Isaiah 63:5, John 3:5, Titus 3:5, Rom 9:16). It also upholds the responsibility and the imago dei in man. We have choice in the matter under his illumination (John 5:24, Romans 10:9-10, John 11:25-26). It defends the justice of God because all are called (Matt 7:14, Joel 2:28). Again, man has no excuse.
Isaiah 25:6 states, “The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine. 7 And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. 9 And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” There is a banquet prepared for those who choose wisely (Rev 19:9). He will wipe away every tear on that day (Rev 21:4).
Yes, there are some who will even take issue with God’s plan of salvation. They will still think it to be unfair and unrighteous. This is where human beings need to know their place before our Creator God. He is a King. Actually, He is The King. We are His creation. He makes the rules. It matters not whether we accept or reject Him. The rules will play out whether we like it or not. It’s just the way it is.
Salvation is by His Spirit, not the stomach or the flesh. It can only be received by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:24). The life of the Spirit and faith leaves no room for the flesh to operate. That is why no one can attend the banquet apart from the Spirit and faith. The flesh profits no one (John 6:63). The veil is taken away when we turn to God by faith(1 Cor 3:16). Caleb entered the promise land because he believed God and lived by His Spirit (Numbers 14:24). We will enter eternal life in the same way. We will feast at the marriage feast of the Lamb by His Spirit.
I wonder what cut of beef they will serve in heaven? Will they serve Mouton Rothchilds? Who knows? Whatever the angels cook, I am sure the banquet will be heavenly. It will be divine. No pun intended.