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“Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23 (NKJV)

In this powerful chapter from Luke’s gospel, Jesus uses the analogy of a wealthy Master commanding His servant to go out into the highways and hedges (this means the backstreets, alleyways, anywhere possible.) He tells His servant to compel anyone he can find to come to a feast, that previously invited guests had excused themselves from.

The wealthy Master in this analogy is clearly our Heavenly Father, and we are the servants. Many people are blindly trying to excuse themselves from eternal life, but God is requiring us to compel them to come into His kingdom and be saved. When the Holy Spirit showed me this scripture, I wondered what it meant to compel someone to come into God’s kingdom, so looked at various translations to see if I could understand the meaning better. This is what they say:

  • Moffats translation – Press people to come in…
  • LAM (George M Lamsa) – Urge them to come in…
  • Worrall – By earnest pleading and prayer…
  • 20th Century – And make people come in…
  • Living Bible – Urge anyone you find…
  • Knox – And give them no choice but to come in…
  • ASV – Constrain them to come in…

I wondered about how, or if we ever should urge, press or constrain people to come into God’s kingdom. Wanting more clarity, I asked the Lord what it meant, and this is what He said to me:

Do everything in your power to get them to come in, because the enemy is doing everything in his power to keep them out.”

That single definition changed my life. I knew I had my mission because I knew in terrible detail, how painful life can be without God. Shortly after I was radically saved and powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit I joined our church’s street outreach (evangelism) team. This word from the Lord, among others, confirmed the calling God had placed upon my life: to serve Him in the scriptural calling of an evangelist, taking the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to all the world.

Since the day of my salvation in 1980, my life has never been the same. You can read more about what the Lord has done with my life after instantly delivering me from drug and alcohol addiction, extreme violence and near-suicide.

There is life-saving power in the gospel of Jesus Christ! That is why this evangelist will never be ashamed of Him (Romans 1:16.)

(You can read more about the true meaning of the words “compel them” here…)

 

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