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The Fathers Love Letter To You
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Matt. 22:1-14 ARE YOU DRESSED FOR THE WEDDING?

Intro: Ill. The context and the story of the parable. Jesus is painting a picture of the rejection by the nation of Israel. He warns them of their certain doom, which was accomplished in 70 AD. He is also telling them of His intention to fill the Father's house with people other than themselves. The king in the parable sends his servants out to find other guests to come to the wedding celebration. As they gather themselves together, the king notices a man in the company who does not have on a wedding garment. This man is cast out of the wedding celebration.

These verses paint a picture of salvation. When Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah, He turned to the Gentiles. You see, the Lord intends to fill His Heaven with the redeemed from the earth. Only those who have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ will be admitted into God's Heaven! The bible tells us that when the redeemed of the Lord gather together there in Heaven, that there will be a marriage. There will be a time of celebration know as the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb", Rev. 19:7-9. Now. there has been a bunch of preaching about this event, and much of it can stir the heart, but let's face it, the Bible doesn't say a lot about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. One things, however, is noteworthy in what it does say about it. Verse 8 tells us that the people involved in this heavenly celebration will be dressed in pure, white garments. It is these garments that I want to focus on this morning.

As we look at the events of this parable and at the fact that those who are saved by grace will meet yonder in Heaven and be dressed in white at the Marriage of the Lamb, it seems to me that the garment is of the utmost of importance. When it comes time for the wedding, it seems from the Bible, you must be dressed properly, or you will not be admitted.

Now, eternity is coming! Your life will not last forever. You need to be absolutely certain that you will be clothed in the proper attire when you reach the end of your earthly journey. Today, I would like to preach around this question, "Are You Dressed For The Wedding?" As I do, I want you to listen to the Word of God and let the Lord speak to your heart. If you find that you are clothed in the rags of your sin or the flimsy cloths of your own self-righteousness, I want you to respond to the Lord and allow Him to have His way in your life. Allow me to share four observations from this passage as we think about the question, "Are You Dressed For The Wedding?"

I. V. 9-10a THE AVAILABILITY OF THE GARMENT

A. V. 10a It Is Available To All - The king sent his servants into the highways, literally the "wide places or plazas", to gather together all that they found. He wasn't concerned about their character, about their past, about their social standing, about their abilities, about their popularity, or any other consideration. He just wanted whoever would to come to the wedding celebration.

(Ill. This is a picture of what the Lord has done for us in His plan of salvation. When the Lord formulated His plan of Salvation, He prepared a way that was open to all men, from all walks of life. God's plan is available to whoever will come - Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17; John 7:37-38. Simply stated, the plan of salvation and the garment of righteousness is available to anyone who desires it.)

B. V. 9 It Is Available By Invitation - Notice that the king sent out his servants to invite people to the wedding. Again, this pictures salvation. While anyone can be saved by the grace of God, before anyone can be saved, they must be called by the Lord, John 6:44; 66. You can only be saved when the Lord is dealing with your heart.

(Ill. Herein lies one of the most dangerous areas of salvation. Many people feel convicted by their sins and put God off for whatever reason. They believe that they will be saved, but that they will be able to do it when they are ready. Not so! The only time anyone can ever be saved is when the Lord is dealing with their heart. What is dangerous is this. God has promised to deal with all men, John 1:9. However, He has not promised to call them repeatedly, Gen. 6:3. There will come a day, after the Spirit of God has been turned away, when God will no longer deal with the lost heart, Heb. 12:15. If a person fails to respond to the call of the Lord for salvation, there is always a danger of stepping over God's deadline and condemning your soul to Hell. If the Lord has been calling you to be saved, come today! Do it now, while there is still time to get right with the Lord.)

I. The Availability Of The Garment

II. V. 10b THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE GARMENT

(Ill. It was common in weddings involving the wealthy to provide each guest with a white wedding garment. When the guests accepted the invitation, they would be given their garment, and they would then wear it to the wedding when the day arrived. Again, what a picture of salvation! The day a person accepts the Lord's invitation to Jesus and salvation, that person receives a robe of righteousness. That is, their sins are forever forgiven and they a justified by faith. God sees them as He sees His Son Jesus and they are considered to be righteous. Paul referred to this idea in Philippians 3:8-9. The wedding garment is given to every believer at the instant of conversion and it is worn by every believer all the time. There are four truths about this garment that we need to consider this morning.)

A. It Is Received By Faith - The way to get the wedding garment is by simple faith. It is given to those who place their faith in Jesus alone for salvation, Eph. 2:8-9. No one will ever get their wedding garment by being religious, or by being good. It will be given only when a sinner places his faith in the atoning work of Christ, Rom. 10:9-10.

B. It Is Totally Free - This garment cannot be purchased at any price. It is received only when faith in the Gospel message has been exercised. You see, it matters not how much money or resources a person has, nor does it matter how little one has. All that matters is faith! When a person receive Jesus as Savior, God gives them the wedding garment. Salvation cannot be purchased, it is the gift of God! (Ill. Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17; Rom. 3:24.)

C. It Is A Proper Fit - I have a hard time finding clothes! It's my fault, but the fact remains that I must wait until Omar the Tentmaker comes through town to buy a suit. However, the wedding garment given by the Lord is a perfect fit every time! It fits the young and the old, the big and the little, the rich and the poor, the short and the tall. God's wedding garment fits every life perfectly.

(Ill. Salvation is a perfect fit for everyone. No one was ever made worse off by receiving Jesus Christ! No life was ever ruined by a personal relationship with King Jesus. In fact, every life every truly touched by His hand of grace and power was made far different and better than it could have been otherwise! Yes, He changes lives, but always for the better, 2 Cor. 5:17. None ever found that the Lord didn't fit. Those who say they tried it and failed never had it to begin with! Salvation fits every life perfectly!)

D. It Is Approved By The Father - (Notice, the king came in a saw a man without the wedding garment. He was forced out and rejected by the king. The garment was a requirement to be in the presence of the king and to attend the wedding.)

(Ill. The same is true when it come to the garment of salvation. To be without one is to face the Heavenly Father unprepared. However, every person clothed in the garment of His Son's righteousness will be accepted by the Father in Heaven. Isn't it interesting that religion won't do it, good works won't do it, being good won't do it, being kind won't do it? The only thing that will cloth you in such a way as to make you pleasing to the Lord is for you to receive Jesus as your Savior and for Him to cloth you in His righteousness.)

(Ill. When the saints arrive in Heaven, we will not be admitted on the basis of what we did or did not do. We will be admitted purely on the basis of how we are attired. It has been said that the clothes make the man. I even know a preacher who won't talk to you if you aren't dressed up to his standards. Whether he is right or wrong I can't say, but I do know that how we are dressed when we leave this world will determine where we are seated in eternity - smoking or non-smoking! The question is this, will you be approved by the Father? You can be, but only if you are clothed in the glorious righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ - Rom. 4:23-25. What kind of garments are you wearing this morning?)

I. The Availability Of The Garment

II. The Acceptance Of The Garment

III. V. 11 THE ABILITY OF THE GARMENT

A. It Changes One's Appearance - (Ill. In our modern weddings, the bride does her best to stand out from everyone else at the wedding. However, in ancient times, everyone looked the same at the wedding. They all wore the same type of garments and they were all identically dressed.)

(Ill. So it is with salvation! When a person comes to Jesus to be saved, He changes them completely: externally, internally and eternally!)

(Ill. So great is the change that even the Lord never sees that person the same ever again. He looks at them through the filter of the blood of Jesus and declares them to be justified and righteous in His sight. When they are wearing the wedding garment, they are clean in the sight of the Lord.)

B. It Cover's One's Appearance - (Ill When these people were found, probably some were dirty, others may have been beggars dressed in rags, some may have been weal thy and were dressed in all the finery that money could buy. But, whatever their appearance when they were called, when they put on the wedding garment, it covered everything! Gone was the filth, the ugliness and the rags. All that could be seen was the white, cleanness of the wedding garment.)

(Ill. The Bible tells us that our own righteousness is nothing but "filthy rags", Isa. 64:4. Sadly, many are blind to their true condition, Rev. 3:17. However, when a person places his/her faith in Jesus for salvation, they are covered by His righteousness and all the filth, all the rags, all the ugliness of their sins is forever covered by the blood of Jesus and by the grace of God. Thank God, when we are saved, we are seen as being clean in the sight of God! Not by our works, not by our goodness, but by the grace of Almighty God. How are you dressed this morning?)

I. The Availability Of The Garment

II. The Acceptance Of The Garment

III. The Ability Of The Garment

IV. V. 12-14 THE ABSENCE OF THE GARMENT

(Ill. After the guests arrived for the wedding, the king saw a man who had no wedding garment. This event produced 3 great reactions that need to be considered this morning. Please understand that if you try to go to Heaven without a wedding garment, these things will come to pass in your life as well!)

A. V. 12 Will Produce A Showdown - When the king saw the man without a garment, he confronted him about it.

(My friends, everyone in this room needs remember that there will come a day when every person will face God one on one! For the save, it will take place at the Judgment Seat of Christ, 2 Cor. 5:10. For the lost, that dreadful day will be a the Great White Throne Judgment, rev. 20:11-15. Every person who lived and died without a wedding garment will have to stand before the Lord and give account for their life and deeds._

B. V. 12b Will Produce Shock - When the man saw that he was not hidden fro the king, the Bible says that he was speechless! That is, he made no excuses for his condition and he offered no apologies. The bottom line is that when he was confronted with the truth, there wasn't much that he could say about his condition.

(Ill. This is what will happen to all those who die without Jesus. When they face the Lord in judgment, they will stand unable to plead their case before Him who knows every heart! Ill. Many are deceived about their condition, but there is a great need to be sure, Mat. 7:21-22. No excuse will suffice, no appeal will be heard, no promise will be heeded, even the cry of repentance will fall on deaf ears at that time. What a shock to find that the One who could have saved you has now become you judge. The time to be saved is now!)

C. V. 13 Will Produce Shame - The man in the parable was cast out into outer darkness. This is a picture of Hell! Every person who leaves this world clothed in their sins and not in the righteousness of Jesus Christ will spend eternity in Hell apart from the Lord who died for them and made a way for their salvation. It is an awful place, but it is the destination for every lost soul this morning - Psa. 9:17; Luke 16:19-31; 2 Thes. 1:8-9. There will be no greater shame than being forever cast away from the presence of the Lord. What will happen when you die?

Conc: Are you dressed for the wedding this morning? You say preacher, "How do I know?" It all depends on what you have done with Jesus. If you have never received Him as your Savior, then you are lost and must be born again. If, however, there has been a time in your life when you bowed as a sinner and called on Jesus by faith, confessed your sins and received Him into your life then you are saved. If there i the slightest doubt in your heart this morning about the condition of your soul, I challenge you to come to this altar and get it settled. Are you ready for the wedding? You can be, but you must be dressed in Jesus and His righteousness alone. Will you come if the Lord is calling you?



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