Can you imagine ever receiving an invitation
to the most extravagant party
that could ever happen -
a party that beats a red carpet event;
a party that is greater than anything
you could ever dream of?
I know. I know - I'm a girl!
So it’s probably easy for me
to imagine how I would react -
I would make it my soul mission to find the perfect dress.
Well, this poem is a story about such an event.
It’s about Jesus’s wedding banquet,
that takes place in the glorious Kingdom of Heaven,
with the Bride of Christ!
And it's about all the people
who have been invited, but not chosen.
Listen to this. Jesus said,
“The kingdom of heaven is like a king
who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.”
“The king sent his servants
to those who had an invitation
to tell them to come, but they refused.”
“So he sent more servants and said,
'Tell those who have been invited
that I have prepared my dinner:
My oxen and fattened cattle
have been butchered, and everything is ready.
Come to the wedding banquet."
Can you believe his invitation was totally ignored.
The majority of creation walked with Pride
and totally forgot about God.
I'm sure this what led to the Great Flood!
So then, God sent more of His servants
to extend the invitation,
by giving the people more information
about what was to come.
But once again,
“the people paid no attention and went off -
one to his field, another to his business.”
Pride never left!
The creation was still led by selfish intent.
“And the rest of the people
who had been invited,
seized the king’s servants,
mistreated and killed them.”
I can only imagine how the king must have felt.
It's such a relief that He did not just blot us out!
“So the king sent his army
and destroyed those murderers
and burned their city.”
Then he said to his servants,
‘The wedding banquet is ready,
but those I invited did not deserve to come.
So go to the street corners
and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’”
God had invited the whole human race
to participate in his marriage vows.
But then humans fell into pride -
the creation wanted to be like God.
After the Flood,
God extended the invitation to Abraham and his descendants,
through the blood line of Jacob.
Most of the Jews refused to listen.
They did not see Jesus as their coming king;
they did not hear God
declare “This is My beloved Son.”
And they definitely did not pay attention
to the timeline given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel.
Not only did they kill Jesus,
but they killed his servants
through hearts of murderous intent.
The Holy Spirit was not in them!
So the king told his servants
to find anyone who wants to participate,
whether they are good or bad.
He extended his invitation to all Gentile nations -
Oh look, we are right back
where we started from.
The whole human race has been invited to come!
“So the servants went out into the streets
and gathered all the people they could find,
the bad as well as the good,
and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
This must have finally blessed the king’s heart.
“But when the king came in to see the guests,
he noticed a man there
who was not wearing wedding clothes.
He asked, “Friend, how did you get in here
without wedding clothes?
The man was speechless."
(Not one word came out of his mouth)
“Then the king told the attendants,
‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside,
into the darkness, where there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Can you imagine showing up in Heaven,
not wearing your wedding dress?
Can your imagine showing up in filthy rags -
the clothes God saved you from?
It’s no wonder the king kicked him out!
If you haven’t already figured it out -
This story is not about sitting and watching
Jesus get married.
No! That is not it at all!
This story is about YOU and me
getting ready to marry Jesus,
as His pure and blameless Bride.
This story is about responding -
to His proposal to love Him above everything else.
Do you think the King of the Universe
would allow just anyone to marry His Son?
Do you think the king is bad or good?
God is the definition of love.
He represents everything good!
If you are a parent to a daughter or a son
then imagine how you would feel
if the person they love
showed up to their wedding,
in a ratty old shirt, stretched out yoga pants
and worn out tennis shoes.
How would feel if they came to their wedding
still wearing filthy rags?
Wouldn't you be wondering, "Where is the dress?"
How you would feel
if you had invested every last cent
to make sure their wedding was absolutely perfect.
Imagine the disrespect.
Wouldn’t you want to ring their necks?
Can you imagine the look on your child’s face
when the one that they love
acts with such dishonor and disgrace?
They would probably want to run
and never look back!
Let me ask you this,
What if the Bride is called,
but she does not make herself ready
to partake in the wedding feast?
What if she forgets
to put the wedding date in her calendar?
What if she has other things on her mind
like focusing on this world instead of the next?
What if she saw Jesus and said yes -
but then turned her gaze
towards another love interest?
What would happen
if she followed her flesh?
Would she exchange true love for lust?
Or will she grow old with Jesus?
She would be just like the 5 virgin brides
who did not have their lamps ready and burning.
(See Matthew 25:1-13 for more information on this)
The Bride of Christ is the Ekklesia,
the called-out assembly who keep their eyes
focused in Christ.
They are the congregation of believers
who responded with “yes”
then did not divert their attention from Him.
They carry God’s Holy Spirit -
His spiritual DNA.
There is nothing that can turn away their gaze.
They are fully devoted and fully in love.
The Bride of Christ gives birth
to God’s chosen race.
She is a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
a people for his own possession.
You may proclaim
the excellencies of him
who called you out of darkness
into his marvelous light.”
1 Peter 2:9
You see, I believe
everyone is called and invited
to the wedding banquet
but few are chosen to remain with Him.
God knows every heart
and He can see under our garments.
Whether we want to admit it or not,
we are completely exposed to Him.
He knows if you have chosen His Son.
It will be quite evident because you will be
indwelled with His Holy Spirit.
He can see, hear, taste and smell
the blood of Jesus.
He can reach out and touch you
and know who you are.
There is no deception.
He is not like Issac -
a man who was easily deceived
by his own son, Jacob.
Jacob, the man who pretended to be Esau.
God knows every inch of our hearts.
He knows if we truly love Him.
He knows if we are genuinely
in love with His Son.
These are the ones He calls Chosen.
“For he chose us in him
before the creation of the world
to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love he predestined us
for adoption to Son-ship through Jesus Christ,
in accordance with his pleasure and his will -
to the praise of his glorious grace,
which he has freely given us
in the One he loves.
In him we have redemption
through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches
of God’s grace that he lavished on us.
With all wisdom and understanding,
he made known to us
the mystery of his will
according to his good pleasure,
which he purposed in Christ,
to be put into effect
when the times reach their fulfillment
to bring unity to all things
in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In him we were also chosen,
having been predestined
according to the plan of him
who works out everything
in conformity with the purpose
of his will, in order that we,
who were the first to put
our hope in Christ,
might be for the praise of his glory.
And you also were included in Christ
when you heard the message of truth,
the gospel of your salvation.
When you believed,
you were marked in him with a seal,
the promised Holy Spirit,
who is a deposit guaranteeing
our inheritance until the redemption
of those who are God’s possession -
to the praise of his glory.”
Amen and amen!
Bride of Christ -
Have your lamps burning,
and have plenty of oil on hand.
The Lord is coming soon!