Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't show up at the Wedding Feast naked!

But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“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?


  1. The book of James talks about the indivisible relationship of faith and works! I am teaching it this year and it's fresh in my mind... Things we need to get back to in this generation like obedience to the Word of God, more concern for the needy and less for the big shots, justice for the downtrodden, watching our smart mouths, consulting God about our grand plans, and loving Him more than ourselves! Some very practical things that would not only be really beautiful if we DID them, but would change the world.

  2. Amen, MaryLu! This is great-thanks. :)

  3. This is a good illustration of Matt. 7:20-23

    20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    You had the same POV I did when I read about the marriage supper.


  4. This is a great message MaryLu. But I have one question: I haven't heard this verse before- “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matt 22:11-14
    Does this mean that God choses who comes to Heaven and who doesn't???? Or does it mean that He choses who hears the gospel and who doesn't??? I am so confused!!!!!!!!!!=(

  5. God calls (invites) everybody but only those who respond and accept the invitation are chosen for the final guest list! That's the way I see it, Eszter. It is a lot like a wedding, isn't it?

  6. Amen Diane! Thank you Casey! And Sasafras, those are great scriptures! Eszter, as Diane says, God extends salvation through His Son to everyone, but He knows already who will accept Him and who will reject Him (Because He's outside of time and because He's God.) So only those who accept Him will be chosen. In other words, He chooses those He knows will choose Him. Make sense?

  7. Definetely! Thanks for the explaination. It helped clear the fog. I chose Him! And I know my name is on that wedding list. =)

  8. I'm glad you posted this because this part of scripture did confused me a bit.

    I also have a question even though certain stores don't want books that involve pirates, will there still be an omnibus of the red siren, blue enchantress, and the raven saint?

    Thanks Jasmine

  9. Jasmine, yes, the omnibus of my Charles Towne Belles series is still set to be released this coming November. But I have no idea whether it will be picked up by the larger chains such as Wallmart and Sams Club and the larger Christian book stores. Time will tell. Thanks for the question!

  10. I really enjoy your point of view on these verses! I like the idea of "weaving" a beautiful gown. : ) I keep seeing prom dresses in stores and wish I had somewhere to wear one! But wearing one in heaven, that's made up of all the things we've done for the Lord because we believe in Him, is the best!

  11. You cannot take the splinter out of my eye when it is still in your eye. Stop trying to interpret things you obviously know nothing about.
    Learn...then teach.
    Once you learn you realize it is not something you CAN teach. So until you stop know nothing.