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The Wedding Garment

  • The Wedding Garment from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    What is the Spirit saying to the Church today?: "People get ready, for the marriage supper of the Lamb is coming. Prepare your hearts!" This is what came to me while praying over this message. As usual, it was a clue to look deeper at something. So I began to look over all the references to weddings and suppers, and I learned a few things I will share with you.

    Let's begin with the obvious. The Church is the bride of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:25). It's made up of believers around the world. It includes people from every nation, language, and color. We are the "ekklēsia," the called-out ones, Christians. One day, Jesus Christ will return for His Church, and there will be a wedding banquet. An angel told the Apostle John this:

    (Revelation 19:7–9 NKJV)  Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 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. Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' "

    Notice that the bride had "made herself" ready and was now dressed in a clean, bright garment representing her righteous acts. The Church at the moment is a mixture of everything, wheat and tares, sheep and goats, good and bad. We are all growing together, but God will sort things out in the end. Jesus told a parable about this:

    (Matthew 13:24–30 NKJV)  Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'

    He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." ' "

    Later, His disciples asked Him to explain the parable to them, so He did:

    (Matthew 13:36–43 NKJV)  Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field." He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.

    Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

    Notice the words, "they will gather out of His kingdom." Jesus isn't speaking about the entire world but addressing the kingdom of God and the Church. Apparently, there will be some in the kingdom that will be removed from it. In short, going to Church doesn't make you a Christian any more than walking into a garage makes you a truck. If there is no repentance, no change of heart, no change of your ways, then you are still the same old person you were. How can you tell? The Apostle Paul gave us two lists of things to consider:

    (Galatians 5:19–21 NKJV)  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

     (Galatians 5:22–24 NKJV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    Which list do you have the most in common with, or is it a bit of both? We must be changed by the Gospel, and our behavior and attitudes should demonstrate it. Now back to our banquet discussion.

    When you were invited to a banquet in ancient Palestine, an invitation came to you with the day and location of the event, asking if you planned to attend. It worked much like an RSVP today and helped them calculate how much food and drink to prepare for the guests. Then the day of the banquet, a reminder came along with the time it would start. Jesus told a parable about a supper like this:

    (Luke 14:16–20 NKJV)  Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'

    Now, these people had received an invitation before this and agreed to come to His supper. Yet, when the day arrived, they had changed their minds and came up with excuses. That was considered a horrible insult. Excuses are "made," crafted to hide the fact they just didn't want to go. If they had really wanted to be there, they would have left the field until tomorrow. Yet, they were too busy doing something else they deemed more important to them at the time. In the parable, the Lord permanently excused those who made excuses. Who put their wants ahead of their commitment to Him.

    Those people were invited to His supper but never showed up. Yet, there was another type of guest that did come, and the King had them thrown out:

    (Matthew 22:11–13 NKJV)  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. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

    Let's recap: In short, the banquet is probably a picture of heaven, where everything is provided for us. We are with the Lord, and it is wonderful. The Lord was in charge of the feast and invited many. Yet, the people's actions and choices determined whether they attended at all or were able to remain there. 

    The man without the wedding garment hadn't bothered to "change" before the event. Now I am not certain what the missing wedding garment represents, but remember the clean and bright garment of the bride, which was her righteous acts? Arguing over the garment is a wash, for our faith cannot be separated from good works. If there are no good works in your life, there is probably no faith either. Hence, out the door you go...

    The Lord calls and invites us, and we can choose to respond or ignore Him. Yet, never let us teach others that there will be no consequence, that everyone will be saved. Shame on us for teaching a greasy grace where our actions don't matter. We treat our Heavenly Father like an old senile grandfather whose words don't really matter anymore. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.

    (Galatians 6:7 NKJV)  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

    "Oh, but that doesn't apply to lil' ol' me! I'm (insert whatever excuse you like)..."

    (2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV)  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

    "Oh, but that's just the writings of Paul. Jesus understands me!" Yet, He also said:

    (Luke 6:46 NKJV)  "...why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?

    (Matthew 7:21 NKJV)  "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

    (Matthew 16:27 NKJV)  For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

    Let's lay aside our excuses and lack of commitment to Him. Let's put Him first in our lives, before family, our jobs, or possessions. He doesn't just want some of our time or money. He wants all of us. Anything not submitted to Him, or more important than Him, will become a stumbling block for you. He will eventually force you to choose, for you cannot serve two masters.

    "People get ready, for the marriage supper of the Lamb is coming. Prepare your hearts!"

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please forgive me for what I have done wrong. Teach me the things I need to know, and set me free from the chains that bind me. I want to serve You with my heart and soul. Remove my excuses, and restore my hope. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!


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23 comments
  • 3
Debi Burton
Debi Burton Praise the Lord Hallelujah! Amen
Jan 3
  • 1
Kevin J. Eck
Kevin J. Eck Amen,
Jan 3
  • 1
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Yes Lord Jesus, amen 

Jan 2
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen

Jan 3
  • 1
Keyana Mallory
Keyana Mallory

Amen

Jan 3
  • 1
Candy Laventure
Candy Laventureedited: Jan 3

Excellent study today, Pastor.

Lord, help me to follow your commandments closely. Amen!

Jan 3
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen.  Heavenly Father,  Thank you for Your blessings grace and Mercy.  For all things I Thank You.  Amen

Jan 3
  • 1
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Wonderful message Pastor Dion, thank you. Amen 

Jan 3
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen Good Morning Everyone 

Jan 3
  • 1
Dana Rozell
Dana Rozell

Amen.

Jan 3
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

Jan 3
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Thank you Pastor Dion for this wonderful message today.  Thank you Lord Jesus for All you have done for us as Christians, as your sons and daughters.  Cleanse all unrighteousness from us that we are not binded to be so ready for your coming.  In Jesus Name I ask, Amen 

Jan 3
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen thank you Father for all your love and support you are my rock

Jan 3
  • 2
Susan Petho
Susan Petho

Amen!

Jan 3
  • 1
Richard Mondello
Richard Mondello

In Lord Yeshua's name I ask this, Amen. 

Jan 3
  • 1
Maria Melendez
Maria Melendez

Amen !!!

Jan 3
  • 2
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen and Amen!!! I was so blessed to be able to be able to attend yesterday's New Year's service, starting out this new year with the family of God, thank you so much Pastor Dion and Sylvia!! "Numbers 6:24-26"

Jan 3
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!!

Jan 3
  • 1
Celeste Strenn
Celeste Strenn

Amen

Jan 3
  • 1
Narciso Salas
Narciso Salas

God bless, amen.

Jan 4
  • 1
David Fabillaran
David Fabillaran

Amen Lord!

Jan 4
  • 1
Sharon Leonard
Sharon Leonard

YES HE HAS TO BE FIRST...SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED...HOW CLEAR IS THAT !  HE MADE US ...HE SUPPLIES ALL OUR NEEDS, IF WE LET HIM. WHAT ELSE IN THE WORLD WOULD ANY OF US WANT...GOD HAS IT COVERED. GODS GOT IT ALL.

DON'T THOW A MONKEY WRENCH IN IT !

LOVE YA!

SHARON

Jan 6
  • 1
Sherry McCosh
Sherry McCosh

Amen!! God wash me clean and forgive me all of my sins! I want to seek you every day and keep you first in my life! There is no one like you God, there is no one higher than you and there is no one greater than you, let my Life forever praise you Amen!!

 

Jan 7