Summary: God wants HIs house full. It is evident He is not content with half full churches as seen through the parable of the Great Supper.
A FULL HOUSE
INTRODUCTION: Jesus was the dinner guest of a ruler of the Pharisees. At the dinner one of the guests hearing Christ speak, expressed a view held by many Jews that only Jews would be invited to the great feast of the Messianic kingdom. They were content to maintain their mutual admiration society with its good ole boy mentality. They could care less about the growth of God’s kingdom or embracing anyone different from themselves. Jesus speaks to this attitude through a parable of a great supper. This parable not only addresses the attitude of the guest but presents three truths that can be applied us today.
I. God’s Gracious Invitation - verses 16-17
A. The invitation was sent out to inform "many" people of the upcoming supper.
B. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
C. Many hear via TV, radio, preaching, witnessing believers, or by reading.
D. The initial invitation is accepted by all. Note that the servant was sent "to them that were bidden" (those who had accepted the initial invitation).
E. The initial invitation called only for an acknowledgement, whereas the second invitation calls for commitment and action.
F. Revelation 22:17 "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
II. Man’s Callous Rejection - verses 18-20
A. Israel the prime example. John 1:11 "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." They looked for the Messiah but when He came they rejected Him.
B. It’s the only time I can work in my yard. I’m too busy with work. I have family obligations.
C. Excuses are the cradle ... that Satan rocks men off to sleep in. - D. L. Moody
D. Anyone can find an excuse if they really want to find one. The excuse may even seem plausible on the surface. An example of the kind of excuse that seem good to people but that really are invalid is the tongue-in-cheek information about the dangers of eating carrots.
- Nearly all sick people have eaten carrots. Obviously, the effects are cumulative.
- An estimated 99.9% of all Americans who die from cancer and heart disease have eaten carrots.
- 95 % of people involved in car crashes ate carrots within 60 days of their accidents.
- 90 % of juvenile delinquents come from homes where carrots are served regularly.
- Among people born in 1839 who ate carrots, there has been a 100% mortality rate.
E. Mark 7:6 "He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me."
III. God’s Command - verses 21-23
A. Go Out
1. To the streets and the lanes of the city
a. "We must evangelize our community. For if, we do not do it then who will? And if we do not do it here, where will it be done? And if not now, when?"
b. Go to those with needs
c. Evangelism is witness. It is one beggar telling another beggar where to get food. The Christian does not offer out of his bounty. He has no bounty. He is simply a guest at his Master’s table and, as evangelist, he calls others too.
2. To the highways and hedges
a. Go to the strays, the outcasts and dregs of society
b. Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
3. The church is under orders. Evangelistic inactivity is disobedience.
B. Bring In
1. God wants His house to be full. Our God with His burning love for souls will never settle for His house half full.
2. 2 Peter 3:9 God is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
3. Our Lord is clearly not pleased with:
- an empty banquet table (Luke 14:15-23)
- fishing without catching (Luke 5:4-11)
- sowing without reaping (Matt. 13:3-9)
- a fig tree that bears no figs (Luke 13:6-9)
- lost sheep that are not brought into the fold (Matt. 18:11-14)
- a lost coin that is sought but not found (Luke 15:8-10)
- a ripe harvest that is not reaped (Matt. 9:36-38)
- a proclamation without a response (Matt. 10:14)
4. The love of God is great; it requires a multitude of guests and will not tolerate empty seats.
5. Our Lord seemed to be very much concerned with numbers. The fish in the miraculous catch were counted. The leftovers after the feeding of the five thousand were counted. And the five thousand themselves were counted! Converts at Pentecost were counted. And in the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd would never have known that one of his flock of one hundred was lost, unless he had counted them!