Invitations to events are given most every day. Graduations, weddings, parties etc.
These are common events for which invitations are given. Some invitations are accepted readily, while others are put aside, never to be used. Decisions about the ones to accept and which ones to ignore have to do with the event, the people involved and ones desire to accept.
In God’s word, there is an invitation that is given to all mankind. It too can be received with joy or pushed aside never to be used.
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
In the context, Jesus was speaking to those of his day, but the application of the invitation is vital today. This teaches that all can come to Christ. It does not matter how rich or poor, great or small, powerful or weak, Jesus is the savior of all mankind and extends his invitation to all.
Just as with invitations that we receive for different things, this invitation can be accepted or rejected. Jesus does not and will not force anyone to accept his invitation. He leaves that up to the individual.
When one receives an invitation normally there will be some directions on how to reply or how to get to the location of the activity. The same is true with the invitation extended by God. His book the Bible tells how to respond to the invitation and what to do in order to respond.
This invitation given by God indicates his love for man. John records, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Man is God’s creation. When God created the world, he prepared a place for man to live (Genesis 1). When man sinned, God could have allowed man to be destroyed, but his love for his creation led him to send his Son to be the sacrifice for man’s sin. The sacrifice of animals that was to be done according to the law of Moses, could not take away sin.
The blood of God’s Son was the only sacrifice that could do this. The Hebrew writer put it this way, "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (Hebrews 10:1-4).
This gift is beyond comparison, "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift" (II Corinthians 9:15).
As with any invitation, this invitation from God must be accepted. God does not force man to accept it. It is up to each individual. God’s invitation can be accepted by following God’s instructions to procure it.
Luke wrote in the book of Acts of several who answered the invitation given by God. They had to believe that Jesus was the Christ (Acts 8:37). They had to repent of their sins (Acts 2:38). They confessed that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 2:37) and be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38). After becoming a child of God they had to live faithfully to God (Revelations 2:10).
The invitation is available but each person must accept it and follow its instructions.