Kind Compulsion
Luke 14:16-24
Then said he to him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:…

"Now," said the great man of the feast, "I will not be defeated in this matter; I have with an honest purpose provided a banquet, and there are scores of people who would like to come if they were only invited." We must take care how we give the invitation. My Christian friends, I think sometimes we have just gone opposite to Christ's command, and we have compelled people to stay out. Sometimes our elaborated instructions have been the hindrance. We graduate from our theological seminaries on stilts, and it takes five or six years before we can come down and stand right beside the great masses of the people, learning their joys, sorrows, victories, defeats. We get our heads so brimful of theological wisdom that we have to stand very straight lest they spill over. Now, what do the great masses of the people care about the technicalities of religion? When a man is drowning he does not want you to stand by the dock and describe the nature of the water into which he has fallen, and tell him there are two parts hydrogen gas and one of oxygen gas, with a common density of thirty-nine Fahrenheit, turning to steam under a common atmospheric pressure of two hundred and twelve. He does not want a chemical lecture on water, he wants a rope. Oh, my friends, the paralysis of God on the Church, it seems to me, in this day, is metaphysics. We speak in an unknown tongue in our Sabbath schools, and in our religious assemblages, and in our pulpits, and how can people be saved unless they can understand us? Oh, for the simplicity of Christ in all our instructions — the simplicity. I think often in our religious instructions we compel the people to stay out by our Church architecture. People come in and they find things angular, and cold, and stiff, and they go away, never again to come; when the Church ought to be a great home-circle, everybody having a hymn-book, giving ha]f to the one next him, every one who has a hand to shake hands, shaking hands — the Church architecture and the Church surroundings saying to the people, "Come in and be at home." Instead of that, I think all these surroundings often compel the people to stay out. I read of a minister of the gospel who was very fond of climbing among the Swiss mountains. One day he was climbing among very dangerous places, and thought himself all alone Then he heard a voice beneath him say, "Father, look out for the safe path, I am following," and he looked back and saw that he was climbing not only for himself, but climbing for his boy. Oh, let us be sure and take the safe path! Our children are following, our partners in business are following, our neighbours are following, a great multitude stepping right on in our steps. Oh! be sure and take the right path! Exhibit a Christian example, and so, by your godly walk, compel the people to come in. I think there is work also in the way of kindly admonition. I do not believe there is a person in this house to-day who, if approached in a kindly and brotherly manner, would refuse to listen. If you are rebuffed, it is because you lack in tact and common-sense. A Christian physician who is a friend of mine, one day became very anxious about the salvation of a brother physician, and so he left his office, went down to this man's office, and said, "Is the doctor in?" "No," replied the young man waiting; "the doctor is not in." "Well," said the physician, "when he comes in tell him I called, and give him my Christian love." This worldly doctor came home after a while, and the message was given to him, and he said within himself, "What does he mean by leaving his Christian leave for me?" And he became very much awakened and stirred in spirit, and he said after a while, "Why, that man must mean my soul." And he went into his office, knelt down, and then took his hat and went out to the office of this Christian physician, and said, "What must I do to be saved?" and the two doctors knelt in the office and commended their souls to God. All the means used in that case was only the voice of one good man, saying, "Give my love to the doctor." The voice of kindly admonition. Have you uttered it to-day? Compel them to come in. I think there is a great work also to be done in the way of prayer. If we had faith enough to-day, we could go before God and ask for the salvation of all the people here assembled, and they would all be saved, here and now, without a single exception. At the close of a religious service, and when the people had nearly all left the building, a pastor saw a little girl with her head bowed on the back of the pew, and, passing down the aisle, he said to himself, "The little child has fallen asleep." So he tapped her on the shoulder and said, "The service is over." She said, "I know it is over; I am praying, sir, I am praying, sir, I am praying." "Well," said the minister, "Whatsoever ye ask of God, believing. ye will receive." She said, "Is that in the Bible? Yes," he said, "there is a promise of that kind in the Bible." "Well," she said, "let me see it." So he turned over the Bible until he came to the promise, and she said, "That's so, is it? Now, O Lord. bring my father here to-night." While she was praying her father passed into the door of the church, and came down by his child and said, "What do you want of me?" When that child had begun to pray one hour before for her father, he was three miles away; but by some strange impulse that he could not understand, he hastened to the church, and there the twain knelt, the father's arm around the child's neck, the child's arm around the father's neck, and there he entered on the road to heaven. "Whatsoever ye ask of God, believing, ye will receive." That was an answer to the child's prayer. What did she do? She compelled him to come in.

(Dr. Talmage.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

WEB: But he said to him, "A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people.

Invitation and Excuse
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