Isaiah 25:6-10; Psalm 23:1-6; Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20;Matthew 22:1-14
Cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. (Matthew 22:13)
How crowded is heaven? How about hell? Theologians have debated this question for centuries. Some have taught that everyone (or almost everyone) will get to heaven. Others have argued that only a few will be saved. Who is right?
No one really knows. Whatever the answer is, today’s Gospel reading makes one thing clear: heaven isn’t a matter of who is worthy or unworthy. It’s a matter of who accepts God’s invitation and who rejects it.
Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus using exaggeration to make his point. He doesn’t really want us to cut off our hands or pluck out our eyes (Matthew 5:29-30). He is doing a similar thing in today’s passage by telling such an extreme story. But there is always a point to these exaggerations: we will all face a final judgment, and it’s risky to remain indifferent or to treat his invitation lightly.
Where do you stand? Have you done your own risk-reward analysis? Take some time today to think about it. Whether you believe heaven is for the few or the many, the risk of being kept away from it is too great to ignore.
The good news is that none of us has to take that risk! God didn’t mean for it to be hard for us to accept his invitation to eternal life. He hasn’t set out a daunting obstacle course for us to master before he will admit us to heaven. All he wants us to do is to believe that Jesus has saved us and to try our best to follow him.
So when you wake up every day, tell the Lord, “Jesus, I believe you are my Savior and Lord. I accept your invitation. I don’t want anything to keep me away from you today.” And every evening before you go to sleep, tell him, “Lord, I’m sorry for the ways I failed you. Give me your grace to do better tomorrow.” It’s that simple.
“Jesus, I accept your invitation. I want to be with you both now and forever.”~WAU