...and one more

The Bible issues an invitation to everyone

The invitation is extended to every person, people groups, and nations. The invitation is announced in written form. The invitation is preached verbally by people to other people. The invitation is accepted by some and rejected by others. Regardless of response or rejection, the invitation continues unabated.

If the Bible contains an invitation issued by its author, until the invitation period concludes, we should consider a number of questions about such an invitation—let’s answer the following.

     1. If a biblical invitation exists, who is the one who extends the invitation?

     2. If the Bible does extend an invitation, to whom is the invitation directed?

     3. If the Bible extends an invitation to people, what is the invitation to?

Question #1—Who extends the invitation?

An invitation is only as good as the person behind the invitation—literally. None of us have the authority to issue an invitation to something for which we do not have the authorization. I cannot invite anyone to the White House for dinner. And you cannot invite me to spend the night at Buckingham Palace. While that may sound a bit silly, it is not. An invitation is only as real as the one issuing the invite. The invitation offered within the pages of the Bible exists because the One issuing the invitation has the power, authority, jurisdiction, and willingness to issue the invitation (italics added throughout).

Who then issues the invitation?

God issues the invitation.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3:16-17 ESV).

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world (Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV).

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV).

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, "And they will all be taught by God." Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me (John 6:44-45 ESV).

The Son issues the invitation.

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out (John 6:37 ESV).

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me (Revelation 3:20 ESV).

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink (John 7:37 ESV).

The Holy Spirit issues the invitation.

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7-8 ESV).

The final announcement of invitation in the Bible is stated like this:

I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify these things to you over the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let the one hearing say, Come! And let the one who is thirsty come. And he willing, let him take of the Water of Life freely (Revelation 22:16-17 NKJV).

The invitation is issued, beautifully I might add, but to whom is the invitation directed?

Question #2—To whom is the invitation directed?
The answer is simply to those who fall into the following groups.

...to sinners
“And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance’” (Luke 5:31-32 ESV).

...to the heavy laden
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29 ESV).

...to those who sit in darkness
“...to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:77-79 ESV).

...to those who want to be reconciled to God
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation...; Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:18;20 ESV).

...to the thirsty
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37 KJV).

...to whosoever
“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” (Revelation 22:17 KJV).

“And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (Luke 7:23 KJV).

“That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:15 KJV).

“For the scripture saith, whosoever believe on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:11 KJV).

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 KJV).

Are you one of these who are invited? Actually, we all are. The invitation goes out to everyone—including you.

Question #3What is the invitation to?
The final question is simply this: If an invitation is issued, what is the invitation to?

The Oxford Dictionary defines an invitation as “a written or verbal request inviting someone to go somewhere or to do something”. Seeing there are definite parameters to an invitation, as is the case for all invitations, what does the biblical invitation invite people to?

a. The invitation is to forgiveness of personal sins.

b. The invitation is to eternal life.

c. The invitation is away from eternal death.

c. An invitation is to joy and peace—true joy and true peace that only God is able to give.

d. An invitation is to a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

e. An invitation is to become a citizen of the kingdom of God.

Now that we have discussed the biblical invitation, let’s discuss the Bible’s warnings.

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