The Parables of Jesus. Sometimes they read like a horror story. How about the Kingdom of Heaven? It seems like there could be some "issues".
Matt. 22:2-3 - "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son (3) And sent his servants to summon those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they refused to come."
They refused to come? It's an invite from The King! Don't forget, it's a parable, so the metaphors run rampant sometimes. We have to establish who's who.
The King is God. His Son is Jesus. The Wedding Feast is the marriage of the Lamb to the human race (salvation). The guests were originally the Jews, God's chosen people, but they refused to come. Wow.
Ok, ok, there is all this food and preparation and stuff, what is the King going to do now? Who will benefit from the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ on the Cross? Everyone else who accepts it. EVERYONE ELSE who accepts it!
Verse 8-10 - "Then he said to his servants, The wedding [feast] is prepared, but those invited were not worthy. (9) So go to the thoroughfares where they leave the city [where the main roads and those from the country end] and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find. (10) And those servants went out on the crossroads and got together as many as they found, both bad and good, so [the room in which] the wedding feast [was held] was filled with guests.
Don't think for a moment that you can't be counted as one of the rejectors of God's grace. If He opened it up to the scroungers of the world (us) as the result of the rejection of the very people He came to restore, and "grafted" us or "sown" us into the Covenant of the blood sacrifice of His honored Son, then do you really think you'll get in with all of your rejection?
The rejector is odd. They enjoy the concept of Kingdom living, they even believe it is for them. They just don't want to play by the rules. They don't want to put on the clean wedding garment (washed in the Blood of the Lamb). They want to come when they feel it's right and it suitable to them, and they want to come in their stinking rags of defilement and disobedience. They may even tell the King that Sunday is not good for them. They may ask the King to reschedule. If the King's business conflicts, then the King's business shall wait.
The King says, "NO!"
Verse 11-14 - "But when the king came in to view the guests, he looked intently at a man there who had on no wedding garment. (12) And he said, Friend, how did you come in here without putting on the [appropriate] wedding garment? And he was speechless (muzzled, gagged). (13) Then the king said to the attendants, Tie him hand and foot, and throw him into the darkness outside; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. (14) For many are called (invited and summoned), but few are chosen.
Notice how God loves you. He even called you "friend".
Yet, He will not be dishonored, refused, or rejected. You will be rejected. You will be carried beyond the doors of the feast (The Kingdom), into the darkness where there is no coming back from.
You will be refused.
Few are chosen. You had already been chosen. He searched for the worst of us and invited us in, even when we were undesirable and sinful.
He only asked you to put on the clean garments of righteousness. He only asked you to obey.
He only asked you to give up everything for Him! Make Him number ONE!
Sorry. Too tough?
Everything is everything. All is all. Go ahead. Try to argue your flimsy point with the One who knows exactly what it means to give everything for a whining and complaining race of people who kicked it back in His face.
I'm afraid I've settled that in my own life many years ago, so I may become very unpopular this morning.
Church can't be Church until people agree serving God is their top numero uno priority over EVERYTHING else on the planet.
How to end this? By a hearty amen and so be it on my part. Jesus never fails. He's never failed me. I hope and pray that many others would come to that same conclusion even today.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><