Not everyone will believe the gospel, but everyone is invited.
We know from scripture, and experiences, that not everyone will trust in Jesus and be saved. In fact, many sitting in the pews of the church across the country are cold to Christ and are harboring impenitent hearts, deceived into believing their presences will get them into heaven.
Have you ever been skipped over in class where the cool kid was handing out invitations to their birthday bashment? Well, consider Jesus as the invitation holder, ultimately the “cool” kid. We don’t have to sit in the corner giving googly eyes in hope of getting an invitation because he invites everyone. The invitation he’s holding out is into the Kingdom of heaven there’s no age limit, no physical or mental requirements. We all have been presented with the invitation the real challenge is our RSVP. Will we regrettably decline or accept with a large smile? Like Jesus we should offer this news of the Kingdom to everyone because of the foundational certainty that Jesus accomplished. John Piper captures it well:
“By his death and resurrection, Jesus has acted out God’s discriminating, definite electing, regenerating, faith-creating, every-promise-guaranteeing, new-covenant love, and thus has purchased and secured irreversibly for his elect everything needed to bring them from deadness in sin to everlasting, glorified life and joy in the presence of God.” (Does God Desire All to Be Saved? 54)
In other words, one of the great blessings that would come to the people of God because of Christ’s death and resurrection is that all the nations would be touched. Christ’s redemption is not just for Jews. It’s not just for us. It is for all the nations.
And this leads us then to The Great Invitation in Isaiah 55.
Let’s look at Isaiah 55:1-3 and ask three questions:
- Who are invited?
The answer is, two kinds of people. In verse 1 the first kind is described: “Ho every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money come buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
But there is a second kind of person whom God invites as described in verse 2. In verse 2 he talks to someone who has money, who has strength to labor. God said in verse 1: “He who has no money come!” but the second kind of person has got money and is spending it.
So two kinds of people are invited by the Lord: the thirsty who are broke and cannot pay, and the thirsty who think they can pay and work their way to satisfaction.
- What are we offered?
In verse 1 we are offered water, milk and wine: “Ho every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
Water corresponds to the need for refreshment, milk corresponds to the need for ongoing nourishment and wine corresponds to the need for exhilaration.
- What are we told to do to get these benefits?
There are 12 imperatives in these three verses numbered below.
“Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters [#1]; and he who has no money, come [#2], buy [#3] and eat [#4]! Come [#5], buy wine and milk [#6] without money and without price. 2) Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to me [#7] and eat what is good [#8], and delight yourselves in fatness [#9]. 3) Incline your ear [#10], and come to me [#11]; hear [#12] that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”
What the 12 above have in common is… nothing. We don’t need to be like our neighbour in order to get an invitation. It’s already there; it’s time we RSVP
Ask. Seek. Knock