"The king came in to see the guests. He noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man couldn't think of anything to say. "Then the king told his servants, 'Tie up his hands and feet. Throw him outside into the darkness. Out there people will sob and grind their teeth.' "Many are invited, but few are chosen."(Matthew 22:11-14)
Many are invited to join the Kingdom of God. The problem is that the invitation is restricted! One cannot simply show up at the door. It is not possible to get in with friends. There is no price we need to pay or a ticket we need to purchase. The price of admission was paid on the cross by Christ and the ticket is punched by the Savior when we accept Him on His terms alone!
Paul and James actually agree that our faith causes us to work for the Lord. (Ephesians 2:8-10, James 2:14-26) We are not saved from sin by what we do, but saved to do things to bring glory to God. James emphasizes this by saying faith without works is dead!
Faith in Christ saves man from sin and this faith causes man to do things he would never do without that faith . . . selfless sacrifice to honor God, not himself!
Finally, this faith is not simply a head knowledge of the Savior. Even Satan believes that Jesus is God, that he suffered on the cross, and has Risen from the dead! We must repent from our sin (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23)and have a heart conviction and public expression (lifestyle) of this faith.(Romans 10:9-10) The Savior saves man from sin . . . nothing else! The Good News is that He came to save us all! (Luke 19:10)
Salvation is indeed free for all . . . all who accept the terms of the invitation. It is also exclusive and restrictive . . . Not my rules, but the way God wants it!
In fact, the invitation is so strong, it is contained in the final few sentences of God's words to the churches and to us today . . .
The Holy Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" Let those who hear say, "Come!" Anyone who is thirsty should come. Anyone who wants to take the free gift of the water of life should do so.(Revelation 22:17)
The invitation is open to all who will accept it. However, it is a free choice. God will not force anyone to do anything they do not want to do. People choose to go to hell . . .what will you choose?
PLEASE R.S.V.P. NOW while there is yet time!