People offer many reasons for declining invitations. Some say: I’m just too tired; I have other plans; I’m overcommitted; I have to work or study; I have unexpected guests at my house; I’m feeling rotten. And, yes, sometimes rejecting an invitation has dire outcomes. That is surely true for those who turn down God’s invitation to the messianic banquet He is planning. Here is a parable Jesus told to highlight the significance of accepting God’s universal invitation, found in Luke Ch 14: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’” The invitation Jesus speaks of in this parable illustrates the one God extends to the entire world. He invites each of us to the banquet of eternal life with all its related benefits. Saying no to this invite is to say no to all God offers us through faith in His Son.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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