Does God Really Invite Everyone?

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).

There was once a great king who threw a wonderful and bountiful feast. He invited many people to come to the celebration of his son’s wedding. However, those he first invited rejected his invitation. So the king sent out his invitation to the crossroads and invited everyone who passed by (Matt. 22:1–10). Consequently, many people who previously had not known the king or his son were invited to the wedding feast, and many of them came, so that his hall was full.

The gospel is like an invitation.

Jesus told this parable to his disciples as an illustration of what the kingdom of heaven is like (Matt. 22:2). The gospel of Jesus Christ is like an invitation that is sent out by God to invite people to a great wedding feast in his kingdom. This great feast represents the celebration of God’s Son who saves a people out of the world to be his own (Rev. 5:9). The invitation calls on people to believe in Jesus—that he is the Son of God who became a man and died on a cross and rose again from the dead (John 3:16). Because of Jesus' work, God offers salvation from sin and death for free to the whole world. The only reply needed is, “Yes, I believe!”

The invitation is sent to the whole world.

When Jesus was leaving his disciples to return to heaven after his resurrection, he gave the disciples this mission,

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (Matt. 28:19–20)

Everyone in the whole world is invited. All races, nations, ethnicities, and kinds of people are invited. There is no one who is too different, too sinful, too good, or too disabled who is not invited by Christ’s call to come and feast with him. God will fill his kingdom with people from all over the world (Luke 13:29). An example of this are the magi who came to worship Jesus shortly after he was born. Though they were not Jewish, they knew Jesus was king of the Jews and came to pay him homage. Their coming was proof that God opened his kingdom to the whole world. By God’s grace, he calls people from every corner of the world to believe in his Son and feast in God’s house.

We need to be shown the way to the feast.

On our own, we don’t know and can’t find the way to God’s house. This is why God sent his Son to be the way to the kingdom. The invitation is for everyone; but not all who are invited accept the invitation, because the way to God’s house is narrow (Matt. 7:13-14). Jesus is the one through whom everyone must come (Matt. 7:14).

Not only that, but we must be changed. In order to attend the feast, we need wedding feast clothing (Matt. 22:11–12). We cannot come to the feast as we are. However, God also provided the way for us to attend the feast. Jesus himself gives us the wedding garment we need, which is his righteousness. We cannot get this garment on our own, but rather it must be given to us. Christ himself, the royal Lamb and Son of God whose feast this is, purchased the garments that are required to attend his feast. Without Christ’s gift, we are not able to attend. We will be thrown out of God’s house (Matt. 22:12–14).

We cannot come as we are; neither can we choose how we get there. Only Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life, can change us and give us the proper garments we need to enter God’s house. Our old clothes are exchanged for new and better garments. Clothed in Christ, we can feast with God and Jesus in his house (Matt. 22:11–12).

'Twas the same love that spread the feast
that sweetly drew us in;
else we had still refused to taste,
and perished in our sin. (Isaac Watts, “How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place”)

God calls everyone to come (Is. 55:5). Not desiring that anyone be lost, he invites everyone to his feast (2 Peter 3:9; Rom. 10:13). 

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near. (Is. 55:6)

Today is the day of salvation. Now is the time to hear the invitation and come while there is still room.

Leah B.

Leah B. received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry before turning to theology and receiving a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies. She writes and lives in California.

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