I say to you that many will come from the east and the west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
I. THE PRIMARY DEMAND OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION IS FAITH. Illustration in our Lord's demand from all those whom he healed. This is sometimes very evident; it is always present, though needing to be searched out. The first demand of Christianity may seem to be love; it is only love because love carries and enshrines faith.
II. THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE LORD JESUS ARE NOW THE OBJECTS OF FAITH. Just as the word of Jesus was for the centurion. He believed the word Jesus had spoken, and acted on the belief. The life and death of Jesus
(1) reveal God, and ask me to believe that he is Love;
(2) reveal me, and ask me to believe that I am a sinner;
(3) reveal the glory and grace of Jesus as God's Son and my Saviour.
III. CONVERSION IS FAITH IN THE WORD OF GOD, WHICH JESUS IS. The strength and happiness of Christian life come from believing and obeying the word which the living Jesus speaks. "God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."
IV. FAITH IS A REAL AND PRACTICAL POWER IN COMMON HUMAN CONDUCT. "We trust our senses; and that though they often deceive us. We trust men; a battle must often be risked on the intelligence of a spy. A merchant commits his ships, with all his fortunes on board, to a hired captain, whose temptations are enormous. Without this principle society could not hold together for a day. It would be a mere sand-heap. Such, too, is religious faith; we trust on probabilities; and this though probabilities are often against us."
V. FAITH IS THE LINK GOD HAS APPOINTED TO ATTACH US TO HIMSELF FOR SALVATION AND STRENGTH. F.W. Robertson says, "Faith is that which, when probabilities are equal, ventures on God's side, and on the side of right; on the guarantee of a something within which makes the thing seem to be true because it is loved." - R.T.
Many shall come from the east and west.I. THAT THE NUMBER OF THE SAVED SHALL BE GREAT. "Many." Might expect the contrary from aspect of society. God has secret servants.
II. THAT THE LARGE COMPANY SHALL BE MADE UP OF MEN FROM ALL NATIONS. "From the east and west."
III. THAT ALL THESE PERSONS SHALL BE UNITED IN HEAVEN IN SOCIETY. "Sit down together." The happiness of heaven will not be solitary; it will not be without union.
IV. THIS CHANGE TAKES PLACE IN HEAVEN. Must not take earthly conceptions of this celestial state; it is a state connected with God.
V. WE MAY INFER SOMETHING WITH REGARD TO THE NATURE AND COMPLETENESS OF THE HAPPINESS THAT WILL BE ENJOYED BY THE SAINTS IN GLORY,
1. Rest. "They shall sit down."
2. Sovereignty. They shall sit on thrones as kings.
(J. W. Cunningham, M. A.)
I. THE EXULTING PROPHECY. Implies that God is no respecter of persons (Isaiah 45:6; Isaiah 59:19; Malachi 1:11); that many shall be saved; that heaven is an exalted state of felicity, rest, and social intercourse, etc. (Chronicles 25:10; 26:29; Luke 14:15; Luke 22:30: Revelation 19:7-11). Loyal submission to the King, enjoyment of His presence, admiration of His glories; laud and magnify His name.
II. THE AGENCY BY WHICH IT SHALL BE EFFECTED. Manifold — chiefly by the preaching of the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:21); adapted — to every stage of human society, to every order of mind, and to every moral condition; efficient — the power of the Holy Ghost, awakening, convicting, etc. (1 Thessalonians 1:5, &c.). "All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God."
(A. Tucker.)only am left — yes, they are few indeed, if none belong to them who do not belong to your party — that do not see with your eyes — that do not believe election with you, or universal redemption with you — that do not worship under a steeple with you, Grin a meeting-house with you — that are not dipped with you, or sprinkled with you! But hereafter we shall find that the righteous were not so circumscribed.
(Jay.)I. A GLORIOUS PROMISE.
1. It is a land of rest — "sit down."
2. The good company they sit with, "Abraham and Isaac." etc.
3. Man? I shall come. I have no wish for a small heaven; many mansions.
4. Where they come from — from all places and classes, even the most hopeless.
5. The certainty "shall."
II. THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM CAST OUT.
1. Those noted for externals in religion.
2. The children of pious fathers and mothers.
3. They are to be cast out. Where to?
(C. H. Spurgeon.)1. Many, will be there. What are " many " in the Divine authentic? Must not lower the standard of admission.
2. The imagery that of a banquet, the attitude assigned to the assembly. Nest and repose after labour and conflict.
3. The celestial citizens are to know one another, else it would little avail to sit down with Abraham, etc. The meeting-place of generations.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)1 Corinthians 1:26), therefore she could be found amongst the 'not many.'" The wonderful "M" shows forth the extent of God's grace. Man does not enter heaven by virtue of his poverty or his riches, sufferings or rejoicings, morality or immorality, but by virtue of the atonement and the shedding of the precious blood of Christ. None can rightly say, "I have had so much trial and trouble down here that I am sure God will provide a place for me;" nor can they say, "I am so noble, and have such power in this world that I surely must have a place above." God is no respecter of persons. All, whatever their station or circumstances, find but one entrance into eternal glory, even through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ — the only door, the one way, by which alone any can. be saved,I. BY THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM ARE INTENDED THE JEWS, who were God's peculiar people.
1. God was in an especial manner their King. He revealed Himself as their King and Saviour. He fought against their enemies.
2. As a king He laid down laws which they were to follow.
3. They were not only subjects of the kingdom; they were to be children of it.
4. The justice of that sentence, which, after their ejection, deprived the children of the kingdom of their glorious inheritance.
II. How WERE THEY CAST INTO OUTER DARKNESS.
1. They were withdrawn immediately from that which is light even on earth — the enjoyment of God's grace, and the enlightenment of His Holy Spirit. This was outer darkness of soul.
2. They were driven into the darkness of sorrow and affliction.
III. THE CAUSE why this happened — their unbelief. We are now the children of the kingdom; have God's laws written in our hearts.
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