Disinvited

Organizers of a spiritual event disinvited a speaker they had previously invited. I heard about it because they asked me to speak in his place. They gave no reason why the person got disinvited, nor even mentioned who it was, and I didn’t ask. I figured it was none of my business. I never found out, either. Just as well.

My estimation of the organizers remained high. Maybe they should have known something about the speaker before inviting him. But whatever they learned after the invitation, they didn’t feel embarrassed to disinvite him. They were committed to hosting an event that would edify and instruct in truth.

Some years ago, as one of several overseers of another annual event, I, along with several others, insisted the organizers of a particular year disinvite an unqualified speaker. In their embarrassment or rebellion, they alleged that disinviting would cause more of a stink than letting him go ahead and speak. They promised to monitor his speech, as if they could undo whatever harm he might cause. Never mind that his very presence as a speaker compromised the integrity of the event. Their disingenuousness caused me to have a lesser opinion of their commitment to the cause of truth.

The Lord God is faithful, and we can be sure that he will never disinvite those who are faithful to his Revelation of redemption. Is it such a relief to know that God does not go back on his word.

The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:11-13 ESV).

At the same time, he disinvites those who turn their back on their commitment to Christ. He said to wavering saints,

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).

That sounds like a disinvitation to me, if I ever saw one.

Remember the parable of the feast? One unfortunate fellow got into the party, thanks to an open invitation, but then got disinvited and thrown out, into deep darkness, for weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:1-14). It was no gentle disinvitation, either. He was bound and cast out.

Then I thought about Matthew 7:21 as a disivintation, but it is not. Jesus said, “I never knew you.” Those hapless sorts never accepted the invitation in the first place, although on the last and final day they will pretend they were on the inside. Reminds a fellow of the outsiders in 1 John who left, having never really been party participants.

I need to be sure that I accept the gracious invitation of the King and, more, that I live accordingly in this life so as not to be cast out into eternal despair. There is no need for a mourner’s bench (OK, so that went out in the 19th or 20th Century). Nor is there a need to rubber stamp every human intention with divine approval. (That is alive and well in the 21st Century.)

What an embarrassment it will be to get down to the end and get disinvited!

God extends the invitation today, and he is clear about terms and conditions. Nothing uncertain or iffy about his calling.

I’m thankful for that.

Share your thoughts: