In Mathew 22, Jesus tells the Parable of the Wedding Banquet. He said that the kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servant to tell those who were invited that everything was ready and they could come; however, they refused. They were just too busy with their own stuff.
Then he sent his servants to go to the highways and byways, the street corners, the backstreets, and “grassroots” to invite everyone to the banquet, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
It would seem to me that this parable is happening in the church around the world. The wedding feast of the Son has been prepared. The Bridegroom is about to arrive to meet his bride. The Father has all prepared. Time is short. Looking at all that is happening around us, it would be reasonable to say that time is of the essence!
The reality is that many churches and individuals in wealthy, well-off, un-persecuted places may be so busy with themselves that they might miss the invitation. On the other hand, those in the backstreets are eagerly responding to this incredible invitation.
There is no doubt that we are literally seeing this happen in many parts of the world. The backstreets and overlooked areas of the world are alive in God. Believers in these areas are eager to serve Him. In many cases, they are prepared to die for Him.
This is so evident in Siberia where our regional team leader, Hennie, is seeing an awakening among the young people. He spoke of the Holy Spirit being so tangible and calling young, Russian believers to reach the lost with the Gospel. They are prepared to be trained and to be sent to tell the good news in difficult places. Upon learning that Hennie was holding a similar meeting in another city of Siberia, many of the youth decided to join him on the train ride in order to join the next meeting. At this second meeting, the presence of the Holy Spirit moved again and led many of them to make significant decisions to be involved in the Kingdom.
Kingdom work is just as evident in a small church that has walls built out of reeds with a dilapidated tin roof in a small town in Mozambique. Here, 13 young people made a commitment to trust the Lord to supply the resources for them to go on a mission trip to proclaim the name of Jesus on the streets of Europe within the next 12 months.
I also saw the kingdom at work when I listened to those who graduated from the Comfort Farm School where we trained leaders from six African countries to help with the roll out of Live School. They are so excited to work for the Lord, even without any promise of financial assistance. One of them is on his way to the Middle East where he intends to stay long term. Others have headed back to their countries where they will help mobilize rural churches there to the task of reaching the unreached.
We find that many believers, while in prison for preaching the Word of the Lord, are now sharing their faith with their fellow prisoners. One sent me a message: “Tell Pastor Willie that I am living Live School in prison.” The Lord used this man to pray for a mentally disturbed man who was in such a state that neither prison warder nor fellow prisoners could come close to him. After praying for him, the man was set free and was able to get a shower and some prison clothes. Needless to say, the prison authorities did not know what to do with my friend. They quickly arranged to have him deported to another country. Interestingly, he is back in the region sharing the good news of Jesus.
I can carry on for hours and tell you all that is happening in the backstreets, rural areas, and overlooked regions of the world. They are alive to the things of God. They are doing all they can to bring many to join the king’s wedding banquet. They love and serve the Lord with abandonment. Many are even prepared to die for the Lord. They don’t need many resources, they know the language and culture and are willing to go.
The Live School has come as a real answer to help prepare believers for the task that they are serious to help complete. What a blessing to know and watch them do great exploits for the Lord.
The question today begs an answer: Are you joining the banquet or is the business of life causing you not to respond to the invitation?