Saturday, October 16, 2021

Prepared For Us

Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

From Genesis 2:23,24 we learn that God meant for couples to be bonded together in a life-long relationship. “The two shall become one…” has far-reaching effects for the two individuals. What one does effects the other, and vice-versa. I know I am preaching to the choir, but Ephesians 5:21-33 provides us with more details about what that bond is, and how it should function within the marriage relationship.

Today in Matthew 22, we are looking at a marriage feast that has been prepared and is ready for the guests to arrrive. The father of the bride is excited about this great gathering that he has prepared. And sadly he is disappointed when none of the invited guests come.

It is key to know that hospitality holds a special place in the hearts of those in the Holy Land. The more that have been prepared for, the higher in social status the host rises. And the joy of the wedding feast is matched by the joy of many friends and family celebrating the day together.

Ephesians 5:32 also tells us of the Apostle Paul’s analogous teaching; as he speaks of the relationship between husbands and wives, Paul declares, “But I speak concerning Christ and the Church.” What we conclude is that there is a wedding feast coming in heaven between the Lord Jesus and His church. This is the reason that the church is referred to as “The Bride of Christ.” And every true Christian is part of His Bride.

The “guests” are the host of heavenly angels, and the event will put even Earthly Kings and Prinesses to shame. It will be beyond anything we can imagine. Nothing on this earth will compare to the feast prepared for God’s children. Jesus and His Bride will be joined as one!

Those of any background that respond to the Gospel will be part of that heavenly wedding feast. Those that “send their regrets” will go through The Great Tribulation Period. Yet God is gracious, for the Tribulation Saints are referred to in Rev. 6:9-11: they are those that accept Christ during the Great Tribulation, and will enter into heaven. Those that reject Him still will be cast into the Lake of Fire with Satan, death, and hell. (Revelation 21:11-15)

Today's Audio Message:
Matthew 22:1-22 - "Prepared For Us"

We see hear a wedding feast being prepared by the king for his son. We see the folks whose invitation was assumed – and they represented the religious leaders of Jesus’ day.

We see their being invited and their shocking refusal of that invitation. We see the persistence of the king’s invitation to them and their persistent refusal of the invitation – some being ambivalent about it and some being antagonistic and even homicidal.

And finally we the servants gathering anyone and everyone to the wedding feast....but will the king accept them? We see the final judgment of those who were not worthy – cast out and into darkness.

The shocking reality that confronts us is that not everyone who has externally responded to God’s invitation to his kingdom is really in actuality going to be accepted by the King. Because we see in the last four verses of this parable that not all who are called – or invited – to God’s kingdom are actually chosen or accepted by the King.

In churches across the world – people who come and they listen and they sing and they give. But they’re not clothed… in Christ’s righteousness. They have on – in God’s eyes – their own filthy rags of their own self-righteousness. They still think they can earn their own way to eternal life.

The guest in this parable – who had received the invitation to the kingdom but was not clothed appropriately – is thrown outside into the darkness. And all who reject God’s forgiveness through Christ – who are dressed in their own unrighteous rags rather than Christ’s righteousness – will be cast away from God’s presence into eternal darkness. They’ll be bound in the sense that they will never be able to escape their fate.

The question posed for each of us to answer in this parable is, How Will You Respond to God’s Invitation to His Kingdom? 

Do you believe? Have you put your faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ for your sin?  The invitations have been sent....will you come?

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