Matthew 22:1-14 How the “Out-Called-Ones” Make It In – Heaven and Hell #14
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Matthew 22:1-14 How the “Out-Called-Ones” Make It In – Heaven and Hell #14


If you sow to be indifferent with God you will reap that back. If you are unconcerned about the things of God; remember it says and some “made light of it.” They were, they were not concerned, they were not interested; they did not care. And why is this so important? Because it shows the simplicity with which, when He says “the kingdom of is like,” talking about who will be in heaven or the citizens of heaven or those who are essentially invited in. The simplicity is simply this. I’m made worthy by the blood of the Lamb. I have been washed and cleansed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Faith in Him gets me in. ♪ ♪ ♪ Kind of an interesting set up. I’m going to read through the passage, and then I’m going to go through it because I want to take a look at something, which even I have kind of not really grabbed hold of in this passage until this message, so here we go. This is Matthew 22, “Jesus answered,” because there, obviously this is, there are three parables that occur. They are; we’ll call them illustrations of the Jews’ rejection of Christ. Now I need to say this at the beginning of the message, because there, there’ll be people that will listen to me and they will think I’m using the term “Jew” or “Jewish,” and sometimes people hear that and it jars them. It’s not; it is the people in Jesus’ day. It is not meant as an anti-Semitic anything. It is exactly what happened in Jesus’ day. So these folks that Jesus first comes to, John then spells out clearly, and I’ve only said this the last few weeks, when Jesus came to His own and His own received Him not, but as many as received Him, He essentially gave them the power to become the sons of God. So it’s kind of interesting, three parables kind of in Matthew’s Gospel that deal with specifically the Jews in the temple and their rejection of Christ. Now let me just say something: indifference to Christ and opposition to Christ are both rejection of Christ. Don’t let anybody tell you differently. Because a lot of times, I was even having a conversation with somebody yesterday who seemed very interested in what I do because they’d seen me on TV in Las Vegas; very interested in the things that I say, but at the same time somewhat indifferent, if that makes any sense, like it’s interesting because I’m saying it, but indifferent to the subject matter. That is still considered a rejection of Christ. Do not; do not be delusional about this. So we have here this parable that’s being put forth and it begins with verse 2, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son.” Now obviously as I go through this passage, it’s so laid out so perfectly clear. The King is the Father, the Son is Jesus Christ, and when we have those that go out for the first go around who are invited to the wedding, those are the Jewish people of Jesus’ day. So it’s really laid out perfectly clear for us. But I want you to just kind of, somewhere in your Bible, in this passage or maybe circle the words, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto”” and you’ll find this many times over, “the kingdom of heaven is like unto,” you know, about the woman with the, the leaven. There are many references to “The kingdom of heaven is like”” and here Jesus is equating it to a certain king and a marriage for his son. So think about this first, what does a marriage represent? Union, it represents celebration, usually, and it should represent the coming together of individuals who are celebrating the love, honoring the guest or the guests of honor. And, so it’s kind of interesting. We don’t think of the kingdom of heaven, if you think right off the bat, of heaven as celebration, and joy, but that’s the way we should see it. It shouldn’t be gloom, doom, despair. But there’s even colors, remember I said to you we’re going to go in and we’ll find the nuances to add color to some things that we’ve kind of kept either black-and-white or in a very caricatured state. So I want you to see just the subtlety of this opening verse which is “like unto,” and He’s equating it to a marriage. So the first thing I want to say is, think of celebration. Don’t think of sadness and all that other thing, all right. “He sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.” So let’s talk about this. Nestled in this passage, and I will end the message with it because it ties everything together, nestled in this passage in the Greek, you’ve got several words that are repetition, for example: “sent forth,” “sent forth,” “sent forth,” but also “called”” “invited.” These are all going to be somewhat the same Greek word; and I say somewhat, because some appear in noun and some in verb form. But there’s a reason why I’m drawing your attention to this, because when, it’s kind of, it’s a little bit deceptive; “sent forth,” he calls the people, he invites the people. Even the words; let me just say this, “bidden,” and then “bidden” again in verse 4. So we definitely have Greek words that they don’t actually kind of form the whole chain, because if you jump to the end of the passage where it says, “Many are called, few are chosen,” you almost, even though it is self-evident and self-explanatory, without the Greek words being highlighted for you, you kind of miss a little bit of what’s there. So I will finish with that, but I just want to make sure that we’re noting something. This, his servants, the king’s servants went forth to call them and it was customary in that day to have two calls. The first one was to announce the celebration, the second one was to call people, “It’s ready, come on.” That was customary in that day. Equally a celebration like this, and I want you to think; don’t think about our, the weddings that we might have here. These weddings went on for days. In Jesus’ day, when people got married it could be, typically it would be a seven-day celebration, but it would have to finish before the Sabbath, so most of the celebrations would be five-and-a-half to six days. I know that’s a kind of freaky thing to say, but because of the Sabbath cutoff or whatnot, but they would be long celebrations. And here we have this important word: “they would not come.” So I’m going to ask you, it’s really a rhetorical question and let’s start first with what I started with. If you were having a wedding, if you were getting married today, or some of you that remember back to when you got married and you sent out the invitations: “Come join us to witness the union of So-and so and So-and-so,” joyful, “save the date.” You send out your invitations; nobody comes. I think for me because I’d be inviting friends and family, if nobody came I think I’d be a little ticked because I went to all the trouble to do something to obviously celebrate a union. Now what’s interesting is that God’s reaction here, the Father’s reaction, kind of interesting. There’s a second━it’s not as though they didn’t come and then God is some diva that says, “That’s it, I’ve had it!” Right? “Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden,” those which are invited, those which we’ve called to come out, tell them “Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come into the marriage.” So first time, and they would not, then He sends out the second call and says, “This sumptuous fare that I’ve prepared for you is ready, come on. You know, dinner’s ready, come on.” Well, “they made light of it.” And I want to talk about this a little bit, because from the Greek, when it says, “they made light,” the Greek word is amelos, which is a negative particle, and melos, which would be “to be concerned, to be interested in.” So when they made light of it, it sounds like they might have made a joke or it was humorous, but actually they were unconcerned, they were not bothered at all. Now let’s kind of elevate this, because I used regular folks here, but let’s elevate this to a level, a magnitude of something which we, although it’s still going to fail in the analogy, but still. If you remember back when the largest televised wedding occurred was the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di. And if I remember correctly, because I read the facts on it, some 750 million people worldwide watched the wedding. Some, I think 600,000 people lined the streets to watch the procession go by. And there’s a difference; some records show there were 2,700 guests, and others show 4,000 guests; who knows? But now for Charles, obviously, he at that time, the throne looked like it might be his potentially, and so it was an even bigger thing. So can you imagine? Heads of state, important people, because the people who were invited to this wedding I’m talking about out of Matthew 22, would have been some of the more prominent figures, some of the important religious folk. I mean just a scattering of folks from this particular area that would have been invited, but if you go to my example, we’re talking about a worldwide event on a massive scale. Now can you imagine if the guests of honor, heads of state, and important people, as Charles and Diana were getting ready for their wedding, didn’t show up? Don’t you think now, now you’re thinking, “We’re just the average folk here,” but imagine a future potential king, it would be insulting. It would be something almost on the order of treason. How offensive! How, “I’ve gone to all this work, and I’ve selected my guests carefully,” not just everybody was invited. So I really want you to kind of put the emotions that if we were doing it and now put it on a much greater scale, and the focus of who is being honored. Then it completely kind of gives you a sense of why, when it says, “They made light of it,” they were not interested, they were not concerned about it. They didn’t even have a thought; it was just like, “No, whatever.” “And went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise,” so right away there in verse 5, we have something pretty straightforward. And that is that these that were called were more interested in the things of the world (because now we’re going back to our text, the King: the Father, the Son: Jesus Christ), more interested about the world and their possessions and the taking care of their possessions and work than a celebration and a mark of grace just to be invited to the King’s celebration. Now remember, they went out one time to call and they would not. They went out a second time and said, “It’s ready.” “And the remnant took his servants, entreated them spitefully, and slew them.” So not only is there a disinterest, but here is the reaction towards those who have gone out to invite. “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth,” angry, full of wrath, “he sent forth his armies,” so now we’ve got several sending forths, the first, the second, now here his armies. That Greek word is strateu-, strateuma, which is, I’ve used that before kind of like his troops, his guard. He sends them out, they “destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” Now that’s, that’s a pretty major reaction if you think about it. It’s a major reaction to not essentially paying attention to the king’s festivity, to his celebration. So it’s kind of interesting. The first thing is God’s judgment against the rejectors: that He sends out His servants like this. And then let’s carry this to the extreme. “Then said he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.” And this is really one of the things I want to make sure we’re clear about. I have heard people treat this text and tell you or me what the “worthy” is. But I can tell you what the “worthy” is. The “worthy” is exactly what the Scripture says, we’re made worthy by the blood of the Lamb. There isn’t any moral attachment to this. I’ve heard people say, “Worthy. . .” This is stating a fact that nestled in there, you’ll see why when I say these that rejected versus those that came and accepted. And it will become even more clear of this concept of “not worthy,” so I’ll come back to that. I want to kind of go through the text and then I’ll revisit the many points through the text. “Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.” So now another group of people, this time not the intended; you remember, the intended is exactly what John says when John says, “He came to his own, and his own received him not.” Now we have this, “Go out; go and get guests.” Go into the crossroads, go out into the streets, into the markets, into every public place and “bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.” Full house, full house to party. “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how comest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.” Now let me go back to my flesh and practical examples of things. It’s kind of customary and traditional in some American weddings, the bride will pick out the dresses for her bridesmaid or her maid of honor, and usually it’s a color scheme and they all kind of look the same, but they’re kind of dressed the same. So can you imagine? You’re, you’re the bride, you’ve planned the outfits for your ladies. You’ve bought and paid for them, picked out the colors. Everything’s perfect. They show up, or at least one of them shows up and decides they want to wear some other dress from another color, and not the dress that was selected for them. Now what’s going to happen? I mean if you went to all that trouble and somebody decides, they make the decision that what you picked out for them, “Well, yeah, I just didn’t feel like wearing it. I put something else on.” That’s doing what’s right in your own eyes. Here is an individual who just did exactly that. “The king came in to see the guests, saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment; and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, take him away, cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, few are chosen.” Now remember I said and I highlighted that that one word I was looking at, “those that were bidden were not worthy.” And then take a look at all the rest of the guests. This one man is singled out as not having a proper wedding garment. Obviously he had clothes on; it doesn’t say he was naked. He had clothes on, but the king in just glancing through the room, this man caught his attention as not having a proper wedding garment on. Now as, as this story has two, this passage has two, two types, two meanings we stack on top of each other, which was customary probably in the day to provide flowing, festive robes for the guests, but this man came in doing his own thing. And so it’s important to understand the, those that it says “not worthy,” these did not come in, if we’re talking about those not worthy that came in, the Jewish folks that came in, because they rejected Christ; they were not covered by the blood of the Lamb, therefore not worthy. And good and the bad that came in from every crossroad, except for this one man who came in wearing a different garment, not the proper attire━and when I say that, don’t go, “Oh, he isn’t dressed properly.” The essence is that he didn’t come in clothed with the blood of Lamb. He came in just essentially, “It’s a wedding, but it doesn’t matter.” It’s homogenized as the same as anything else. And this is where I pick up a little bit of my message, which is to kind of talk about those, first of all when it says that “He sent out his servants,” and those that were entreated spitefully and they were killed. All you’ve got to do is think about people like John the Baptist. He was the forerunner to Christ, went out as a herald, calling to those who would listen, crying out in the wilderness, “Repent: the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” What was his fate? He got his head chopped off. And if you go down the list of those that were the eyewitnesses following Christ, the same likewise, except for John, who lived out his life in exile in the isle of Patmos. The rest of these all died terrible deaths in far-flung corners of the earth. So when you think about it, it’s a foretelling of how God’s servants were treated. Now the other thing that’s kind of interesting here is when I look at this passage I think to myself, the feast furnished by the king requiring nothing. See, this is the king provided the food, the king provided the venue, the king also provided the clothing. You want to bring in your own clothing, you’ll be rejected. All you’ve got to do is go back to the beginning of the Bible, Adam and Eve; they clothed themself to cover their nakedness. God, in God’s eyes, this was not acceptable, which is why He slew the animal, clothed them with skins. It was God clothing them as a type, if you will of what was to come in Christ. So this is kind of an interesting thing. Or if you want to take it from a different way in the New Testament where it says, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,” clothe yourself in Him. And even to the Old Testament, when it talks about in Zechariah 3 about the high priest, Joshua, standing there with dirty clothes. And He says, “Take off his clothes and put on festive garments.” We are not the ones making this attire. So when people treat this passage as, “Well, you’ve got look right for the Lord! You’ve got to dress right!” They completely miss what the passage is about. And the concept of what’s nestled in here, in the Greek, and this is what I wanted to share with you. I’m not done, but this is what I wanted to share with you. In the Greek you have the words kletos, klesis, these are all words that convey the call of God. In fact, I was tempted to bring out one of my dictionaries, which kind of analyzes the use of this word, klesis, kletos, those that are called. And there, as I said there are verbal forms in here, but each one of these, it was God who was doing the calling to the people. And this first group, it says, “They would not come.” I want to go back and I want to revisit why, what it is that makes people not listen, not desire to come and I don’t like to really use the word “invitation” because that kind of sounds like those evangelists who say, “You know, at the end of the message, we’re going to have an ‘invitation’ for you to come forward.” I’m, believe me, I’m not suggesting that. But when I say “call” like the “call of God,” God who is calling and speaking to somebody’s heart as He spoke to mine, as He’s spoken to yours, who does the drawing. You don’t come because you say, “Ah, you know, today I just feel like,” usually that’s the process is God, who is making you now be interested, that prevenient grace that’s functioning in the life of the believer, even early on. So what is suggested in this passage? Number one is how the kingdom of heaven is looked at in God’s eyes: a celebration, a great celebration. Number two, how the kingdom of God is built; not by works, but by faith. In fact, I’d call the garment that this man failed to wear the mark of grace. He failed to come in, if you want to say it in a different way, he failed to come in covered by the blood of the Lamb, or he failed to come in recognizing the provision is all of the Lord. This is an individual who perhaps loved the synagogue or loved the celebration, but still wanted to come on his own terms. Now if this is not; for me it’s rather interesting. It is a complete contradiction of what happens today when people talk about coming to church, or coming to God, because clearly the celebration, the garments as I said, everything is furnished by the king. The only requirement for this celebration here is that people show up. And now let’s kind of make it so it’s fluid. They show up in Christ. That would be the better way to say it so we’re not, we’re not falling into the trap of thinking, “Well, they didn’t wear the right outfit.” So you’ve got that to deal with. The next thing is the sacrifice. And I love this because it says here “prepared my dinner: my oxen, my fatlings are killed, all things are ready.” All of the provisions that we need to make it in have been done: the sacrifice of Christ once and for all. He died once for us. That sacrifice has been made, so it’s essentially saying, “Come and essentially partake of the Lord! Come and feast with us.” Not; and it sounds like sumptuous fare of course, but the idea here is to refuse the King’s great sacrifice in the form of His Son. Now you see where I’m going with this. And ultimately this is the mark, if you will of the church world today. There are many people that are just like the man, they come in on their own terms. They’re not willing to come on the terms that God has laid out. And this is an unfortunate thing. And don’t, don’t think, don’t discount this and think, “Well, you know, I think that maybe God’s being a little bit difficult here and, you know, He could have cut the man some, some slack.” Well, take a look. The first one, the first group of people, they wouldn’t come, but he sends them out again, says, “Come on everybody, come on, it’s ready.” You see, God’s not reacting the first pass and saying, “Well, you failed here, so you’re out,” which speaks of the grace that is given to each and every person. Furthermore, as I said, to refuse the king; and I just, I at some point, I just have to make the jump from the king to just talk about the Father. To refuse God, to absolutely reject and refuse, and I think when I say this you’re going to identify either you will or somebody you know that you’ve had a conversation with. And it could be over the course of your life, you’ve met somebody like this. They had a moment where in their mind and in their heart believed they need to start maybe going to church or they need to learn about God. I, I’ve encountered people like this. But then at some point, it’s, it’s almost like a little bit nagging in them. They fail to act on it and then they just kind of become disinterested. They’re just what I call the floaters of life. They, they have no interest in the church, unless of course, take a look at this. Now this you’ll identify with as well. Here’s free food. Who doesn’t want free food, free clothes? The invitation, if you will; and I hate to use the word here. But it is, it’s for a wedding, so let’s call it that. The invitation only requires one thing if we’re going to take it to the fullest: to show up in Christ, to show up honoring the Son. Not to show up and say, “Well, I’m here. Everybody should be happy because I showed up, but I’m definitely not showing up in faith or wearing the garment that is clothed, washed, and cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.” So let’s talk about this other thing here. Not paying homage to the Son. Remember, the King, the Father, He’s wanting to do something to celebrate His Son. It, you, we have to almost make a connection to Luke 14, although that kind of lays out other things where folks were making excuses for other reasons, but listen, if you want to put these kind of as a type, it paints the type of all the people that I have encountered over the years in ministry. Some people make excuses, “Aw, it’s just not a good Sunday for me. You know I’ve got stuff to do and I, you know, I’ve got the kids, I’ve got the football game, I’ve got important things to do. I’ve got to clip my toenails, which will take me the whole day.” Unless you’re Howard Hughes, I highly doubt that. Ew! But there’s another part to this, the Father’s amazing grace to those people who were not part of the first group. Now that second group of good and bad represents the Gentiles, represents the nations, represents us. “Go out and you just invite everybody. And whoever comes, you just go out and find them and you bring them in.” And this is what I love about this, because if you’re not sure about the parable, all you’ve got to do is go back and read how the beginning, where we know God is now kind of sectioned out a group of people, He, He is looking at them as the apple of His eye. And we see over and over and over again, these people completely, essentially, you know, “We’ll follow You, as long as. . .” there’s always these excuses. And ultimately God says, “Listen, I came to you first and you wouldn’t, so now I’m turning to these other people.” And that’s what the latter part of Romans, beginning in Romans 11 talks about. That, don’t be quick, I’ve got some people who listen to me who think immediately when I’m talking about this that now, “The Jews had their chance; the door is shut and now God’s turned to the Gentiles.” Make no mistake about what I’m about to say. He came to the Jews first; and I shouldn’t say “Jews.” I should say the children of Israel. That’s a wrong statement. Jesus is dealing with the Jewish, mostly religious leaders in what I’ve said, three parables, but let’s talk about Israel, because the Jewish people and all Israel are not the same. And so the promises that we encounter early on through Abraham and down the line, you know, people make mistakes of confusing Jews and Israel. And they are not; they’re not the same. You can have people even today who will claim or say that they are Jewish, but they are not. If you want to trace in lineage, they are not part of the children of Israel, so in distinguishing that. But He did choose a people and the history of that chosen people is laid out very clear. I even love, even something so simple as when Noah and his family are told to go in the ark, because God’s going to destroy the earth, or the face of the earth and the people on it because of the evil that was on the earth. And it says; I believe it’s in Genesis, I think it’s in 7, when it says, “And God shut the door.” Because I think there will come a time, and there will, because that’s what Revelation tells me: God will shut the door. The door which Paul talked about, an effectual opening, the possibility of hearing the gospel, God will shut the door. So it’s important to just not look at this and say, “Yeah, I’m familiar with this,” and it’s important to recognize there are certain things with God that are more important than the emphasis that most people may be placing elsewhere regarding the things of God and how to make it in. And you can pretty much see this. So there’s, there’s a couple of things that I like to look at as well: the Father’s love to honor the Son, the patience of the Father with the invited guests, both those who refused the first time and equally the patience and grace and love of the Father to say, “Go out! We’re going to have a celebration anyway. You go out and find the people and bring them in.” I love the fact that God’s not going to cancel the party because the people that were invited didn’t show up. He says, “I’ll go get other people. There’s other people out there”” which is the thing that I was telling you about from the book of John, where it says, “Other sheep have I,” and I’m sure that there’s also going to be other sheep in the last days, people that we assume may not be (and we don’t have any right to), following the Lord. “Other sheep have I that are essentially not of this flock.” So it’s important to understand the grace of, of God, and then also the wrath of God. And you know, the opening of Romans that talks about the wrath of God. There’s even a wonderful passage, and I’m not, you know me, I’m not a big Proverbs person, but I had to write it down because I’ve made it my business to not memorize Proverbs. If I have to look something up I will. I’m just being honest with you. But Proverbs 20 and 2, because I honestly as much as I have tried, because you process Scripture and it stays in your brain and you can quote chapter and verse. I can’t quote very many Proverbs, so here we go. Proverbs 20 and verse 2 says, “The wrath of the king is like a roaring lion,” and I, I add to that, “Be not deceived,” out of Galatians, “God is not mocked; whatever you sow, that’s what you’re going to reap,” so if you sow to be indifferent with God you will reap that back. If you are unconcerned about the things of God; remember it says and some “made light of it.” They were, they were not concerned, they were not interested; they did not care. And why is this so important? Because it shows the simplicity with which, when He says “the kingdom of is like,” talking about who will be in heaven or the citizens of heaven or those who are essentially invited in. The simplicity is simply this. I’m made worthy by the blood of the Lamb. I have been washed and cleansed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Faith in Him gets me in, nothing else. There isn’t anything else that’s required. And again, I know I am probably speaking in the face of people who tell you, “Well, you know, when you come to the Lord, you’ve got to get cleaned up and you’ve got to quit this and you’ve got to do that.” He says only one thing, and only one thing matters to Him. Remember, Paul was writing to the Corinthians and he says, “No whoremonger, no liar, no”━and he gives the list━“will make it in to the kingdom,” but he says, he says, “And such were some of you at some point, but now you are not. You are washed and cleansed.” So this is not a commentary on “be perfect; be perfect and then act perfect and then do perfect.” This is a commentary on faith, recognizing we are imperfect, faults, mistakes, and yet God’s way says, “I just need you to come looking at the sacrifice of the Son,” in faith recognizing. This is the garment that I shall wear. Now for this parable it’s important to recognize that those that would not, they had no interest in the celebration whatever it was; honoring the Son, the King; it doesn’t matter. And they had no fear of the consequences of not showing up. Now I wish I could take this parable and put it in some type of a sieve and sift down the words to just a few that then people would say, “This is the stuff that’s important.” Not, you know, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again because it’s needful to say. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I do not think that, “Well, I will get in because I’ve stood here in front of you and I’ve done these things and done that.” This is exactly what when the Lord said, “Depart from me.” These were people who were calling on the name of the Lord, but they were doing it with other motives, “Lord, didn’t we prophecy in Your name? Didn’t we cast out demons in Your name?” That doesn’t sound like people from the world; that sounds like religious folks. But “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” There is a common thread that goes through the New Testament of connecting with God. And the connection with God that we’ve been given is through Christ. Failure to make that connection: God shut the door, just like God shut the door on the people in Noah’s day while they were laughing, while they were saying, “You silly fool. It’s not going to rain!” And God said, “Well, we’ll see about that.” So I’m just kind of thinking that there are several bullet points in here that are noteworthy. The man, it says “he was speechless.” Now good thing that he didn’t start making excuses, because you know, that’s what is, that’s what happens in Luke, in the passage I was referencing in Luke, “Uh, well, I’ve got to do this! I’ve got to do that! I’ve got to go over here. And I can’t do it; I’m busy.” God hates excuses, and you know what? So do I. I wish more people when they bleep up just own it, just say, “I messed up.” Don’t try and make excuses. That happened to me earlier this week. Somebody did something and they wanted to rationalize and tell me why they did what they did. I’m not interested. Just own it. Own it sincerely. Own it like you did it and move on, because God’s not going to be listening to your excuses. And there’s nothing worse than people who are in the wrong or they don’t have a right attitude, but they want to tell you why, “Let me explain why.” Try that with God on the day you stand before Him, “Well, God, you know, I did all these things because. . .” It’s not going to work. You know, you can, listen, you can do some BS’ing: that’s “brilliant speak.” You can do some brilliant speaking to some of the people, maybe even most of the people, but not God. And something I, there was something that clicked when I was reading this. John 5:29 talks about those that will; it talks about all that will be raised up, the good, those righteous I think it says, that will be raised up and those essentially lost; both raised up. And some will be to the resurrection of eternal life and others to eternal damnation. So God even makes a provision to tell you we’ll all be raised up, but you know, you’re either going through that door or that door over there. And it all starts here right now. You ever see those people with the stop, the stopwatch? A race is going to happen: Go! It starts right now, while you might say to me, “Well, maybe my yesterday,” and maybe my yesterday comprises of ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years, sixty years, seventy years of not really living for Christ and not really caring, making light of it, unconcerned; indifferent. Make today the stopwatch. You can always, this is the wonderful thing, you can always start over with God and if you come to an awareness that everything matters; God’s looking for one thing and I cannot stress this enough. He’s not looking for performance. This is the thing that I constantly have to verbally beat people down because they, “Well, a pastor shouldn’t, uh,” and they want to fill in the blanks. Hey, I’m human just like you and I’ve made mistakes just like you. Maybe I’ve made even worse mistakes than you. The point is not focusing on your mistakes, your failures, your flaws. It’s focusing on the blood of Christ and the finished work of Christ that says, “Washed, cleansed, bathed, forgiven, and loved by God.” And it’s all because of my faith in Him, nothing I’ve done, no garments that I’ve brought, not fig leaves that I’ve sewn on my own; simply the realization, who I am in reality: a sinner being saved by grace that needs a Savior and that not just any savior, but our Lord Jesus Christ. And had He not went to the cross and had He not poured out His own precious blood, but I can claim that and you can claim that. And of course because of that I’m made worthy. These guests that weren’t worthy, they didn’t come in through the blood. So a little bit more and then I’m almost done. Some interesting things in here, more about words that caught my eye; something that’s interesting here is it talks about this feast. Let’s take a word, a look at the word here when it says “my dinner: I have prepared my dinner.” Some interesting footnotes here that this word in the Greek is ariston, not deipnon. Deipnon is “dinner,” like a nighttime meal. Ariston is an early, like a breakfast, something breakfast or lunch; it’s something early in the day. And I love the fact; just indulge me because it, this is where my mind goes, that the celebration will be early in the day when there is light. It will not be at night in darkness. The celebration will be splendid, it will be grand, but it will be in the light of His presence. This is why I love this word, because it looks like it could be a dinner, like a supper/dinner, but it’s an early meal. And essentially if you were looking up in the Greek, the deipnon would be like your main meal, the big, main meal. This is a meal had early in the day, and like I said, in the light, which is why I’m kind of emphasizing this. So what should we take away from this today? And what, if anything, could we kind of say this passage represents? Well, there’s something clearly being spelled out here, and when it talks about those that were called, He called to them that were bidden. Those two words “called” and “bidden,” and then it says, “Tell them again which are bidden.” So these words that I was talking about make up an important, we’ll call it the exclamation mark on the message. Why, because the first group of people, instead of saying “called them” or “bidden,” I want you to think of the final line: “Many are called, few are chosen.” I want you to think of that final line while I explain this. Because many are called, let’s write this out phonetically, “many are called”” I may not be writing this exactly. I’m trying to write it phonetically. “Many are called, few are, are chosen.” So you know, if you add this kind of what looks more like a prefix, but it’s not, what it would kind of be, and essentially giving the essence of “out of.” So both of these words are the same; “many are called, few are called out.” And if you kind of put that now back in the text, many were called, the Jewish people, the people, He called many. There was an abundance of them: many. But go back to “few are called out from.” Remember that passage in Ephesians, “God called out from among those and chose those from among people He did not choose.” Here that same thing kind of is happening. And you wouldn’t really see it because the words are so different in the text “to call”” “bidden,” they’re using several different words, but they’re all essentially the same Greek word. So when we’re talking about maybe in a more dialectical sense, you can really see the emphasis on those, they were called, they would not; those that were called, that second group of people and indeed did come. And kind of when I’ve, I’ve touched on this before. Many people might respond and come into the church or want to know about God, but very few people━ and don’t ask a number, because I don’t know what, why people do this, but very few people will be called out from among. Don’t think about “chosen” in the sense, because I used to do this, I used to think, “Called and chosen.” Rather, think of it this way. Everybody has the opportunity. What does it say about these people? “They would not,” not that they could not, they would not. Everybody has the opportunity, but some people, they just, it, it’s in their mind maybe for a brief second and then disappears, or maybe as it says they were unconcerned about this. It didn’t matter to them. Now what’s interesting is remember the people that He’s first talking to and these folks absolutely refused to see Jesus as the Messiah. So what does this mean for the people, and this is a little bit scary, because when you think about it, there’s a, there’s a lot of mass confusion if we’re looking at this passage and then trying to lift it up and make it applicable to today. There’s a lot of confusion with people thinking that showing up, simply showing up is enough. Now I, I’m going to tell you this is a real eye-opener for me, because there’ll be people that say, “Well, you know, you’ve got to get people in the door. Just bring them in!” You know, what was that ministry that, you know, they, they “put the net out there,” and you know, they “fish for people,” and they bring them in. And then they clean them. It’s God doing that. We’re not. You know, this is why when I say, “No altar call,” I don’t tell people, “You’ve got to get out there and you’ve got to change your life.” How is it good and bad responded? And when I think “good and bad,” I think basically those religious people could not and would not, they just would not. But those people out in the street━think of the craziest riffraff that you can think of, think of people that may just be in the middle and then maybe think of some outstanding citizens, but all of these different folks all came in. And they all have a common denominator. They all came in; none of them were singled out except for the one man not wearing the proper wedding garment. Again, I digress to say the wedding garment was furnished by the King. That comes through Christ. So all, all I’m saying is showing up is not enough. Showing up in Christ is. It’s not that you have to do something, but if you’re going to be a part of what I’m looking at, “The kingdom of heaven is like unto,” you come in recognizing the King and His sovereignty, the Son and His rule and His right and authority. And the citizens who will be a part of the kingdom, they don’t come in on their own terms. So kind of a wake-up call to some people that think, “Well, you know, ah, I, I’m okay doing it on my own, my own way”” And the answer is not from my mouth. The answer is from this book right here. God says, “There’s a way and I didn’t make it complicated for you. You must come in through the Door. I didn’t make it complicated for you. All I’ve asked,” I’m speaking as though I’m Scripture talking to somebody, “All I’ve asked you to do is trust Me. Trust that the sacrifice that I made was enough.” Now you remember in my messages on sanctification and I used that verse out of Hebrews and I said if, if this is understood aright when it says, “Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no man shall see God.” And the fact of the matter is even those texts come only one way, when we are in Christ. That’s the only way, that’s the only criteria. In Christ I’m clothed. In Christ, again, once more, I’m forgiven. In Christ I have celebration. I may have tears going through this, what I’d call a valley or a vale, but the things I go through, He is with me. And I don’t have to think about how to get there on my own. He’s giving me the tools and the clothing to get there and to get in and to be accepted into the kingdom. I also was looking at this and thinking, you know, the Father, we often don’t talk about this much, but the Father’s love for the Son in honoring the Son that He wouldn’t let this event pass without making sure that there were people there to celebrate. Do not make the mistake of thinking that God is going to beg and plead for you to come and follow and trust Him. I, I don’t think that God will give up on the first try, just like these people, but at some point you will pass your day of grace. And I’m talking now to an audience of people who maybe like to look in like a fishbowl and think nothing of their own lives, their own standing in the moment that I am speaking to you. Not “What happens if the Lord comes today,” or “What happens if you die”━I’m not even asking those questions. You should be pondering and asking yourself; I don’t need to ask you. But failure to recognize that produces what? Or better yet, failure to come in recognizing He says how you’re going to make it in, clothed by Him. Look at this man’s fate. Speechless, first of all, so I’m glad he didn’t make excuses. Speechless, but what is there to say, because he was busted. What is there to say if he came in, knowing that the rest of the guests are clothed a certain way, in Christ, and he’s not? And the King, not oblivious to all; paying attention to the minutest detail of that one individual who was not clothed with the blood of Christ. It’s kind of interesting, you know, I think we think it’s just a big cloud and we can make our way through the cloud, fudge at every turn, because, “You know, God’s so busy and there’s so many people on the face of the earth. He’s not going to see. He doesn’t know.” Yeah. Okay. So we definitely have a good picture here. So the question I’m going to ask as I bring this message to a close about those who came. What is it that these responded? Did they possess a certain quality? Did they possess a certain social standing? Were they only men or only women? Or were they only the middle door or whatever? They were just people who trusted Christ. I get really tired; I’m just going to tell you. I get really tired of people putting on me a yoke I can never live up to. Never. You know, my late husband used to say things very carefully. He would paint himself in the worst light. You know, he’d tell people, he’d even tell you, “I’m having parties, I’m”━now did he have a couple parties? Yeah. But for the most part, when he said he was being a bad boy, no. And I, I mean I can tell you because I was there. A lot of it was “I’m going to tell you how bad I am and I’m going to make myself look really bad and bleak,” and of course, the stupid media people picked that up and think, “Oh yeah, see, he even said it himself.” Not recognizing that what he was doing is saying, “Don’t put me on a”━golly, I want to say the word so badly, “Don’t put me on a soapbox! Don’t elevate me, don’t make me to be somebody that you think can never fall, can never fail, can never make a mistake,” because he did and I do, I will, I have; just like you. And one criteria for making it in just like you: clothed with the blood, that’s all. Then I trust Him to bring me, to take me to Him that trust and that trust alone, that faith and that faith alone, nothing else. Some of you out there, quit putting that I have to be something that I’m not, because you’ve invented, you have reinvented what a pastor is supposed to be. Last time I looked, using the analogy of the shepherd and the sheep, the shepherd, and I’m talking about now the undershepherd if you want to go to the imagery of a valley with, with somebody tending the flock, animals not people, just an individual there to be a steward and a responsible one that should at least care a little bit that the sheep are protected. But does the, does the undershepherd as a human being who’s leading a flock have the capacity perhaps to fight off? Maybe, but not beyond that; don’t make the undershepherd some superpower or some super-whitewashed, bleached; don’t let people do that to you either. When I say I’m a sinner being saved by grace, thank God, thank God that His grace is sufficient! Don’t try to figure out how to please God by doing these exterior things and “Ooh, I speak like this because it’s well pleasing to God. I use this special tone.” Or “I dress like this because I know God really likes this, He likes the clothing.” Your priorities are completely wrong. Look to Christ, look to the Architect of our faith. Understand His desire, His desire for you: “This is life eternal that they may know the one true living God and His Son Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent.” And knowing Him is not being indifferent. Knowing Him is not rejecting Him. Knowing Him is understanding He’s not unreasonable. He’s not ignorant about our frame. And unlike these people who were unconcerned, He is very concerned about us. Oh the first time for these poor folks, and then the second time, but I love the fact that the Father’s patience with humanity speaks volumes to the fact that I, Melissa Scott, or you put your name in there, might understand the purpose is not for you to be perfect, but to take the love of God, understand the sacrifice that’s made, live out the rest of your life, the years that are ahead of you in confidence that faith in Him and His sacrifice, the thing that the Father is heralding up as a celebration, is indeed a celebration of your salvation and your eternal destiny. Nothing else is required, folks. Anybody who says, “But you’ve got to, you’ve got to do these things to make it in” is frustrating the very grace that God is offering here. Many are called, many are called, few are called out from among those who have been called. So understand the ability to respond cannot be “I’m going to coerce you now to respond.” But if you can respond in faith, thank God, because it’s that response and that faith recognizing Christ’s sacrifice that will take you all the way through into His presence for eternal glory that awaits you. Now I’m not going to try and stand here and convince the folks that say, “Well, is there anything else?” The text speaks for itself. I suggest for those people who are still a little bit hardheaded you go back and you reread. And maybe you find yourself as those good and bad who were called in, the nations. Isn’t this just like the herald for the disciples, “Go ye into all the world, teaching, making disciples of, of all the nations.” Here the nations have responded and here the only thing that’s required: trust Christ. That clothing will be put on you for the grand celebration in that day. And when I’m looking at this text, I’m not part of simply the kletos, the called. You are not simply part of the kletos, the called. You are part of ekletos, part of the ekklesia, the “out-called ones.” So thank God for that and His amazing grace. That’s my message. You have been watching me, Pastor Melissa Scott, live from Glendale, California at Faith Center. If you would like to attend the service with us, Sunday morning at 11am, simply call 1-800-338-3030 to receive your pass. If you would like more teaching and you would like to go straight to our website, the address is www.PastorMelissaScott.com

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  • Pastor Melissa Scott, Ph.D.

    This is the 13th Sunday Service message on Heaven and Hell. It is #14 in the Heaven and Hell series, which includes additional in-depth teaching from the “Festival of Faith” weeknights at 7:00 p.m. Pacific. http//pastormelissascott.com/watch.html

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