Question

What does "compel them to come in" mean in Luke 14:23?

Quick Answer

People are to be "compelled, not by force, but by the presentation of such convincing arguments that they would be constrained to come in." (see below)

Bible Answer

Luke 14:23 "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."

What Did Ellen White Say About Compelling People "To Come In"?

"All may have life who will accept it; the world has been invited to the gospel feast. When those who were first invited refused the invitation, the master of the feast declared that none of those who were bidden should taste of his supper. But the banquet was not to be devoid of guests. He sent his messengers into the streets of the city, into the highways and byways, to compel men to come in, that his house might be filled. Men were to be compelled, not by force, but by the presentation of such convincing arguments that they would be constrained to come in. This compelling message represents the message that God would send to men to impel them to receive Christ, the world’s Redeemer. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” {RH September 24, 1895, par. 3}

"The command given in the parable, to “compel them to come in,” has often been misinterpreted. It has been regarded as teaching that we should force men to receive the gospel. But it denotes rather the urgency of the invitation, and the effectiveness of the inducements presented. The gospel never employs force in bringing men to Christ. Its message is “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” Isaiah 55:1. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come.... And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17. The power of God’s love and grace constrains us to come." {COL 235.1}

"Now is the very period to go out in the highways and hedges and compel them to come in. This does not mean that we shall force the truth upon those who utterly refuse to hear, but that these discouraging cases are not to be left as hopeless. They are to be followed with prayer. We must not think of giving up souls although they may seem to be unimpressible. Persevering labor in preaching followed up with publications and prayer, pleading with souls, praying with them and living out the faith, will make impressions and be a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. If these efforts do not save, they will condemn. Publications should be sent everywhere, scattered like the leaves of autumn, which are designed to follow close upon the interest aroused by hearing the living preacher." {Lt34-1875.12}