1. Hello listening friends.
2. We are at the very last message from the series of messages entitled, “The Point of the Story”.
3. And it comes from Matthew chapter 22, verses 1 to 14.
4. And it’s about a wedding.
5. Everyone loves a wedding!
6. Everybody, that is... except perhaps the groom... and the brides father.
7. They have their different reasons of course... but nonetheless weddings are always joyous celebrations.
8. the one who really looks forward to the wedding day is the bride.
9. She longs to be with her future husband.
10. She is filled with expectations.
11. The husband to be... has showered her kindness.
12. He promised to be her protector
13. and cover her spiritual head.
14. He proved to her again and again that his love for her is unconditional.
15. And that he will always be available in the times of need.
16. All this adds up to the bride counting the seconds to dwell with him permanently.
17. And that’s precisely why the Scripture repeatedly points out that spiritually speaking the relationship between the Lord and His church... is like the ideal relationship between a husband and wife.
18. The Book of Hosea reminds us of what can happen when a faithless wife breaks the heart of her husband.
19. It can easily work the other way.
20. Throughout the Old Testament God reveals to us how He felt toward the unfaithfulness of His people.
21. He fulfilled His promises to them.
22. He protected them day and night.
23. He provided for them day and night.
24. He blessed them richly.
25. He loved them unconditionally.
26. But they kept on running after other gods.
27. They kept on running after things.
28. They set their hearts on the things of the world.
29. And, they did what is most hurtful of all.
30. They ignored Him and became indifferent toward Him.
31. This brings us to the last parable we are going to study in this series of messages.
32. It is in the light of that history that the Lord Jesus tells His Jewish hearers this magnificent parable in Matt. 22.
33. Let’s read it.
34. Now, I want you to focus on the four different groups of people in this parable.
35. The first group are those who refused the invitation.
36. The second group are those who excused themselves.
37. The third group are those who used the invitation well.
38. The fourth is one person who refused the king’s provision.
39. In the ancient times... a wedding feast was inseparable from the wedding itself.
40. Depending on the financial strength of the family... sometimes the feasts went on for weeks.
41. A royal wedding, of course, would be held in the palace.
42. And a king is always very extravagant in his desire to please his guests.
43. The fact that this is a wedding feast is incidental... there is no mention of the bride here.
44. The wedding feast was chosen by our Lord to emphasize the festivities.
45. A royal feast obviously is going to be the party of all parties.
46. Often, people like to out do each other in their extravagance...
47. But, when it comes to the king no one can match his parties.
48. But this particular party... is given by the greatest monarch of the universe.
49. And it is given to the most honored guest imaginable.
50. And when the preparation was complete the king sent out his servant to all those who had already been invited.
51. To be on the king’s pre-invitation list... was the highest honor possible.
52. The best thing about this feast was that it is all provided for you... free!
53. So, you can imagine somebody turning the king’s invitation down
54. The very thought of turning down such an invitation is preposterous.
55. An invitation from one’s king brings the greatest honor imaginable.
56. To spurn the king and his invitation is a serious offense.
57. In the ancient days few kings, if any, were known for their humility and patience...
58. especially when they are openly insulted.
59. So, this king sends out the invitation... but this time not only do they refuse the invitation... and excuse themselves.
60. This time the invitation is more urgent.
61. The food is ready... the king is sitting at the table and waiting.
62. Possibly there is an imploring on the part of the servants.
63. Please... don’t turn the king’s invitation down.
64. Possibly there was pleading for the people to come to the feast.
65. But, many of the invitees were cold and indifferent.
66. They were selfishly pre-occupied with their personal business.
67. They were busy making a living and missing out on life.
68. but they were pre-occupied with their wants and their ambitions... forgetting the most important thing in life.
69. They were running around, seeking after a mirage where the real festivities... the real king... and the real joy... and the real value in life... are being ignored and snubbed.
70. But there was another group of invited guests who were worse than indifferent.
71. They themselves were offended by the persistent invitation.
72. So, in an act of brutal arrogance they seized the king’s servants and mistreated them and killed them.
73. The equivalent in our day would be the ones who insist that anything to do with God must be practiced in secret.
74. They are the ones who persecute God’s faithful servants.
75. Those people... in the parable... represent those who are actually hostile to Biblical truth...
76. Throughout history, the two enemies of the cross have been... indifference and false religions.
77. But the persistence on the part of the king is an indication of God’s gracious patience.
78. The persistence on the part of king is an indication of God’s gracious forbearance with those who rejected Him.
79. Which brings me to the third group of people... those who made good use of the invitation.
80. The servants commission was to go everywhere and invite everyone... and this is precisely what the great commission is all about.
81. It is to go and make disciples of all nations.
82. The invitation was to whomsoever may come.
83. Because they are both equal in the sight of God.
84. The original invited people saw themselves to be morally and spiritually superior... so they were uninvited.
85. The second group was a mixed group...
86. but the Bible said that: “Only those who washed their robes in the blood of the lamb... will be qualified to come into the king’s feast.”
87. Fourthly, we see among those who came there was one who wasn’t wearing a wedding robe.
88. This intruder who came to feast was included in the general invitation.
89. He was not an uninvited guest who came without an invitation.
90. But, because he was not properly dressed... he stood out in contrast to all the other guests.
91. You say, “How come?”
92. Well... none of the people who had come had proper clothes for the prince’s wedding.
93. In most royal weddings the guest were handed a gown as they came in.
94. Here the king made provision for wedding clothes.
95. The king knew that all of his guests... all of those who responded to his gracious invitation... were poor and have no royal attire.
96. Just as the king of kings knows that none of us... have any righteousness to get us anywhere near heaven.
97. For all of your good works without Jesus, the Bible said: “Is like a dirty rag.”
98. So... God made provision for those who trusted in Jesus Christ to put on the righteousness of His son.
99. But this one person decided to defy the royal protocol.
100. He was a proud and self-willed individual.
101. He was insulting to the king’s provision.
102. This one person in the wedding represents all those who think that they are going to Heaven on the strength of their good works.
103. He represents all those who think that they are going to Heaven on the strength of their merits.
104. When the king confronted this man who was presumptuous... thinking that he could come to the king’s feast on his own terms... he was speechless.
105. But, his arrogance was short lived... the king found him out and sent him into the outer darkness.
106. My listening friends, please listen to me very carefully.
107. You cannot get to heaven without the righteousness of Jesus.
108. Even if you do good work every single day of your life.
109. You will be thrown into the outer darkness
110. Only the richness of Jesus Christ, the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ will qualify you to go to heaven.
111. Will you receive his righteousness today?
112. Will you say, Lord Jesus, give me that gown of your righteousness?
113. Lord Jesus I know that it is only through your righteousness that I can get into heaven.
114. It is my prayer that you would say this prayer with me.
115. Come into my life Lord Jesus.
116. Forgive me my sins.
117. Accept me into your kingdom,
118. So that I will not be ashamed on the last day.
119. In your name do I pray Jesus,