Howdy! As I’ve been in the thinking-mode for the past several months, there is something that’s stuck out in my mind as being an incredibly scary thought. How many of our friends, family, fellow church-goers, and people in general, who claim to know Christ don’t really know Him? One of the illustrations that Christ used to show this, even back when He was in the flesh, was the Parable of the Wedding Banquet.
Found in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 22, Christ gives the Pharisees, priests, and church-goers an example of what many of them were doing in their lives. His description of a king preparing a huge wedding banquet and sending out his servants to deliver the invitations, brings to mind the invitation of God for us to join Him in His kingdom, eternally. The description that follows that is also eerily similar to the rejection of God throughout scripture and our culture. So many times in history, the prophets sent by God were killed, persecuted, and tortured because of the message they brought forth. The intended audiences rejected the words of the prophet, many times because of the lack of desire to be accountable for the lifestyles being lived. As we continue on, we see the king sending servants out again to invite more guests, but again, the invitation is rejected, and the servants killed, tortured, and captured. At this point, the king then sent his army and destroyed the murderers and destroyed their city. I can’t help but draw a comparison to the same scenario that occurred with Noah in Genesis chapter 6. Man had become corrupt, sinful, and in general disregard for God and His commands. Noah, instructed by God, built the ark and God wiped out all mankind, with the exception of Noah and his family. Crazy huh? The next part of the parable has the servants of the king going out to every street corner and inviting anyone who they found to come to the banquet for his son’s wedding, both good and bad people. When the king entered the hall, he saw a man who was not dressed appropriately for the event, and asked him “how did you get in here without wedding clothes?” The man had no response, and the king had him bound and thrown into the darkness where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The point of this story is summed up in the final verse of the parable “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
What’s the explanation? Well, to begin with, the invitation to the wedding banquet symbolizes the invitation to salvation through Christ alone. Everyone has an invitation to the banquet, good, bad, nice, mean, everyone has the invitation. When we accept the invitation, there are a few things we have to do. One thing is to let our lives be representative of Christ in our hearts, this is symbolized by the wedding clothes. When we truly submit to Christ as our savior, we change our lives completely. There is no remnant of our old lives, and our lives exemplify Christ in all that we do. Does this mean we will be without sin? Certainly not, but we will strive to change those things about us that cause us to sin, and cause others to sin as well. There are so many people who claim to be a christian, but their lives reflect nothing of Christ. I would like to think that everyone I go to church with is going to be dressed for the banquet, but the sad fact of this, is that there will be at least one or a few that thought they were dressed, but weren’t. I would like to think that everyone in my family is going to be dressed for the banquet with me, again, I have family who doesn’t know the Lord from the guy down the street. When Christ says “for many are invited, but few are chosen,” he is not speaking of people being called to ministry, as this verse has been misquoted as meaning so many times, or as the “elect” as it is also used. It means that there will be people at the gates of Heaven who thought they were saved, thought they were christians, but weren’t dressed for the banquet. They prayed a prayer, but never made the change in their lives, and never lived the example of Christ. My encouragement, to anyone who reads this, is evaluate where you are, have you truly surrendered to His will for your life? Feel free to inbox me after you read this with questions, comments, etc, and any feedback on the blog itself is also encouraged.