‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and [my] fatlings [are] killed, and all things [are] ready: come unto the marriage.  But they made light of [it], and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated [them] spitefully, and slew [them].  But when the king heard [thereof], he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.’   (Matthew 22:2-7)

This is a quick summary of the history of Israel, through AD 70.

 

‘Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.’  (Matthew 22:8-10)

This summarizes taking the gospel to all the world.

 

‘And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man WHICH HAD NOT ON A WEDDING GARMENT: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

For many are called, but few [are] chosen.‘  (Matthew 22:11-14)

 

This is a warning for today.  It is not enough just to answer the gospel invitation.  We must be clothed in a proper wedding garment!  And what is that garment?

 

‘ . . . as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might SANCTIFY and CLEANSE it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, NOT HAVING SPOT, OR WRINKLE, or any such thing; but that it should be HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH.’  (Ephesians 5:25-27)

 

‘For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after RIGHTEOUSNESS, GODLINESS, FAITH, LOVE, PATIENCE, MEEKNESS.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called . . . That thou keep [this] commandment WITHOUT SPOT, UNREBUKEABLE, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:’  (1 Timothy 6:10-14)

 

‘ . . . be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, WITHOUT SPOT, and BLAMELESS.’  (2 Peter 3:14)

(If it depended only on Jesus Christ’s righteousness, we would not be told to BE DILIGENT.)

 

Our wedding garment is the spiritual fruit we bear, the faith we live by, and the holiness of our lifestyle.

‘ . . . that they should repent and turn to God, and DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.’  (Acts 26:20)

 

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS, TEMPERANCE: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have CRUCIFIED THE FLESH WITH THE AFFECTIONS AND LUSTS.’  (Galatians 5:22-24)

 

‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath BEFORE ORDAINED THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.’  (Ephesians 2:10)

 

‘By FAITH Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that HE PLEASED GOD.’  (Hebrews 11:5)

 

‘And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; FOR THEE HAVE I SEEN RIGHTEOUS before me in this generation.’  (Genesis 7:1)

 

‘Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us CLEANSE OURSELVES from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, PERFECTING HOLINESS in the FEAR OF GOD.’  (2 Corinthians 7:1)

 

‘ . . . for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now YIELD YOUR MEMBERS servants to RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO HOLINESS . . . But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, YE HAVE YOUR FRUIT UNTO HOLINESS, and the end everlasting life.’  (Romans 6:19, 22)

 

In verse thirteen, we saw what happened to the guest who had come to the wedding feast without a garment:

‘Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and TAKE HIM AWAY, and CAST [HIM] INTO OUTER DARKNESS; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

Jesus repeats this teaching again . . .

‘Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles TO BURN THEM: but gather the wheat into my barn.’

(Matthew 13:30)

 

And again . . .

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit HE TAKETH AWAY: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.   Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in me, he is CAST FORTH as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and CAST [THEM] INTO THE FIRE, and they are burned.’  (John 15:1-6)

 

Paul teaches with this same spiritual understanding:

‘For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:  But that which beareth thorns and briers [is] REJECTED, and [is] nigh unto cursing; WHOSE END [IS] TO BE BURNED.

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. . . And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. . . And so, after [Abraham] had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’  (Hebrews 6:7-15)

 

Salvation does not come at our profession of faith.  We receive salvation if we endure to the end and produce the spiritual fruit that comes from a life of holiness and sanctification.

‘And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth TO THE END shall be saved.’  (Matthew 10:22)

 

‘But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, IF WE HOLD FAST the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope FIRM UNTO THE END.’  (Hebrews 3:6)

 

The key to bearing spiritual fruit is to abide in Jesus.

‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same BRINGETH FORTH MUCH FRUIT: for without me ye can do nothing.’  (John 15:4-5)

 

Hear two final warnings, for our generation:

** ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and KEEPETH HIS GARMENTS, LEST HE WALK NAKED, and they see his shame.’  (Revelation 16:15)

 

**’ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art LUKEWARM, and neither cold nor hot, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH.

BECAUSE THOU SAYEST, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART WRETCHED, and MISERABLE, and POOR, and BLIND, and NAKED: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and WHITE RAIMENT, THAT THOU MAYEST BE CLOTHED, and [that] the SHAME OF THY NAKEDNESS do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: BE ZEALOUS therefore, and REPENT.’  (Revelation 3:14-19)

Advertisements