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A Parable

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matt. 22:1-14 NIV

They Rejected Him

The King is God the Father. His Son is Jesus Christ, God the Son. God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world to save the world from their sins. First he sent him to the Jews, the nation of Israel, who were God’s chosen people at that time, but largely they rejected him.

Some did believe, and many more since then have believed, but the nation of Israel, as a whole, has still rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and as their Savior. So, God rejected them as his chosen people. But, they are not beyond recovery. They can still be saved from their sins and have eternal life with God if they put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Messiah.

God sent his messengers to the Jews as well as he sent his Only Begotten Son to them, but they refused to believe in Jesus Christ. They mistreated many of them and they killed some of the Lord’s messengers, but most importantly, they killed the Son of God, the author of life, our creator. And, God did judge them for that in 70 AD when he had their city destroyed and their temple burned. And, yet, they continued to persecute and kill the Lord’s followers and his messengers, including in this present day and time. So, a future judgment awaits all those who refuse Jesus Christ, too.

Since the Jewish nation rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah, the Lord then sent the message of his salvation to the Gentiles (non-Jews). Yet, many of them, too, have rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and Messiah, and many of them, as well, have mistreated and killed the Lord’s servants and messengers, including in this present day and time. But, they also are not beyond recovery. There is still time for them to repent of their sins and to turn to God to walk in obedience to him and to his Word. But, the clock is ticking, and time is running out.

The Gospel Message

So, what is this message that his servants and messengers are bringing to the people, and that many are still refusing and are even persecuting and killing his messengers over? And, what is this wedding banquet about?

The message is that mankind is born into sin, without God, and without hope, due to the sin of the first man Adam. When the first man sinned, that separated the whole human race from fellowship with God. So, God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world to save the world from their sins and to restore them to fellowship with God. And, God’s plan of salvation for the world did include that Jesus would be put to death on a cross, although he had done no wrong.

For, when Jesus died on that cross, he became sin for us, so that when he died, our sins died with him. When he rose from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, death and Satan, on our behalf. He died, though, in order that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. The righteous requirement of the law is, thus, fulfilled in us who walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. Because Jesus died, we can live. By faith in him, in death with him to sin, and in living with him to righteousness, we are now delivered from slavery to sin, we can now walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, and we have eternal life with God.

But, our salvation is not yet complete. We are saved, we are being saved, and one day we will be saved when Jesus Christ returns and he takes us, his bride, home to be with him forever. That is when the wedding banquet takes place and our marriage to him is consummated. This is when our salvation will be complete, and we will be forever with our Lord. Amen!

The Right Garment

One day Jesus is going to return for his bride, and there will be a wedding feast, and God will judge all those who refused his Son, and they will be cast into utter darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And, this man not properly dressed for the wedding banquet represents all those who, although invited, and who made an appearance, did not meet the requirements and was cast out. So, what does this look like to not be properly dressed? And, how do we know if we are in or out?

Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die with him to sin), for his sake, we will gain eternal life with him. Paul reiterated these words of Jesus when he said that if we walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live.

This really is the essence of the gospel message. For, Jesus didn’t die just to forgive us our sins, to free us from punishment, and to promise us heaven when we leave this earth. He died to deliver us out of slavery to sin and to free us to walk in his righteousness. So, if we continue living in sin, and making sin our practice, the Bible teaches we don’t have eternal life with God but a fearful expectation of judgment, even if we did confess him as Lord and as Savior of our lives (See: Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 8:1-17).

So, the proper garment for being able to participate in the wedding banquet is the garment of Christ’s righteousness. It is being clothed with Christ through genuine faith in him which is crucified with Christ in death to sin and which is resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

The Wrong Garment

Thus, the improper dress is to be clothed in unrighteousness. This means this person is not married to Christ but to himself. He is not godly and holy, honest and living in purity, but he is vile, crude, adulterous, a liar and a deceiver, who celebrates and participates in what is evil. Not only that, but this particular man, since he made an appearance at the wedding feast, appears to represent those who have made a profession of Christ as Savior of their lives but who remained dressed in unrighteousness. He represents those, thus, that fake their Christianity, or who think that God requires nothing of them – no repentance, no submission and no obedience.

So, although he makes a profession of Christ as Savior, he continues living a sinful lifestyle. He is already destroyed, even before the day of judgment. For, he professes one thing while he lives the opposite. He portends to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness, while he daily puts on wickedness, lies, deceit, secret sins, manipulations of truth, and a false persona. He claims his sins are forgiven and that he is this “new man” in Christ, while he still consistently engages himself in impurity, sexual immorality, gossip, greed, cowardly acts, hatred, meanness, pride and the like. The Bible says they who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Yet, there is still hope while there is still time, so it is not too late yet, but one day it will be. So, if you have refused Jesus as your Savior, or if you are faking your Christianity or you have bought into lies which tell you that you don’t have to repent or obey the Lord, then I pray that today, while we still have today, that you will yield your life completely to Jesus Christ so that you are clothed in his righteousness and not in the wickedness of this world.

What we wear is what we daily put on, be it the flesh or the Spirit. If daily you put on the flesh, and walk according to the flesh, you will die in your sins, even if you make a profession of faith in Christ. So, repent of your sins today and turn your life to Christ to follow in his ways from this day on.

Lord, I Need You

Songwriters: Christy Nockels / Daniel Carson /
Jesse Reeves / Kristian Stanfill / Matt Maher

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me…
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Saturday, February 24, 2018, 10:40 p.m. – Thank you, my Jesus!