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Luke 14:16-35 COME AND DINE…GO AND DIE

Intro: Have any of you folks ever been invited to a formal dinner? Has some millionaire or the other called you up and asked you over? Or, has the President of the United States, or some other head of state ever invited you their home for dinner? Probably not! However, we have all been invited to a dinner hosted by a far more wealthy and famous host than any of these I have mentioned. According to the Bible, God Himself is hosting a Supper one of these days. It is called the Marriage Supper Of The Lamb. You can read all about it in Rev. 19. At this supper, Jesus Himself will be serving us – Luke 12:37.

I would feel honored if some great man upon the earth called me to come to a dinner he was hosting, and I would go. However, when I consider the fact the God is hosting a supper and has invited all of us to attend, how can I say no to Him? In fact, I have already made my reservations and returned my RSVP. They are expecting me there at that supper in the sky. I hope you are going to be there also.

In these verses, Jesus speaks of a dinner party given by a certain man. He speaks of those who were invited and who chose not to come. He speaks of others who were invited and who gladly came. In doing so, He gives a wonderful portrait of salvation. However, there is more here than just a dinner party. He goes on to speak to those who are following Him. He reminds us that there is more to being a disciple of Christ than just coming to the party. There is a word here for everyone in this building today. I want you to hear it! (Ill. V. 35 – If you have ears to hear, then you are qualified to listen to this message. What you do with it after that is up to you!)

What Jesus is doing here is issuing a call to men. The call is simple, "Come And Dine…The Go And Die." That is what I would like to speak on this morning. "Come And Dine…Go And Die!"

I. v. 16-17 AN ELABORATE PARTY

A. A Lavish Affair – (Great – indicates the wealth of the host.) Apparently, this man was a man of great means. He was hosting a party of lavish proportions. They were putting on the dog!

B. A Large Affair – The guest list was large and it included to great men of the community. All the hobnobbers would be there. It was the social event of the season.

C. A Longed For Affair – Many would have loved to have been invited. After all, one could determine their social standing based on whether or not they had an invitation to this great dinner.

D. There Is A Lesson Here – In this parable, the "man" is God. He is shown as one of great wealth, who is preparing a lavish affair and wants to invite many to come to it. This is a picture of Heaven and the joys that await the redeemed. When the saints of God are gathered home, it will be the social event of all eternity! To be on this guest list is the difference between Heaven and Hell. How many have longed throughout their entire lives to know that they were on that guest list? How many have died wondering where they would spend eternity? (Ill. The wonders of Heaven – 1 Cor. 2:9; Rev. 21:4)

All of this was well and good, but there arose a problem with the festivities…

II. v. 18-21b AN ENRAGING PROBLEM

A. A call was issued when all things had been prepared for the supper. This gracious host sent his servant to tell those who were called that supper was ready. It was time for them to gather.

(Ill. The primary context points to Israel and their call to come into the Kingdom. Just like the people in the parable, they had been notified of the upcoming event beforehand. Yet, when the time came to go to Messiah, they refused and would not come, Luke 19:14; John 1:11-12. When this happened, God turned to others to fill up His household – Rom. 11:11; Rom. 1:16)

(Ill. There is an application to this present age of grace. God the Father has prepared a means of salvation for all who will come. He did so by sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross. Now, He has sent His Holy Spirit into the world and it is He who invites sinners to come to Jesus. Yet, like Israel of old, men turn a deaf ear to the pleading of the Spirit of God. Most men do not realize, however, that without His call and His wooing, man cannot be saved – John 6:44; John 6:65.)

B. All those who had been invited to this lavish affair refused to come. It seemed that everyone of them had an excuse. They all had, what they thought, was a valid reason for refusing to attend.

1. v. 18 – The Excuse Of Material Possessions – This man had purchased a piece of property, without seeing it first.

(Ill. He pictures the sinner who is so materially minded that he refuses the call of the Gospel so that he can continue to accumulate material possessions.)

(Ill. God has a Word for this type of individual – Mark 8:36-37. Ill. He will say the same thing to them that He said to another foolish man one night – Luke 12:16-21. The most important thing in life is not, "How much am I worth?"; it is, "Am I saved?" Where are you this morning?)

2. v. 19 – The Excuse Of Professional Advancement – This man had bought 10 oxen, without trying them out, and he can’t come to the party because he has to go and plow a field. I get the impression that he is interested in promoting himself in his profession.

(Ill. Many are just like this fellow. They allow their occupations, businesses and the pursuit of gain keep them from coming to God. There is nothing wrong with working and with making money, but when these things come ahead of God, they are sinful! There are many who placed a career ahead of God and as a result will die and go to Hell.)

3. v. 20 The Excuse Of Personal Relationships – This man was a newlywed. We can understand that he wanted to spend time with his new bride, however, he placed his personal relationships ahead of everything else in life.

(Ill. Many are in this same shape today. They won’t come to Christ because they are afraid of what their families or friends will think of them. They are too absorbed in their own little world to give their lives to Christ.)

(Ill. Even one’s family is not worth dying lost over. Jesus predicted that His appearance would cause many families to splinter, Matt. 10:34-38.)

C. Dear lost friend, whatever it is that is keeping you from coming to Jesus, you need to realize that it is not worth what you think it is. Nothing is worth losing your eternal soul over. When this life is over and everything you’ve trusted has vanished away, what will you do then? My challenge to you is to come to Jesus right now!

III. v. 21b-24 AN ENCOURAGING PLAN

A. When those who were invited turned a deaf ear to the cal to dinner, the gracious host, determined to fill his house, sent his servant to call from the surrounding society those for whom no one else seemed to care.

B. In this, we can see a picture of the Heavenly Father and the love He has for the fallen members of the human race. When we take the time to look at the ones who were called by the servant, we find in their descriptions a portrait of ourselves before God. Notice who he called.

1. The Poor – He called those who could never pay him back. (Ill. What a portrait of God’s grace. He reaches down to men who will never be able to repay Him for His salvation. Yet, God asks for no repayment, He just asks men to come to Himself – Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17.) (Ill. Salvation is free! All man needs to be saved is to be a convicted sinner, then he can come to Jesus and be saved by grace!)

2. The Maim – Here are the deformed, the twisted, those around whom society feels uncomfortable. These are the people who are the defects of society. Yet, this gracious man reached out to them. (Ill. God loved the spiritually maimed. There are many in this world that possess a twisted nature. There is a bent in them toward sin. The Bible calls this "iniquity." Even though society, and the church, often draw back from these people, Jesus loves them and died to save their souls. He calls the twisted among us to come to Him. In fact, there is no sin so vile that will ever cause God to stop loving the sinner – Jer. 31:3. Jesus is clear when He says, "Whosoever will let him come…")

3. The Halt – These are the crippled. Those people who are unable to get around on their own. In fact, to come to the supper, these would have had to have help. (Ill. Again, this is a picture of the person outside Jesus. Crippled by sin and unable to get to God, Isa. 59:2, sinners need help coming to Jesus. (Ill. The crippled man in Mark 2. His friends preached a sermon that has reverberated through the ages. This is the very reason that Jesus seeks the sinner – Luke 19:10. He knows that in themselves, lost people can not get to God by themselves. They need help. Jesus is that help!) (Ill. It doesn’t matter what state of "crippled" you are, you cannot get to Christ on your own. Ill. Just as no corpse is any more dead than any other, no spiritual cripple is any more crippled than any other.)

4. The Blind – These are the people who are trapped in their own little world of darkness. They do not possess the resources to get to the Lord by themselves. They need a guide. They need someone to show them the light. (Ill. There are millions who are wandering around in spiritual darkness and headed to Hell – 2 Cor. 4:4. These people need someone to show them the light. That is the Spirit of God’s job! He comes in and He illuminates the darkness. He makes it possible for the blind sinner to see his need of Jesus.)

5. Highway and Hedge dwellers – After the servant had found all the wrecks of humanity he could find and had brought them in, the master’s house still had room. Now he send the servant into the streets and the hedgerows. Here would be found those whom no one else wanted anything to do with. These people were the off scouring of all humanity. Mixed among these assorted homeless and wanderers would be found those who were journeying or out on business. In other words, the servant would meet anyone and everyone in the streets and hedges. (Ill. This speaks to our hearts today and reminds us that anyone, anywhere can come to Jesus for salvation. God will turn nobody away.)

C. This wealthy man was determined that his house would be filled. If the intended guests refused to come, then he would fill his house with others. His goal would be realized. (Ill. So it is with God. He calls all to come unto Himself. Yet, many refuse the Gospel call. It isn’t wise to trifle with God’s call! There may come a day when He won’t knock on your heart’s door anymore – Gen. 6:3; John 6:44; Rev. 3:20.

D. Notice in verse 21 the servant was to go "quickly", this speaks of the urgency of the situation. This day, this hour may be all the chance you will ever have – 2 Cor. 6:2; Pro. 27:1. Verse 23 tells the servant to "Compel them." This means to use force. God apparently sees this call as being extremely urgent. The question is, "Do you?"

This is the good news. Anyone who needs salvation will find it in Jesus!

IV. v. 25-35 AN ENORMOUS PRICE

A. Lest anyone think that being a follower of Christ is cheap, Jesus makes it very plain that it is anything but cheap. The price, in fact, is more than many are ever willing to pay! (Ill. The large crowds that followed Jesus would have awed many men. However, after Jesus wooed men, He would then challenge them. It is at this point that we can safely separate the Christian from the Disciple. A Christian is one who has received Jesus into his/her heart. A disciple is one who has surrender EVERYTHING to Jesus and is following Him faithfully, even unto death.)

B. Jesus tells us that there are 5 basic thing we have to do to be a disciple of Christ. Anyone who is not willing to pay the price and do these things may be saved, but they are not a Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice the requirements for true discipleship.

1. v. 26 – The true Disciple will love Christ supremely. Every other love in our lives must seem like hate when compared to our love for Jesus Christ! This is a tall order, but it is simply the fulfillment of Mark 12:30.

2. v. 27a – The true Disciple will take up his cross. The cross is not a bad situation on life, it is not a disease, or some other burden. The cross is a pathway of reproach, suffering, loneliness and even death that the believe voluntarily endures for Jesus’ sake. Not all believers are cross bearers! It is possible to be saved and to leave your cross unborn. You do this by living a "nominal" Christian life. You go to church, you claim Jesus as Savior, yet your Christian walk goes no deeper. It is a surface thing in your life. But, when you decide to go all out for Jesus, you can expect to face the same level of satanic opposition that Jesus faced while here on earth. Are you bearing you cross for Christ this morning?

3. v. 27b – The true Disciple will follow Jesus – This means to be engaged in the work He did. When we are following Him, we will walk as He did, speak as He did, live as He did and love as he did. When we are following Jesus, we are demonstrating the Father to a lost and a dying world. Is it possible for people like us to live out Christ in this present day? Yes, but only s we yield to Him and allow Him to live His live through us daily – Gal. 2:20.

4. v. 28-33 The true Disciple will Count The Cost. He will weigh his worldly attachments against the demands of the cross and he will enter into the race knowing that it will cost him everything he has for the sake of Christ. His work demands that everything be placed on the altar of sacrifice. Very few are willing to pay that price, but those who are will find a grace for living that the rest never experience. They will find a peace that others cannot comprehend. They will know power with God and for God that others can only dream of. The price is outrageous to the mind of man, but when compared with the payoff, it is extremely cheap.

5. v. 34 The true Disciple will fulfill his one purpose in life. Jesus speaks of salt that has gone bad. This salt cannot be re-salted, therefore it is worthless and good for nothing. The salt, referred to here, has one purpose. Its purpose is to flavor food and make it taste better. When it become incapable of doing that one thing, then it is worthless. (Ill. The disciple of Christ has one purpose in life. That purpose is to show Christ to a lost world. When we fail in this mission, we are worthless to the cause of Christ. When we reach the place where the world can no longer see Jesus in our lives, we are worthless as far as any ministry is concerned.)

C. What Jesus is telling us is this. Anyone can come to Christ and get saved. They can miss Hell by placing their faith in His shed blood and in His resurrection from the dead. Salvation was costly for the Lord, but it is free to sinners. However, after salvation, there is a price to pay to be everything God desires and demands. What strikes me as sad is this: There are many who are saved, and know they are, but they also know that there Christian life doesn’t go any deeper than that, yet they never take any steps to change that. They seem to be content to be far, far less than they can be. Every Christian has the potential, through Christ in Him, to be great for the Lord. Yet, so many seem satisfied with a nominal walk. (Ill. The Israelites – 1 Kings 18:19-39 – It’s time to get off the fence! It’s time to be everything you can be for Jesus!)

Conc: Salvation costs nothing, but being a disciple costs everything! As we bring these thoughts to a close today, maybe there are those who need to come to God for salvation. He has awakened in your heart a desire to be saved. Please don’t delay, come to him now and He will save your soul. Perhaps there are Christians who need to sell out fully and finally. You come too. Whatever the need, Jesus can and will meet it if it is brought to Him by faith. Will you come and dine and then go and die? That’s what this message has been about. Just coming to God by faith and being saved, and then paying the price to be all out for Jesus. I believe you want to do just that. The first step is coming to Him. Will you do that today? Be obedient and He will bless your life!

Sermon By Alan Carr

 



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