Monday, March 22, 2010
Don't show up at the Wedding Feast naked!
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matt 22:11-14
This is one of my favorite of Jesus's parables. It relays the story of a king who invites a group of prominent people to the wedding feast for His son, but they are all too busy with the things of this world. So the King instructs his servants to go out and invite the homeless, the wanderers, the nobodies. And of course they all came!
But what is this wedding feast? Who are the bride and groom and why didn't this man have on his wedding garment?
We find the answer to these questions in Revelation 19: 7-9
Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And the angel said to me, Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb. And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”
The wedding feast is in celebration of Jesus and His Bride, the church, that will happen at the end of this age. And the wedding garments are made of the righteous acts of the saints. Isn't that interesting? So, if you show up at the feast without your wedding garment, you get tossed out--not just into the streets but into hell. Obviously this person believed in Jesus or he wouldn't have tried to get into the wedding feast. He may even have thought he'd been invited and was quite happy to attend. So what happened? I thought the deal was you just have to believe in Jesus to be a part of His church. Jesus tossed this poor fellow into hell for not commiting any righteous acts. That sounds a bit cruel at first to me.
Until you realize that faith and works are very closely linked and cannot be seperated.
Didn't James say that Faith without works is dead? Which means you can believe all you want but if your actions don't confirm what you believe, then you really don't believe at all.
For the Lord says in 1 John 2:4 If someone claims to know God but doesn't obey His Commandments, that person is a liar and not living in the truth.
So I believe that person who came to the wedding without his garment represents all the people who believe in Jesus but never allow His Spirit to enter them and change them and produce the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, humility, etc. . . in their lives. I don't believe the "righteous acts" this verse speaks of mean the really big things like becoming a missionary or giving everything you have to the poor, although those are great things. I believe the righteous acts are all the things we've done that were prompted by our faith in God and through Holy Spirit living within us. Because you can do many wonderful selfless acts but unless they are prompted by God and done in faith, they are meaningless.
I believe some of us will be gloriously arrayed at this feast with glittering gowns of golden silk and jewels, while others may be there only in their underwear. But at least they would have made it! So, keep your mind and heart on eternity and on this incredible marriage feast of the Lamb and begin today to weave the most beautiful garment you can by being filled with God's Spirit and following the Lord in faith.!
I want to see you there in a ravishing gown!!! okay?