Bible Reading: Matthew 22:1-22
There are so many religions and beliefs and so much talk about spiritual things…and then there’s those UFOs. Books, radio talk shows, magazines, newspapers, internet sites, television…everywhere you turn you find someone espousing a new method to know God and have some kind of after-life. There are dozens of ways to Heaven. Or, so they say. But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible makes it clear, crystal clear, that there is only one way to Heaven…God’s way. God has determined how we can go to His Heaven…and that is by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no other way. Here, in this parable, Jesus makes that clear.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
What would you do if you were giving a party for someone…I mean something really, really special…and a person that you didn’t know and that you had not invited showed up and demanded to be let in? It happened a few years ago (2009)…and you will not believe who it happened to…President Obama. That’s right. The President of the US of A. President Obama was giving a State Dinner (that is a very formal, invitation only, black-tie, Secret Service protected get together)…for Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India. As my Granddaddy used to say, “That was some tall cotton!” In other words, there were a lot of very important people there. Security was extremely tight. You had to have a personal invitation from the White House. You had to have positive photo identification. Nobody was getting in that didn’t belong there. But somehow, it didn’t work that night…and not only did Tareq and Michaele Salahi talk their way past the security guards and into the party…they actually stood in line and shook hands with the President. Needless to say, when the Secret Service became aware of what had happened…they quickly ushered Mr. and Mrs. Salahi out of the building.
Jesus told a parable about a very similar incident. Now remember, a parable is an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning. This earthly story is about receiving an invitation to go to a wedding…and the Heavenly meaning is about receiving an invitation to go to Heaven. It seems that a king’s son was about to get married and the king was throwing a bachelor party for him. He sent out invitations to all of the important people, the right kind of people…the people who had power, and money, and notoriety, and well, you know the kind. Time came for the party to begin…and they didn’t come. So, the king sent his servants to their homes and told them that they were about to start. They had all sorts of very important reasons why they could not come. Like, one said that he needed to go check on his farm, and other said that he had some business that he had to take care of. You know…important stuff. They didn’t really have anything to do…they just didn’t want to interrupt their schedule. But a few were even more direct in their answer. They beat the king’s messengers up and even killed some of them. This made the king furious. He sent his soldiers and destroyed them and their cities. Then, he sent out invitations to everyone in the community…rich, poor, good, bad. They all came. And the place was full. Out of respect for the king and his son…the people had worn their very best clothes. It was a sign of their appreciation for inviting them to come. But, as the king walked through the crowd, he saw one man who had not dressed up. He wasn’t wearing the kind of clothes that should be worn at a wedding. You see, he didn’t really like the king. And by wearing the wrong kind of clothes…he was showing him disrespect and contempt. The king called the security guards and told them to throw the man out of the party. The he said, “Everyone has been invited, but not just anyone will be let in.” What did he mean? The king had invited everyone in the community to attend the party. However, they could come into the party anyway that they wanted. They had to agree to come in as his guest.
What did we say about a parable? Earthly story…Heavenly meaning. You’ve got the story. Now, here is the meaning. God invites everyone…everyone…to come to His party, to Heaven. But, and this is important…you’ve got to come as He has determined…as His guest. You don’t decide how you are going to get into the party, into Heaven. You don’t make the rules. No party crashers. The only way to get into Heaven is to receive Jesus as your Savior. If you don’t do that…you don’t get in. You don’t try to get into Heaven by saying, “Well, I lived a very good life.” Or, “I gave a lot of time and money to the church.” Or, “I supported an orphanage in another country.” Or, “I….whatever.” The only way to Heaven is to accept God’s invitation…”Believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and you will be saved.” Have you received your invitation? Have you accepted Jesus? I hope so…because it’s going to be some kind of party, in Heaven!
Love you more than bunches and bunches,