An Invitation Rejected

Title: An Invitation Rejected

Bible Book: Matthew 22 : 1-14

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: Jesus, Rejection of; Judgment; Excuses; Wedding Supper of the Lamb


An Invitation Rejected

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

Matthew 22:14

Today we are looking at a parable told by Jesus which speaks of rejecting or accepting an invitation from the King. The parable is all about a person accepting a call from God to come to Jesus, the Son of God, and it is set around the idea of a wedding. The King is inviting people to come to the wedding of His Son. This speaks of God inviting lost souls to come to Jesus Christ – who is pictured in the Bible as the Bridegroom of the Church - the Church being made up of all those who have turned in faith to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Now the story can confuse us unless we make it really simple. God is calling people to His Son, Christ. Some reject the invitation, some come improperly dressed and some come correctly. The parable reveals that it is very important to consider the invitation of God very carefully, for eternity hangs it the balance.

Rejected invitations can be very costly. For example, just a few years ago Google offered $200 million dollars for a company called DIGG, which the owners of DIGG turned down. That was a big mistake for DIGG, because they later sold the company for a mere $500 thousand dollars, losing $199 million, five-hundred thousand dollars in the process. That happened due to the rejection of an invitation to sell the company to Google. Rejected invitations can be huge mistakes!

There is a rejection that is more costly that the mistake that DIGG made, because this rejection has eternal consequences. Let’s look at the invitation Jesus talked about and see how critical it is to make the right choice.

First we see …

I. The Sovereign Design of the Invitation

In this parable, the King makes a sovereign decision to invite people to the wedding of His Son. Figuratively, in this parable, the King is God the Father, and the Son (the Bridegroom) is Jesus. The Father invites people to feast with the Son. Symbolically this speaks of a relationship and fellowship with the King and the Son - a subject we discussed last week. This parable forms a beautiful picture of God’s love for everyone and His desire for us to share in His heavenly kingdom. It is more than a mere invitation; it is a summons to sit with the King and His Son.

 Please note two important factors in the Sovereign Invitation.

A. The Motive

What is the motive of the Father in inviting us to be part of the marriage of the Son? There are at least 2 motivating factors involved.

1. To Honor the Son

The Father is filled with a desire to honor His Son. Salvation does not begin or end with you, but rather it begins and ends in Jesus, for He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. Jesus died for us and rose from the dead; therefore, God has given Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

In Heaven the saints will sing “Worthy is the Lamb,” and we shall cast our crowns at His feet. The highest motive for our salvation is the honor we give to the Son of God. To reject the invitation is to “dis” the King and the So - that is, to disrespect the sacrifice that was made in order for the invitation to be advanced. To toss the invitation aside is a horrible affront to God. To cast-off and rebuff God's invitation is in a sense an outrage - insult of the highest order.

But, there is another reason God invites us and that is …

2. The Happiness of the Saved

God also invites us so that we may enjoy the presence and peace of Jesus - here and now, and in the world to come. Think about a modern wedding for a moment. Why are you invited? First, you are invited to honor teh son or daughter being married. Secondly, you are invited to enjoy the happiness of the moment.

People plan weddings with a lot of things in mind, but one thing they consider is the comfort and joy of their guests. Those who plan the wedding do so with you in mind. They want the music to be pleasing, the flowers to be lovely, the clothes to be beautiful, and the food to be plentiful. Friend, if that is done for the guest of a wedding here, just imagine what God has in store for those who respond to HIs invitation to come and enjoy Jesus forever.

In Jesus there is peace, forgiveness, purpose, hope, life, heaven and so much more. The invitation is one which calls every hearer to the joy of the presence of the King and the Son.

Not only do we see the motive in the invitation, but note …

B. The Method

How does God go about giving this invitation? How can you be sure you are invited? After all, who actually deserves to be at the wedding of the Son of God?

God's method is seen in the fact that the invitation is ...

1. Freely Given

You cannot earn the right to be invited to this event – each one is invited freely.

Well, actually, no wedding is free and every parent here who has a married child probably knows that. Someone has to pay for the expenses of the wedding, and believe me they are not cheap. Be assured that Jesus paid the price for your invitation, for it is Jesus who died on the cross for your sins and mine. God freely invites you because the price has been paid in full. You never have to doubt the invitation is for you, since the great price was paid so that nothing but your own faith and repentance can possibly stand in the way of your attendance.

Also, note in God's method that the invitation is ...

2. Clearly Given

God gives a clear invitation – there is no ambiguity here. You may give an excuse as to why you reject the invitation, but you cannot deny that God has invited you. The invitation to come to the Lord and know Him as you Savior and Lord is so clear that no excuse will be accepted.

In fact, looking through the Bible one finds God seeking out people to come to Him in every book and on almost every page. The Bible is one great invitation -

"Come" into the Ark, God said to Noah.

"Come" now and let us reason together, God said to Isaiah.

"Come" unto Me all that labor and are heavy laden, Jesus said to each of us.

One of God's favorite words is COME! In Revelation chapter 22, the last chapter in the Bible comes near the end with these words from verse 17: "And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely."

God has clearly given the call to anyone who hears to "Come."

Note also that the invitation is ...

3. Enthusiastically Given

Some people wonder why we Christians are so excited about inviting others to be part of the Wedding of the Lamb of God – Jesus Christ. Those who have accepted the invitation know the joy that is already granted to them. We cannot help but shout it from the rooftops. The forgiveness of sin, the purpose in living, the more abundant life here and now, the blessing of being in the famiy of God, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and many other elements of the Christian life give us joy. But, also, there is that wonderful day that is promised - the wedding day - which we shall be a part of - yes, we cannot help but invite others - and we do so enthusiastically.

Furthermore, you can now you are invited because the invitation is ...

4. Repeatedly Given

This invitation is given repeatedly but not eternally. God invites you to come but if you refuse it is possible that you can turn off the voice of God - thus, it seems that the invitation has ended. It is not that God ceases calling out to you; rather, it as that you have moved and left no forwarding address. You have closed your ears, your heart and your willingness to listen to His voice. If you are listening to me right now, you are receiving the invitation to come the Christ and be part of that great wedding feast in heaven. If you can’t feel the urgency of the moment, perhaps you have closed out the voice of God. Open your heart now and let this invitation in.

Again, the invitation to the Wedding of the Son is ...

5. Humanly Given

Notice that the King (God) sends out servants (Believers) to invite others to come. What are you waiting for? The invitation is offered through God’s people for you to join in the salvation and joy of Christ.

If you are waiting for an angel to come down from heaven and call you, you will be lost forever. You don’t need a bolt of lightning to strike you in the forehead to know that you are invited. You don’t need an angel to appear and speak to you in some heavenly voice to know that you are to come. It is simple, God sends His servants who are all over the world to make known to you that you are invited to come to Christ and enjoy all that involves forever.

So, there is a sovereign design in the invitation, but note all that there is …

II. The Selfish Denial to the Invitation

Jesus reveals that the invitation was given but it was largely rejected. What, pray tell, would cause a person to turn down an invitation from the King?

We see here three reasons people turn down God's invitation.

A. The Indifferent Person (vs. 5)

What is required to perish? It is hatred of the Lord? No. Is it bitterness toward God? No. It is outright rebellion against everyone and everything holy? No. What is required for a person to reject God’s invitation and go out into eternity without hope? One thing brings about denial of the invitation - Neglect! Just disregard the invitation. Simply toss it aside and forget about it. That is all that is required to miss the opportunity of being saved - of belonging to God's family. Simple neglect is the culprit.

I knew a person who had a pain in his body, but that man simply let the pain continue. Family members said, "You need to go find out what is causing that pain." He refused. He said that every pain he had ever had an eventually gone away. One day he became so sick that they had to take him to the hospital. An examination revealed a tumor, a tumor which had grown into other organs. The doctor told him, this kind of cancer is usually easy to remove, but once it spreads there is little we can do. This man did not have to hate medicine to die. He didn't have to dispise doctors to die. All he had to do was neglect to respond to the situation in a timely manner. Neglect can be the worst of all human faults, and that is especially true when it comes to God's invitation to come to Jesus in faith and repentance of sin.

So, what causes neglect or indifference?

1. Procrastination

I received a restaurant offer for a 2 for 1 meal, which I placed in my desk drawer at the office and neglected for some time. When I was looking through my desk drawer one day, I found that 2 for 1 offer. I made my plans to use it when I noticed that the date of opportunity had expired. What did I have to do to miss that offer? Nothing! I simply ignored it. I merely neglected it.

You don’t have to hate God, be an atheist or agnostic to perish without salvation. All you have to do is neglect your opportunity. Set it aside and learn when it is too late that the offer period has passed.

A man in Johannesburg, South Africa was walking along the street one day and saw a piece of paper on the ground. He picked it up and found these words written on the front: “Reward of 5,000 Pounds” (pounds being the money of the country, like our dollars are to us). He opened the paper to read a gospel tract. An offer appeared in the tract to pay 5,000 pounds to anyone who could answer the following question, “How shall they escape who neglect so great salvation?” No one has ever received that reward. What is necessary to die lost? Not wickedness or evil, just pure neglect of the invitation.

Another thing that leads to missing the wedding of the Lamb is ...

2. Priorities

A problem similar to procrastination, but in some ways different is have wrong priorities. In this parable Jesus tells of those who turned down the invitation because something else was more important to them. Many people die lost because they live their lives majoring on minors and minoring on majors. They put the value of the soul far below the value of many other things, including silly things like sports and material possessions. Now understand this, there is nothing inherently wrong with sports or possessions, and they are beneficial when they are kept in their rightful place. They become extremely dangerous when one delights in them while neglecting the Son of God.

So, the first problem for many people in refusing God’s invitation is simply indifference. But there is another problem that affects many as well.

B. The Indignant Person (vs. 6)

Some people are lost because they have anger toward the messengers and that translates into rejection of the message. Some people who hear the invitation will say, “Well, I'm as good as that deacon down there at that church. I'm as good as that preacher. I'm better than that evangelist on television.” Okay, let’s say you are as good as any or all of those people - SO WHAT! So what if God has chosen to send the invitation to you through imperfect messengers, that does not give you a right to reject the King's Son. The messenger is not he issue - it is the Son of God you are to honor.

Many people are lost today because they are trying to hide behind the criticism, justified or not, of some messenger of the King's invitation. It will not work. Your anger at the messenger is counted as anger at the Son of the King. Besides, God did not say that you have a right to refuse the invitation if you don’t like the person inviting you. The invitation is not about the messenger, it is about the King – the Son – it is about your place in eternity.

Indifference leads many to reject God’s call, and an indignant attitude does the same for others. But, consider one more reason some reject Christ.

C. The Imposter Person (11-13)

In this parable, Jesus told about a man who came into the wedding feast without the necessary clothing. This person is representative of those who think they do not need the wedding robe which only the King can supply. Let me explain.

In the days of Jesus, a wedding was attended by many people who did not have nice clothes to wear to such occasions. For this reason, the host would provide every person with a robe to wear. This way, everyone could feel welcome and in full fellowship at the party.

In this parable Jesus tells us that a certain man came to the wedding but did not wear the supplied robe. Why? Apparently he thought that his clothes were good enough to get him into the event.

The man Jesus told about in the parable represents those who feel they can come to the King's Son in the clothes of their own good works – the robes of their own righteousness. The Bible calls all such clothes filthy rags. In Isaiah 64:6 we read: "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away."

To come to the wedding and refuse to wear the supplied garment is an insult and an affront to the King. When Jesus died on the Cross for you, He did so to provide you with a Robe of Righteousness. You will never be good enough in your own skin – you own goodness – to get into Heaven. You must accept the forgiveness of God found only in Christ! In Him, you have a Robe to wear to the wedding feast.

Many are still in their sins today because they think they are good enough as they are. They simply will not humble themselves and receive the gift of eternal life. God does not ask you to earn this gift, for that is impossible.

The songwriter said it well…

“Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling!”

The sovereign design and sad denial lead us to …

III. The Sad Destruction Following the Invitation

A. Destruction of a Place

Those who rejected the invitation saw their city burned. This speaks of the coming destruction of everything we are depending on in this world. One day, this world will be judged and everything we stand upon today as our security will be removed.

It is hard for us to sense the dangers all around us in this world. Yet, the pandemic called the Coranovirus has shaken many of us to the core. Suddenly the whole world changed, fear gripped people and many were dying all around us. Travel came to a standstill, businesses were closed, jobs were lost - it was something we could not imagine. Listen, one day a judgment is coming that will make this virus look like a playground or a picnic. It will come like a thief in the night - without warning. When that happens, it will be too late to respond to the invitation.

We need something money can’t buy and something that man’s power cannot provide. We need God’s Son as our Lord and Savior. The invitation has been given - now is the time to respond.

Also, note that Jesus talked about the ...

B. Destruction of a Person

In this parable, those who reject the invitation are cast out. Note please that God did not reject them – they rejected God! In essence, you pronounce your own judgment when you reject the Son of God.

Did you notice that the man without the proper garment says nothing in this parable. Why was the man without the garment speechless in this parable?

1. He Could not say that he didn’t know about it.

You cannot stand before God one day and say that you did not know what you were supposed to do. The Gospel is clear and plain. Ignorance is no excuse!

2. He could not say that he didn’t need it.

We have been clearly warned that we need a robe that is not of our own making. No one will be able to say at the judgment that he or she did not know that there was a need. You see, we are all sinners and we know it!

3. He could not say that it was out of reach.

The man who was cast out could not say that the Robe of Righteousness was beyond His reach. Right now, the Lord is as near as your breath! You don’t have to make your way to Him – He has made His way to you. Reach out by faith and accept Jesus Christ and He will provide the wedding robe for you – the robe that will open the door for you to enter into the great wedding feast in heaven.


A woman was dying and one of her children asked, “Mama are you afraid of meeting God?” The old lady spoke with labored breath and replied, “No, I'm much too well dressed for that.”

What did she mean by that statement? That lady meant that she had the robe of righteousness that God supplied in His Son, Jesus Christ. She was ready to meet God – not because of her robe but because of His robe - the one He provides to all who come to Him in repentance and faith.

Are you dressed for heaven? Are you ready to meet God right now? You can be. You should be. You will be, if you will come in repentance and faith to Him right now.

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