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THE PARABLE OF THE MARRIAGE FEAST

by Dr. Robert Hymers

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Evening, November 6, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14).


I have spoken on this parable twice in the last few weeks. It is extremely important. Dr. McGee said, "This is one of the greatest parables Jesus gave for the period in which you and I live" (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, volume IV, Nelson, 1983, p. 115).

Christ often compared salvation to a great banquet. In this parable the king represents God and the son speaks of Christ. The king invited many guests, which represent the Jewish people at the time of Christ. They were invited to the banquet, but the majority of them either paid no attention to the invitation, or else rebelled against those who invited them. The king was therefore angry and burned up their city. Dr. McGee said, "This undoubtedly refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by Titus the Roman" (ibid.).

Now look at verses 8 and 9.

"Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage" (Matthew 22:8-9).

Dr. McGee said, "Now we see a definite change in the method and manner of the invitation, and it refers to the present age in which we live" (ibid. p. 116).

The change refers to the call going out to all mankind, and not strictly to Israel.

"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God" (John 1:11-12).

Now Jesus offers salvation to the Gentiles, to all mankind. He now says,

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

Now read verse 10.

"So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests" (Matthew 22:10).

I believe that this refers to the visible local churches. Both bad and good prospects are called into the local churches.

But now we come to this particular man, who came in without a wedding garment. This man represents those who come into a visible local church without putting on the righteousness of Christ. The wedding clothes represent Christ's righteousness. The Apostle Paul said, "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 13:14). Again, he spoke of "the righteousness of God which is by faith [in] Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe" (Romans 3:22). If you are not "in" Christ, then you are not clothed in His righteousness. What will God say to you at the Last Judgment when He sees that you have not "put…on the Lord Jesus Christ"? He will say the words of verse 12,

"Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?" (Matthew 22:12).

I can tell you how people come into the visible local church without putting on the righteousness of Christ. There are two main ways this happens.


1. You are born and raised in the church, but never put on the righteousness of Christ.

2. You are brought into the church by others, but you never put on the righteousness of Christ.


No matter which of those two ways you came in, God will still say,

"Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?" (Matthew 22:12).

But, then, I want you to notice the end of verse twelve,

"And he was speechless" (Matthew 22:12).

Whether you were raised in the local church or brought in later, you are going to be quite speechless at the Last Judgment when God asks you why you did not put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

On that day, at the Last Judgment, you will not give an excuse to God, because your conscience will not allow it, and the all-seeing eye of God will not allow it either. You will not say, "I tried to put on Christ," because both you and God will know perfectly well that you did not "strive to enter in at the strait gate" (Luke 13:24). You did not "strive to enter in," and you will know it, and so will God. So, you will be quite speechless on that day.

Now let us stand and read the last two verses, Matthew 22:13-14.

"Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:13-14).

Many are invited to come to Christ. Many come into a visible local church and hear the call - "Come to Christ." Many people hear the call of the gospel, but only those who actually come to Christ are chosen.

"For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14).

You may be seated.

I have no time, nor inclination to argue theology with you tonight. You have heard the gospel countless times. You know that Christ died to pay for your sins, that He has risen from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of God. You have been told many times to come to Christ by simple faith. You have been called many times to come to Christ. And yet you have not come to Him.

"For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14).

You have been called - but you will not be chosen unless you come to Christ. Please turn to John 5:40. Read it aloud.

"And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (John 5:40).

Sadly, sadly, there are some here tonight who have been called, but you will not be chosen.

"And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (John 5:40).

"Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:13-14).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Matthew 22:1-14.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith
"God Calling Yet" (by Gerhard Tersteegen, 1697-1769).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE PARABLE OF THE MARRIAGE FEAST

by Dr. Robert Hymers


"For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14).

(Matthew 22:8-9; John 1:11-12; Mark 16:15; Matthew 22:10;
Romans 13:14; Romans 3:22; Matthew 22:12;
Luke 13:24; Matthew 22:13-14; John 5:40)