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Date: 19 November
Text: Luke 14:12-24
Title: Attend God's Great Supper
Have you ever thought about how central food is to fellowship?
1.) A young couple on a date often eat together.
2.) How many conversations take place in Scotland with a cuppa - scones, biscuits.
3.) Our men enjoy the fellowship of prayer breakfasts.
4.) We enjoy church fellowships where we eat together.
5.) At youth activities it is nice to sit down and talk while we eat.
6.) Weddings and funeral have a time of eating a speaking with one another.
7.) Business have luncheons - heads of state dine together, etc.
Why? Because there is something wonderful about sharing a meal with someone.
We don't know a lot about Heaven. But, one thing we do know is that there is going to be food and fellowship in Heaven. There is also going to be a grand occassion to celebrate with Jesus as His wedding feast takes place.
Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
exp. Jesus is getting married and we are invited to the wedding supper!
ill. This past Thursday my family gathered together in Des Moines IA as they celebrated Thanksgiving together. They all ate together at my Aunt's house. We've been gone for 8 years now and it is easier to miss this feast day with family - BUT I STILL MISS IT AND WISH I WAS THERE.
You must not miss God's supper! Friend, will you be there? Homesickness for family is nothing compared to what it will be like to miss the marriage supper of the lamb.
YOU MUST NOT MISS GOD'S GREAT SUPPER! (Luke 14:12-24)
I. You are unworthy to eat it.
exp. We begin our text with Jesus speaking to his host. Jesus was kind enough when invited to attend.
ill. Twice my family have invited people to a meal at our home where our guests never appeared and never excused themselves.
exp. Jesus is a wonderful example of grace as he attends where he is invited.
12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
exp. Those who are called were not of the same class of people.
ill. India has a caste system. We don't have that in Britain but there are different classes of people nonetheless. I purchased a wood chair for my porch on ebay this past week. It was a lovely chair from a home which I'm sure is not less than half a million pounds. It was a very nice gentleman who sold me the chair. I would have liked to sit down with him to a meal and get to know him. He's not too far out of my class. However, brother Tommy and I enjoyed putting flyers through homes which were in the million pound range. If I was entertained at one of these home, I couldn't entertain them in the same way. (In that sense I am unworthy of being entertained by them.) UNWORTHY DOESN'T MEAN YOU WON'T BE INVITED. IT JUST MEANS YOU ARE NOT WORTHY to be invited.
question: Have you ever considered how unworthy you are of God's attention?
1) We are nothing compared to Almighty God.
Psa 144:3 LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!
2) We are offensive to God.
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
app. If you think today you deserve to go to Heaven, you are sadly mistaken. YOU ARE UNWORTHY TO EAT IT.
II. You are unable to afford it.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee:
ill. Rather than throwing a party - hoping that everyone there will likewise have a party and invite you - throw a party for those who could never repay you.
question: God is throwing a party for those who can never repay him.
hymn: Isaac Watts - When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
exp. I've sung that hymn while looking at the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Even if all those gorgeous mountainsides and all the wealth they contain were mine - DOES THAT REPAY JESUS?
hymn: Jesus Paid it All
Elvira Hall - thought of poem while sitting in choir loft - wrote in on the flyleaf of her hymnal - gave it to her pastor after church. The organist John Grape - had recently written a new tune which he likewise had given to the pastor. (Our well known hymn is a result of that poem and melody.)
I hear the Savior say, "Thy strength indeed is small; Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all."
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
app. You can't afford it! If you eat it - you are forever indebted to the generosity of God!
III. You are happy if you eat it.
for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.
exp. Jesus was teaching these men to be generous to others and that God would reward their kindness. One man present said to Jesus, "Blessed (happy) is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"
ill. I like to eat. And I like to eat a Thanksgiving meal. But, the greatest thing about eating a Thanksgiving meal with your family IS WHERE AND WITH WHOM YOU ARE EATING IT. We enjoyed having a Thanksgiving meal with Amanda Baker this past week. (new tradition) When I was in Bible college we couldn't go home for Thanksgiving - Josh and Kim George had us over to their place. (I invited him this year telling him that we owed him.) WHAT HAPPY TIMES OF FELLOWSHIP WITH FRIENDS IN THOSE PLACES!
ill. Jesus ate with his men several times before his departure.
1.) The last supper and the first communion.
2.) In the room after his Resurrection.
3.) At the sea of Galilee after his Resurrection.
note: Remember - the disciple John was a young man and very close to Jesus (perhaps almost like a son that Jesus never had.)
John 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
John 21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
John 21:20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
app. John is a wonderful picture to us this morning of HOW WONDERFUL IT WILL BE TO EAT WITH OUR LORD. When Jesus told them He was leaving THEY WERE TROUBLED. This is the reunion meal.
IV. You are commanded to come to God's great supper.
16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
exp. This earthly story is a parable. (earthly story with a heavenly meaning.) As we have already been considering the meal is God's Great supper. He is the certain man.
note: It's supper time! It's time to come to the great supper of God! COME! (IS THE COMMAND) FOR ALL THINGS ARE NOW READY!
Ill. Have you ever worked really hard to get something ready? But, the work is over, now you can enjoy the event. I know when we finished the wedding - I was so relieved and ready to enjoy the food and fellowship. (I know my wife and Kay Lee were relieved to have all the food ready.) Rebekah's family was relieved to have the hall ready. Mrs. Dillman was relieved to have the cake ready. (The work is done - now time to enjoy that for which you have worked so hard.)
question: Has Jesus put effort into the Great Supper?
1.) He left a sinless Heaven to dwell with sinners.
2.) He preached tirelessly - slept outdoors and often did without sleep.
3.) He allowed himself to be unjustly accused, Deity was bound by humanity, punched, spat upon, pierced with thorns, beard plucked, back lacerated with a whip, nails pierced - crucified - God forsaken, sin covered Saviour.
question: Do you think He was excited to be done with the awful preparations so that He could watch with anticipation the REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING! Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
App. Jesus is now standing at the entry to the great supper - waiting to welcome those FOR WHOM HE PAID SUCH AN AWFUL PRICE!
V. You are a fool if you excuse yourself.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him,
Exp. These men had the audacity to make their excuse to the face of the man who paid such a great price for them.
NOTE: Why didn't they just blame Jesus for doing too little for their salvation or accuse Him not loving them! AT LEAST THAT WOULD BE CLEARLY WRONG!
Instead - they tried to make their actions seem justified IN THEIR OWN SIGHT!
A. THE FIRST EXCUSE WAS BUSY NESS.
I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
exp. Jesus I'm too busy. (As if Jesus had not a full schedule which He had cleared just for them.)
ill. Have you ever tried to do something for which you sacrificed your time and effort? Others benefited from your work - but when you asked them to assist you - they told you how busy they are - AS IF YOU ARE NOT BUSY!
app. Are you too busy for Jesus! What won't you do FOR HIM because you have no time - WHEN HE GAVE ALL HIS TIME FOR YOU!
B. THE SECOND EXCUSE WAS WORK!
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
exp. He seems quite the gentleman for refusing the GRACIOUS COMMAND of the Lord. I beg of you have me excused.
exp. How often do we hear unbelievers excusing their ignorance of God and inability to attend church because THEY ARE WORKING? It's just an excuse!
question: Would you buy five yoke of oxen before test driving them?
note: Excuses are frustrating because it is like trying to pin a drip of water to the wall.
app. Do you really want Jesus to wipe your name off of His guest list because you are making excuse? Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
C. THE THIRD EXCUSE WAS FAMILY!
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
exp. Lord, surely you understand that my marriage is important. Because I'm married - I can not come! After all - family is a very important God given responsability.
question: Does God accept the family excuse?
Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple
exp. If it is a choice between the love of family OR the love of God - the disciple decides to love His master. (IF A CHOICE MUST BE MADE - CHOSE JESUS!)
continued - 21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry....
exp. Jesus didn't countenance their excuses.
ill. My wife and I were speaking lately about the pendulum of Christianity. A generation that has rebelled against HOLY LIVING saying God's grace accepts their worldliness and JUSTIFIES THE SAME BY SAYING THEY DON'T WANT THE LEGALISM OF THEIR PARENTS.
app. God doesn't accept excuses! Jesus was angered by their rebellion against His command!
VI. You will only attend by God's great mercy.
said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
exp. I want to point out that nobody came who was just commanded to come. IT TOOK GREATER MERCY THAN THAT TO GET THEM TO COME! It took a broken life and servants who would bring them to Jesus!
ill. The prodigal son didn't come back to His father until THERE WAS NO WAY OUT BUT DAD.
App. How often salvation is even greater than just the command of God to come.
1.) It is a command.
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel.
2.) It is mercifully impressed on poor sinners.
ill. Paul is an example of God's ability to save anyone. He was saved when God brought Him to His knees on the road to Damascus.
app. Friend if you are not yet saved. I pray God in His mercy puts you where you can only Heed His command to come. You will only attend this event BY GOD'S GREAT MERCY.
VII. You are wrong to think God didn't invite you.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
exp. These servants have not hesitated to invite everyone. Their was the initial guest list and then the doors were kicked open to all people, in all conditions, in all places AND YET THERE IS ROOM.
hymn: There is Room at the Cross for You.
The cross upon which Jesus died,
Is a shelter in which we can hide;
And its grace so free is sufficient for me,
And deep is its fountain as wide as the sea
There's room at the cross for you,
There's room at the cross for you,
Tho millions have come, There's still room for one
Yes, there's room at the cross for you.
app. Listen friend - if you have never gotten an invitation from Him before He is knocking at your hearts door right now!
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
transition: You are wrong to think that God did not invite you! He has!
VIII. You must come in and fill up God's house!
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
exp. Just because you are invited does not mean you will be there. We have surely seen that already in our story. AND SO - IF YOU WANT JESUS YOU MUST RESPOND TO HIS INVITATION TO COME!
ill. If you are here this morning, at some point you made up your mind to come and then you came.
question: Have you made up your mind that you are going to come to Jesus? Good! Have you come?
app. Friend - I wouldn't do what the Master commanded if I didn't plead with you right now to come. He said to compel you?
1.) Is your excuse worth going to hell?
2.) Is your sin worthy going to Hell?
3.) Will you not realize that to miss this opportunity RIGHT NOW may be to miss out on Heaven!
IX. You are damned if you reject it!
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
exp. Those who made CONCRETE REFUSALS to the master WOULD NEVER TASTE HIS MEAL.
ill. Planning a final holiday in our mobile caravan. "Turn right take ferry." I had 5 minutes to decide to take the ferry or not. I'm so glad we decided to go. We weren't disappointed.
exp. FRIEND YOU WONT' BE DISAPPOINTED IF YOU TAKE JESUS!
note: Treat this opportunity as the only opportunity your soul will ever have to escape the fires of Hell and give Jesus what He deserves for dying on the cross for you! I DON'T WANT TO GIVE YOU ANY HOPE THAT YOU CAN WALK OUT OF THIS BUILDING REJECTING JESUS AND BE OK ETERNALLY. You may never have another opportunity to get saved!
conclusion: God is making a great supper! You must not miss it!
1.) Do you know for sure that you will be there?
2.) If not, will you not decide right now to accept God's invitation? (Raise of hands for those who want to get saved today.)
3.) God says that if you have accepted his invitatioin - you need to get baptized? Is there anyone here who by uplifted hand would indicate to me that they would like to obey Jesus and be baptized?
4.) Believers, what are you doing to get people there? You are the servants - are you out in the highways and hedges compelling people to come? Are you making excuse for not serving Jesus?