Sunday, August 23, 2015

What Are You Wearing To The Banquet?

"Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  For many are called, but few are chosen."
--Matt 22:13-14 

"Making light of Christ, and of the great salvation wrought out by him, is the damning sin of the world. . . . Multitudes perish for ever through mere carelessness, who show no direct aversion, but are careless as to their souls. Also the business and profit of worldly employments hinder many in closing with the Saviour. Both farmers and merchants must be diligent; but whatever we have of the world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it come between us and Christ."  --Matthew Henry

Here is that ominous shoulder-shrugging casualness I often refer to . . . which is so treacherous, so deadly.  In the Parable of the Banquet . . . the Lord describes the situation.  A great marriage-feast is to be granted by the King for His Son.  Those first invited reject the calling.  But not only did these shun the invitation, they attacked the King's servants and killed them.  The King was outraged at this treatment of His servant-slaves and sent armies to punish the miscreants, to put their city to flames.

The King then sent His servants out upon the highways to find any who would listen and respond, to come to the feast, both good and bad.  All were invited, called. . . .

When the King came to look upon the invited guests He made a final decision on who of these could enter.  Who would not be allowed?  The one lacking the required "wedding clothes".  Regarding this type the King ordered, "Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

We MUST be clothed in the righteousness of Christ or we cannot enter the great wedding feast!  Those thrown into outer darkness "paid no attention"--were careless, nonchalant . . . about the invitation.  Oh sure, they would arrive like all the others--they heeded the call . . . but they were not chosen.  "Few are chosen".

It is surmised that a reason why there is not broad or detailed description about the place of Hell, ie., its location, architecture etc., is so that men do not dread Hell so much as they should dread the sin that LEADS to Hell. 

For centuries "people have objected to preaching on Hell . . . the devil does all that he can to give preaching on Hell a bad name as he seeks to ' nuzzle men in security in their sins'". . . . But 17th century puritan preacher Christopher Love "boldly claims that ' sermons of terror have done more good upon unconverted souls than sermons of comfort have ever done."   "In short, we cannot claim to preach the whole counsel of God if we 'run only upon strains of free grace.'"  ("A Puritan Theology", pg. 831)

How wonderful it is that if we repent and put our full faith in Jesus, and come to the wedding feast, wearing His righteousness where we have none, we may enter . . . and be safe forever thereafter!

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