REACHING THE INNER CITIES
The Bible teaches that in the end times there will be a fresh prophetic purpose. It will be a call for the church to reach out to the hurting, the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. Will the church listen? If the church or an individual is going to do something mighty for God, they need to throw themselves into the work with all their heart and mind and body. Your vision must be more important to you than your personal pleasure. At this time many cities are crying for revival. Even though there is much evil in the cities, it does not mean that they are beyond redemption. Jesus rebuked cities by saying, “If the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day” (Matthew 11:23, NASB). Jesus implied that even Sodom could find redemption. Cities will repent when they see the revelation of the power of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 22:2-10… “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise” (vv. 2-5, KJV).
This parable refers to the nation of Israel and their refusal to accept Christ as their Messiah. Jesus said, “I have prepared my dinner.” The word “dinner” as used here refers to “the first meal of the day, breakfast.” Israel made light of the invitation to accept Christ. “He came to his own and his own received him not” (John 1:11, KJV). The word “received” means “to come near, to associate with, to learn from.” The Jewish leaders never came near Jesus. They did not embrace him or fellowship with Him. They ran from Christ when they should have been running towards Him. The spirit of rejection still exists today. “Then saith he to his servants . . . Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests” (Matthew 22:8-10). Out of this invitation came the New Testament church of Jesus Christ and the book of Acts (Mark 16:15-20).
Jesus gives another parable that teaches that the end-time church will do exactly what Israel did. Israel missed the timing of God for the promised Messiah. Will the church in the end times miss the timing of the greatest move of the Spirit in history? Yes, they will… because only a few listen to what the Spirit is saying. Many are listening to the voices that argue doctrine. Many religious watchdogs will oppose you if your doctrine is different from theirs. Let’s see…
Luke 14:16-24… “Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready” (vv. 16-17, KJV).
The word “supper” as used here means “the last meal of the day”; i.e., the evening meal. The word “bade” (ekalesen) means “a one-time call that extends for a long period of time.” The word ekklesia comes from ekalese, and this Greek word refers to “the church” or the “called-out ones.” The king sent out his servants “at supper time” or literally “the hour of the final meal” (what the end of the church age is referred to, or the end of another prophetic purpose). The word “servant” that Jesus uses here is doulos, one of the five meanings of the word “servant” in the New Testament. As used here it means “a bondservant,” or one who is in a permanent position of servitude and whose will is tied with his master’s will. Because of this, there is no hesitancy towards obedience. He becomes a type of the end-time believer who finds himself in total submission to Jesus in the final days before the Great Supper. The message is “Come, for all things are now ready.” What are the “all things”? It’s the good news of salvation, healing, the gifts of the Spirit, protection, and intimacy with God. What an awesome picture this presents. Whereas in Matthew 22 the call went out to Israel, here the call is for the end-time church. And how does the church act? Let’s follow the parable…
Luke 14:18-20… “And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come” (KJV).
They all began to make excuses, just as Israel did in the time of Christ. They begged off and declined the invitation. The three excuses that Jesus referred to were property, business, and family. (These are the things the boomer generation emphasizes.) In other words, their priorities were out of line. These were more important to them than doing the Lord’s will. Jesus is not against owning property or earning money or having good family relationships. He is against the attitude of using these three things as an excuse for absenting themselves from coming to the Great Supper. They just didn’t want to be completely committed to God’s purpose for the last days. Churches today have a hard time getting people to fill positions of serving needs, such as teachers, ushers, children’s workers, etc…
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved