Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Luke 14:23.
A man who had been invited to the feast with Christ in the house of one of the chief Pharisees, and who heard Christ declare what was the duty of those who had God’s bounties, had exclaimed in self-satisfied complacency, “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” He had designed to draw away the minds of those at the feast from the subject of their practical duty; but instead of this he furnished an occasion for the utterance of a parable that had still deeper significance, and that more plainly opened before the company the character and value of their present privileges….
Christ had sent out an invitation to a feast that He had provided at great cost. He had sent the Holy Spirit to move upon the minds of prophets and holy men of old to invite His chosen people to the rich feast of the gospel…. The man who had sought to divert the attention of the company spoke with great assurance, as though he thought he would certainly eat bread in the kingdom of God. But Jesus warned him and all present against the danger of rejecting the present invitation to the gospel feast….
The Lord had first sent His invitation to His chosen people, but they had slighted and rejected His messenger. How vain, how needless, were the excuses they offered; but are the excuses that men and women give in this age any more sensible than those offered in the time of Christ?
Some who are invited exclaim, “I beg Thee have me excused. If I should come, my neighbors would jest at and ridicule me, and I cannot bear their scorn. I have lived among them a long time, and I do not want to displease my neighbors.” … Others are desirous of paying for their lands and of building up their temporal interests, and the powers of mind and soul and body are absorbed in their earthly affairs….
The precious message has come to us in these last days…. The invitation has been given, “Come; for all things are now ready.” …
Christ has pledged His own life for the redemption of His people, and He would have them consider their higher, eternal claims.—The Review and Herald, November 5, 1895.