“Many of the people of Israel are now enemies of the Good News, and this benefits you Gentiles. Yet they are still the people he loves because he chose their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.”
Romans 11:28-29 NLT
The second God-quality that Paul mentioned in Romans 11:29 concerned God’s calling. He said that it “can never be withdrawn”. We are born into a life on this planet that will provide us with many opportunities, and amongst them is something inbuilt into our DNA – the ability to hear and obey God’s calling. Of course, most people, Christians or not, will fail to hear His call, and will live a life driven by their own selfish desires, with a “calling” that is from a demanding and capricious society, drowning out any thoughts or guidance from the One who created us.
The prophet Isaiah penned a lovely picture of God’s heart, as recorded in Isaiah 55. God’s invitation, His calling, reached out to His people and we can just imagine a loving Father, so desperate to see a positive response from His children. “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David” (Isaiah 55:1-3). How tragic it is, that most people in our Western societies totally reject this call, even if they heard it in the first place. With ears tightly closed to block out out any words from God, they stumble on through life regardless, not realising that His words contain such a wonderful eternal and life-changing invitation.
I’m writing this blog the day after the coronation of the British king, Charles III. Imagine if, in the weeks before, a card dropped through our letterboxes saying that he would like us to be a guest at this auspicious event. I’m sure most of us here in the UK would have jumped at the chance. What an honour, we would think. And the RSVP at the foot of the card would have prompted an immediate response, a massive “Yes”. God has sent mankind such an invitation, but, sadly, very few respond, even with a “No thanks”.
Jesus came to this world as a physical manifestation of God’s invitation card. The words recorded by God’s prophets and delivered to His people so often went unheeded. But God wasn’t going to give up, and He sent His most precious Son, who willingly and humbly came to show us the way to the Father and eternal life with Him. Jesus returned to Heaven, mission accomplished, but 200 years later God’s call still hangs in the air. We pilgrims answered Him with a massive “Yes!”, and he left us with the responsibility to extend His calling into the whole world.
Imagine if King Charles had failed to see a response to his invitation and then sent one of his trusted servants to seek us out just to make sure we received it. We would be so touched, I imagine, but that is what God did. Mankind failed to respond to His prophets so He sent His Son. But instead of responding positively, the people of His day rejected Him and killed Him. Jesus set out this exact scenario in His “Parable of the Evil Farmers” as recorded in Luke 20.
We pilgrims have a mission that Jesus left us with. We all know the Scripture in Matthew 28. Let us not waste any time in reminding people of God’s invitation, before it is too late. Because the next time the Trusted Servant, God’s Son, comes it will be too late. The invitation card is on the table now. We don’t know when the celebration will be, so we must encourage those around us to RSVP while there is still time.
Father God. We know You have issued an invitation to the world to join Your family. Please help us to deliver the message to our friends and families. they will be eternally grateful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.