Missing the Most Expensive Wedding

Date: 11/05/2022 
A wedding is supposed to be a lasting covenant and our coming to Jesus is supposed to create a lasting covenant and a union in love, security, and joy.

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Doug Batchelor: One of the most important topics in scripture is the subject of family. From Genesis to Revelation, family is explained and magnified as being both a blessing and a necessity. There is a heavenly family above, the Father, the Son, Holy Spirit, and all the angels, and there are families on the earth in every nation, tongue, tribe, and people. And there's also such a thing as a church family, a collection of people coming together for one specific purpose, to worship God. It's that unity in the assembly which is of particular importance to God. In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul urges us to "Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

If you think about it, this is what composes a home: people uniting to form a family, creating a home. Friends, Jesus is wanting to adopt you. He's inviting you to join His family. He draws everyone unto Him through Calvary with the intention to unite His people on earth and prepare them for that journey to the heavenly home. It's my hope that today's program will bring you closer to Jesus and inspire you with a desire to be part of His family. And don't forget, stay tuned for a very important free offer at the end of this presentation.

Doug: I was hearing about a wedding that was taking place in this cathedral, and right at the moment where the priest was making his wedding sermon and the bride and the groom were standing in front of him, that someone's phone went off. And, you know, you've probably seen it before where someone's phone goes off during a solemn gathering, and folks quickly, they, you know, and we all do it, I've done it, and we forget, and we're stumbling around, trying to find it and turn it off real quick.

Well, sometimes people, they can't find it, or it's at the bottom of a purse, and it just kept going and going and going. And the priest got so irritated that he just paused in the middle of this wedding sermon and began to chastise everybody about not respecting sacred moments, and they should know enough to turn off their phones during occasions like this in the house of the Lord. And he resumed his sermon, and the phone went off again. And evidently it was the same phone, because it had a unique ring. And finally, the bride leaned over and told the priest, "Father, it's your phone."

The Bible tells a story of a very great, very expensive wedding, and some people missed out. They neglected the invitation. And we're going to be talking about someone missing out on the most expensive wedding in history. "And Jesus answered and spoke again by parables and said: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and he sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sends out other servants, saying, "Tell those who are invited, 'See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.' But they made light of it and they went their own way, some to his own farm, and others to his business. The rest of his ser--the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about this, he was furious. And he sent out his armies and destroyed those murderers and burned up their city.

Then he said to his servants, "The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding." So the servants went out into the highways and they gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, "Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?" And he was speechless. And then the king said to the servants, "Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into the outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." For many are called, but few are chosen.'"

Now, I think that those listening understood the significance of this parable. It's delivered in a special sense to the Jewish nation, but it's also very much given to us today. This wedding is not just for one race of people. The invitation goes to everybody. This is the greatest wedding, the greatest social celebration, being put on by the greatest personage, and it's the greatest invitation for the person of his greatest love, his beloved son, and his beloved bride. And so, everything in just that simple sentence tells us that this is the supreme invitation. There's nothing greater. And that's why when people are hearing the parable and they hear that they wouldn't come, there probably was a gasp in the crowd. That would be unthinkable.

So, just breaking it down little by little, there's a king. Who is the king? Well, the Bible explains it. It's, of course, God the Father. 1 Timothy 1:17, "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God alone is wise, and honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." So, you got the king, which would be God the Father, and then who is his son? We don't even need to, I think, prove that with a verse. "And God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son," the beloved Son. And so, Jesus would be the son.

And then it tells us about this wedding feast. What is that? And you want to know maybe who is the bride? Look in Revelation 19:9, He said, "'Write: "Blessed are those--"'" I'm sorry-- yeah, Revelation 19:9 He said, "'Write: "Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb."' He said to me, 'These are the true sayings of God.'"

Now, when God tells John to write, would it be safe to assume then that God wants you and me to read what was written? The fact that He's wanting John to write it I think would indicate He wants us to read what was written. There has been an invitation written for you and I to attend the greatest occasion in history, that of the marriage supper between the groom, Jesus, and the bride, his church.

Now, you'll notice how many invitations are given in this parable. Three. Let's count them together, one by one. First invitation says he sends out his servants, and this is in verse 3--Says he sends out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding. Now, when it says calling the ones who were invited, it's understood from the language there that there are people who had already heard about the wedding, they had been invited, they agreed to come. Finally, the message comes and says, "Come now, everything's ready." And these are people who ostensibly knew about it, they professed they were interested in coming, but they don't come.

So, this first invitation is supposed to go to the Jewish nation. Come, but they're not willing to come. It says he sends out his servants, who are the servants that were telling about the wedding? You look in Daniel 9, Daniel's praying, he says, "We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He has set before us by his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7, "Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets."

God has sent out His servants to invite people to the wedding, and especially for the Jewish nation, they got the whole Old Testament. The servants of God were inviting them to be in the kingdom, feasting, to come to this occasion. And they said, "Yes, absolutely, sign me up." But finally, when Jesus comes, what's the reaction? The wise men come into Jerusalem and say, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" It's interesting, the only people who were looking for the coming of the Messiah were some uneducated shepherds and some foreigners. God's own people, when the wise men showed up, they said, "What? King of the Jews, what are you talking about? We got Herod, he's the king of the Jews." His own people were not ready. So, that's the first invitation.

Well, the king, you'd think at that point he would throw his hands in the air and say, "All right, let's just wipe them all out. Unappreciative." You got the second invitation. Again, he sent out other servants, sends them to the same group, but something's changed. He says, "Tell those who are invited, the ones who accepted the invitation, you got the invitation, you said you were coming, 'See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen, and my cattle.'" Now it's not just a sheep or chicken that's been slaughtered to feed a family. This is oxen. One ox will feed, you know, a small army. But he's got oxen, it's the plural, and cattle, and they're slaughtered, and they have no refrigerator back then. So, you got the picture. When the time was right for the wedding, you needed to show up, because things just didn't keep that long.

You know what else he's saying here, he says there has been a great sacrifice. These oxen and cattle being slaughtered is a symbol of a sacrifice has taken place. So, even after Jesus died, did God still open the door to the Jewish nation? He did. And Christ, in fact, Jesus said to the apostles, "Do not go yet in the way of the Gentiles, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. I'm going to invite them again."

The Messiah came, He died for their sins. This is what Peter said at Pentecost. "You hung Him on a tree." They said, "What shall we do?" "Repent, accept the invitation." Some did, but the majority of the nation, what did the religious leaders do when Stephen preached? What did they do? They killed him. And how did they treat the apostles? Read Matthew. I'm sorry, read Acts chapter 5, they put them in jail, and then you read Acts chapter 12, they killed James. You read Acts chapter 8, a great persecution arose in Jerusalem, and the disciples were scattered everywhere.

Look at the patience of God. God is longsuffering, but is there an end to his patience? He said, "I've made the sacrifice. Come, look at the tender patience." But they still don't come. Now, just so you know, not only is Jesus the bridegroom, Jesus is the Lamb in this story. It says they made light of it, they made light of it, and they went their way. Verse 5, "One to his farm, and another to his business."

You got two reactions here. One is just acting like, yeah, yeah, they don't care, or they're joking, or they're teasing, or they're mocking, but the other group is made angry. And that kind of describes the two reactions you have in the world regarding Christianity and religion. In one group, they're indifferent about Christianity and religion and Jesus. They're just interested in the things of the world. They go to their farm, they go to their business, but then you have some, they're hostile and they kill the messengers. Says they seized his servants and treated them spitefully and killed them. Apostles were whipped, John the Baptist was murdered, they were thrown in prison.

Now, how does the king respond after this second invitation is rejected? He said, "All right, I've gone the second mile. I made a great sacrifice, invited them." Can you imagine the insult of treating a sovereign this way? It's what you would call criminal indifference. It'd be one thing if he invited them and said, "You know, I've got another occasion, or I'm having my mother's funeral. I can't come." I mean, you'd have to have a really good excuse not to come to a king's marriage of his son, but then to treat the messengers that way.

Listen to what Jesus said. "The king heard about it." Now, you've got the wrath of the king. "He was furious, and he sent out his armies." This king has not just got a couple of soldiers, he's got armies. "He destroyed those murderers and burned up their city." Now, those listening did not misunderstand what Jesus was talking about. Christ in this parable is pronouncing the doom that would come on those who rejected the second invitation. After three and a half years after the cross, the gospel was preached exclusively to the Jewish nation. But when Stephen was stoned, now the gospel went to the Gentiles. Paul was converted shortly after the stoning of Stephen. That was in Acts chapter 7 and 8, Acts chapter 10, Peter gets a vision, he goes to the Gentiles. Paul's converted, he and Barnabas tell the Gentiles, "Seeing that you reject the gospel, behold, we turn to the Gentiles."

So, now they've-- you've got this third invitation that takes place, but the king said that the city would be destroyed and burned. Did that happen? Isaiah 65, verse 12. "Therefore I will number you for the sword." By the way, what happened to Israel? It's talking about us. Israel is just the stubbornness and the pride of Israel, it's not unique to that race. It's describing the human race. Says in Isaiah 65:12, "Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you will all bow down to the slaughter; Because when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, But you did evil before my eyes."

How is the Lord calling? Saying, "Come to Me, come to Me, turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways. Why will you die?" He's calling us to come to Him, to be saved from our sins, to be given a new heart. And if we're preoccupied with the sins of this life, there's a judgment that comes. You know, if you just go one chapter later, Jesus says, "Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come on this generation." Matthew 24, then He says, "There will not be left one stone upon another in Jerusalem." At the end of chapter 22 He says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who killed the prophets and stone those who are sent to you."

They knew what Christ was saying. If you look, go back to Matthew 22, you may already be there. Go to chapter 21, verse 45. It's the very end of chapter 21. "Now when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived He was speaking about them. Instead of repenting, they sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the multitude, for they took Him for a prophet." He was not mincing words anymore. He was not pulling his punches anymore. Now Jesus is being very clear what their doom was going to be if they continued with their plot. And, of course, we know what happened.

So fortunately, the wedding is still going to go on. So, you end up with the wrath of the king. The city is destroyed. Titus, the general, in 70 AD under Vespasian, the Caesar, Jerusalem was destroyed, the city was burned, the temple was destroyed, the very thing that Jesus foretold happened. So, is the wedding over now? No, invitation still goes. What did he tell them? He said, "Go out into the highways." If you read in Luke, it says highways and hedges. Israel was a country that was on international trade roads between three continents, and you could go up to Europe, you could go into Asia, you could go into Arabia, you could go into Africa, all going through Israel. And what did the disciples do? They went everywhere, preaching the gospel, so that Paul said in his lifetime the gospel had been preached to every creature, because he wants to save as many as he can. God is not willing that any should perish.

Now, you notice something in this wedding. There's never any mention of a shortage on the king's part. I remember before Karen and I got married, I was so excited. I was doing an evangelistic meeting, I told everybody the date of the wedding during a meeting like this. I said, "You're all invited." I saw Karen cringe. She said, "How are we going to pay for all these people to come to a reception?" I thought, "Well, who invited them to the reception? They can come to the ceremony and then they go home." You know, we can't afford to feed them all, but the king never has any problem.

Some people think, oh, how can I go to heaven? You know, there's not going to be enough room for me. All the billions of people that lived are, you know, if only a few are going to be saved, what are my chances? And nowhere do you ever hear in any of Christ's parables anything that intimates that God is somehow going to run out of mercy or salvation or resources. That's never the issue.

The problem in the parable is the response of the people. The harvest is great, the laborers are few. The people were just not interested. Their ears were dull, they were asleep in their sins, and they just didn't care about the wedding. But he sends out this third invitation, to who? You read in Revelation 14, "Every tongue and people." You can read in Isaiah 60, verse 3, "The Gentiles will come to the brightness, the light of Your shining." Everybody is being invited.

So, as this message is going out, people are responding, and it says they go out to good and bad. Now, that doesn't mean that God is deliberately bringing bad people in. It basically is saying that people that would be judged by the world good and bad. Doesn't the Bible say Christ said to the religious leaders, "The publicans and the harlots and the sinners will enter the kingdom of God before you, because they rejoice at the preaching of John. They came, they repented." I mean, you think of the early church, and it was composed of fishermen like Peter who said, "Lord, depart from me. I'm a sinful man," and he was. Publicans like Matthew, women of ill repute like Mary Magdalene, but they recognized their need, and they came to the Lord. But the religious, the people who thought they somehow had earned it because of their heritage.

You can never say, "Lord, you know, I'm a third or fourth generation Christian, so You've got to save me." You've probably heard before, God has no grandchildren. You're either a son or a daughter of God, or you're not at all. We have a personal relationship with the Lord. The others weren't coming, but this third invitation, many came in, good and bad. Paul and Barnabas, I mentioned this before, but let me read it to you in Acts 13:46, "They grew bold and they said, 'It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first,'" speaking to the Jews. "'But since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.'" So the gospel then went to whosoever will, Jew and Gentile.

Now, the people are coming into the wedding in droves. He says, "My house is going to be filled." Someone's going to be in heaven. I want to be there, don't you? If you're not there, it's not going to be because there was not enough food or there was not enough wedding garments. There's enough for everybody. So, the king comes in to see the guests. Now that word see there, it means to examine with inquisitive scrutiny, so you know what's happening here? Some who have said, "Yes, we're going to come to the wedding," there's a judgment before it's all over. And when the king comes in to see the guests, he notices that somebody is there in the common everyday drab rags of society, and he has not taken advantage of the expensive royal wedding garment that the king has provided. The king says, "How did you get in here, friend?"

You know, it's the same thing Jesus said to Judas in the garden. "Friend, have you come to betray your Master with a kiss?" And this man pretended he was a friend of the king, but he didn't put on the wedding garment, and his name was not in the book. You know, Jesus has got a Book of Life, and we need to have our names entered in that book. That happens now. You know, you can't get into the kingdom unless you got the garment, friends. There's going to be an investigation, and it tells us that there was a judgment. The king said, "What are you doing here?" He had no answer. "What is that wedding garment?"

This is the most important part of the message, friends. Ephesians 4:24, "And that you put on the new man," or new woman, "which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." It's having a transformed character, it's having the righteousness of Christ. Revelation 19, verse 8. "And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." We don't have to guess, friends. You've been invited to the wedding, but if you are going to be chosen to stay at the wedding, you need to have that garment of righteousness on.

We are saved by grace, but, you know, the Bible says we're all judged by our works, because your works are going to show whether you have been saved by grace, if you put on the righteousness of Christ. Right now, the Lord is offering us that righteousness. You receive it by receiving Christ. You come to Him, He covers your sin, and as you follow Him, He sanctifies you, and it will be seen that you are indeed His child.

Then finally, there is a final judgment, a verdict, you might say. This man who has no answer for the king, said, "'You can't stay, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness.' And there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." I don't think I need to explain to you what that means, but it's where the lost go. The devil and his angels are cast into the lake of fire. They're cast out, like those five foolish virgins, they're left out in the darkness, and the door was shut, and they don't go into the wedding feast.

We got to have the oil in our lamps, friend. Revelation 20, verse 9, "They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp, the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." What happened to that wicked kingdom and the city, meaning Jerusalem, is what happens later to the world that rejects the bridegroom. We need to make sure our name is in that book of life, amen?

Doug: Are you familiar with the prophetic signs of Christ's return and just how close we really are to the most extraordinary cosmic event in history? Will we be suddenly and secretly raptured as millions are left behind? Or will Jesus's return be as loud and bright as lightning from sky to sky? Well, there might be a million different theories out there, but there's only one Bible truth, and Jesus promises if we seek, we will find. That's why Amazing Facts wants you to have the rock-solid facts on this subject with our newest Bible resource. It's called "The Day of the Lord." This colorful, fully illustrated magazine contains every fascinating fact you need to know about the when, where, and how of Jesus's soon return. To get your free copy, call the phone number on the screen and ask for offer number 825, or visit the web address. And after you read this incredible resource, be sure and share it with a friend.

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