Matthew 22:1-7 ESV
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
Those who are the invited today, I believe, would be those who have already heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, many of whom have professed faith in Jesus Christ. Some of them have professed faith in Jesus for many, many years, in fact.
And, some of them are well-grounded in the scriptures, too, for they have been taught them since they were young children. And, many of them have been faithful in attending weekly gatherings in what is called “church” for most of their lives, as well, and have even served in areas of ministry.
But, for a lot of them, their professions of faith in Jesus Christ are surface only. They were looking to escape hell and to go to heaven when they die, but they didn’t really ever follow the Lord in death to sin and in living to his righteousness. And, church gatherings for them are really more of a social event than they have anything to do with following our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives.
For, they have a religion which they believe guarantees them entry into God’s heaven upon death. But, for the most part, they feel their lives are their own to live however they want.
Over the years, I believe, God has sent them messengers, like A. W. Tozer, for example, who have dispelled Satan’s lies, and who have taught them the truth regarding the gospel of our salvation. And, these servants of the Lord have called these church goers to submission to Christ, to obedience to his commands, and to holy living.
But, as the years have gone on, and as the church has become more worldly, such messages as these are more and more being rejected within the gatherings of what is called “church.”
Matthew 22:8-10 ESV
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
Originally this parable was intended, I believe, as a picture of the Jews from whom the Messiah had come, and through whom the gospel of our salvation had come. But, most of them rejected Jesus. They did kill some of the prophets, as well as they put Jesus to death on a cross, although he had done no wrong, but only good. And, so the Lord sent the gospel to the Gentiles.
I can only speak from experience here, but from what I have read, I don’t believe I am alone. My experience has been that numerous of “the invited,” i.e. of those already having heard the gospel, and having professed faith in Jesus Christ, and who have established themselves in gatherings in what is called “church,” have rejected the true gospel of our salvation and those who are sharing the true gospel. And, since I am one who is sharing the true gospel, I was rejected in many such gatherings.
So, the Lord sent me to the internet to share the messages he wanted me to share. But, I believe that was his plan for me all along. And, so he allowed me to be rejected, and to have doors closed in my face, so that I would be ready, and so I would be willing to be sent to the internet to share his gospel and to share the deep truths regarding the Christian life with those who would welcome it.
I am not saying that I have not encountered rejection or opposition on the internet, though. I have. But there are people here who want to hear what God gives me to share, whereas I have not had that much with people in person. But, God allowed that so he would send me to the “highways and byways of life.” And, so I thank him and I praise him. And, I know I am not alone in this, either.
Matthew 22:11-15 ESV
“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
“Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words.”
But, even if we are teaching what is truth, and even if we are exposing the lies, it doesn’t mean everyone is going to reject the lies in favor of the truth, though some will make a pretense that they have, when they haven’t. For, although many people are accepting the cheap grace gospel today over the true gospel of our salvation, at least some of these are what I call “closet cheap grace people.”
For, there are those who buy into the cheap grace gospel who make no bones about the fact that they believe that God’s grace requires of them no repentance, no obedience to Christ, and no surrender to the Lordship of Christ. They believe, therefore, that they can go on sinning willfully against God but that it will no longer be charged to their account.
But, then there are those who make a pretense of righteousness, who put on a show that they are walking in obedience to the Lord, and that they have left their sinful lifestyles behind them, while they are secretly engaged in all manner of evil that they don’t want anyone to know about. So, although outwardly they profess to believe in the true gospel, their lifestyles give evidence that they truly believe the cheap grace gospel.
And, these are the ones, I believe, who have disguised themselves as sheep, but they aren’t wearing the right “wedding garment.” And, that is because they have not truly crucified the flesh with its sinful passions, but that they are truly still engaged in fulfilling the lusts of their flesh while professing purity of devotion to Jesus Christ. And, they will be told, “Depart from me. I never knew you,” because they faked knowing the Lord.
But, if you are one who believes the true gospel and who is teaching such a message as this, you are most likely going to be rejected like Jesus was, and you will have people against you, trying to trip you up with your words, laying traps for you, hoping you will fall, because that is what Satan wants. He wants to trip us up so we will stop sharing the true gospel, because he wants to stop the spreading of the true gospel.
But, be encouraged! God has the final word here, and his word is true, and he is completely faithful in all that he does. So, don’t let Satan’s attacks against you or his plots of evil against you, which are meant to discourage and to dishearten you, get to you. Just keep trusting the Lord in all things. He will see you through to the end, and then you will be with him forever.
Footprints of Jesus
Lyrics by Mary B. Slade, pub. 1871
Music by Asa B. Everett
Sweetly, Lord, have we heard Thee calling,
Come, follow Me!
And we see where Thy footprints falling
Lead us to Thee.
Though they lead o’er the cold, dark mountains,
Seeking His sheep;
Or along by Siloam’s fountains,
Helping the weak.
If they lead through the temple holy,
Preaching the Word;
Or in homes of the poor and lowly,
Serving the Lord.
Though, dear Lord, in Thy pathway keeping,
We follow Thee;
Through the gloom of that place of weeping,
If Thy way and its sorrows bearing,
We go again,
Up the slope of the hillside, bearing
Our cross of pain.
By and by, through the shining portals,
Turning our feet,
We shall walk, with the glad immortals,
Heav’n’s golden street.
Then, at last, when on high He sees us,
Our journey done,
We will rest where the steps of Jesus
End at His throne.
Footprints of Jesus,
That make the pathway glow;
We will follow the steps of Jesus
Where’er they go.
Copyright status is public domain