Monday, April 6, 2020

You are invited to a Wedding!

Did you know that?  Yes, everyone on earth throughout time has been invited to the greatest wedding of all!  Some have taken the invitation and tossed it in the trash. Others have waved it away and not even looked at it. Some have read it, agreed to go, but never RSVPed. Some RSVped, but in the meantime, they've not done anything to prepare for the wedding, such as buy the correct dress or suit and make sure it fits, or purchase an oil lamp to be brought to the ceremony.  Sadly, very few have actually accepted the invitation, RSVped AND gotten their wedding garment ready and their oil lamp filled. 

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.  Matthew 22:1-11

So who's wedding is this? It's the wedding of Jesus and His Bride (His faithful followers) The entire Bible is a love story between God and man. He created us to be His children, to know Him and love Him and spend eternity with Him. But of course God's enemy, satan, caused mankind to rebel against God, and ever since then God has been planning a way to bring us back to Him. Hence, the bride, those who receive the invitation to be reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus. God has been searching for a bride for His Only Son. The bride purchase price was paid (Jesus's death on the cross), the wine sealing the deal was drunk (His blood) and then Jesus went to heaven to prepare a home for His new bride. He promised to return for us and bring us to heaven (the rapture) where this wedding will take place! 

Yet, there are conditions to be a part of this wedding.
  1. You must receive the invitation and RSVP that you are coming 
  2. You must keep your oil lamp full of oil while you are waiting to be brought to the wedding 
  3. You must create a clean, bright wedding garment to be worn to the wedding. 

RSVP.  This means you believe Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for your sins, you repent of all your wrongdoings, and you make Him your Lord. When someone is your Lord, that means they are in charge of you and you do what they say!

Lamp and oil. After you RSVP, you must be a light to everyone around you. Oil represents the Holy Spirit, who entered to live inside of you when you RSVPed!  

Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’  But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. 
Matthew 25:1-13

It's important to note here that all the virgins had the Holy Spirit in them in the beginning. All were saved. But 5 of them allowed the Holy Spirit to leave them, which means that we have some responsibility, some thing we must do in order to maintain our salvation.  

How do you keep oil in your lamp?  Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. If you continue to grieve Him, He will leave! How do you grieve Him? By ignoring Him and by purposely living in sin. By disobeying over and over the commands of God and not repenting. Remember repenting doesn't just mean saying you're sorry. It means changing your behavior!  

Wedding Garment

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.” Matthew 22:11-14 

Wow! Tossed into hell just because he didn't have a wedding garment on? But if we look a little deeper, we see that the wedding garment represents so much more than just clothing. Let's say you were hosting a wedding and someone showed up in a t-shirt with holes in it and ragged shorts. Is that person respecting you? Is that person showing you any honor? No. But in the Bible, this wedding garment goes even deeper.

When we get saved, we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus, so the wedding garment is something we are given. is also something we add to during our time waiting for Jesus. 

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Revelation 19: 7-8 

The Wedding Garment is made by our righteous acts!  Wow. What are righteous acts?  Anything we do in obedience to the Lord. Righteous acts will naturally come out of our daily walk with Him. The closer we get to Him, the clearer we hear His voice, and the more we do for Him. We are led by the Holy Spirit, that oil, that fills us daily. 

This glorious wedding is about to occur!  I'm fully convinced of that. If you want to come, receive the invitation, RSVP, keep your oil lamp full, and create your wedding garment! 

I hope to see you there!

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