So that's Matthew chapter 22 verses 1 to 14. I'll let you find that and then I'll pray. Father, we know your word is sharper than any double edged sword. That it cuts to the heart of us, that it can reveal things in our life that maybe we haven't seen or noticed before.
We pray that your word would be a lamp to our feet that you would guide our path. Law, we pray all these things would be true as we hear and understand and apply your word to our lives. We pray you would help Raugh as he speaks to us, give him clarity and clearness as he speaks, help him to, love the lord Jesus and to clearly show us your savior. Lord, we we ask tonight that our hearts would be softened that we would hear that we would instead not be hardened to you that instead we would want to respond to you and we ask all these things in your son's name. Jesus Christ, amen.
First 1, Jesus spoke to them again in parables saying, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come. But they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fat and calf have been slaughtered and everything is ready.
Come to the wedding banquet but they paid no attention and went off. 1 to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants ill treated them and killed them. The king was enraged He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. And then he said to the servants, the wedding banquet is ready.
But those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite the banquet at anyone you find. So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all people they could find the bad as well as the good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.
He asked, how did you get in here without wedding clothes, my friend? The man was speechless. The king told the attendants tie him hand and foot and throw him outside into the darkness where they'll be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are invited, but few are chosen. Good evening from me.
My name is Rory. I'm 1 of the members of staff here at Cornerstone, and it's great to be able to open up god's words with you now. Let's pray as we begin, and then we'll get stuck in. Father, thank you so much for your words. We thank you that we are what we have the privilege of coming, week in and week out, and hearing your word, both morning and evening.
And we pray father that we won't take that for granted now, but actually help us to be those people that want to listen to your words. This, this is hard stuff at times. So we pray that you will convict us where we need convicting. That you will raise our hearts and and warm them where they need warming. And we pray father that after hearing your word that you will help us to apply it to our lives.
And so we pray these things in Jesus' name, Well, I think we're all used to receiving posts through the letterbox, and and generally speaking, The post is quite ordinary and boring. Usually it's a load of bills that you're wishing that you didn't have to see. Maybe it's, 1 of those horrible, bits of of of post where you've realized you've been caught speeding as I was the other week and you're having to oh, no. Sorry. I know.
Since already been, being announced here, you were caught on the portsmouth road doing 26 on 20. It was devastated. So those types of posts are quite annoying or it's a load of a load of advertisements that you don't want. I don't want my windows cleaned. I only have 3, and I could do them myself.
Usually, it's quite boring, isn't it? But now and then, you go to the door, you unlock it, you walk in and you get a special bit of post. And this 1 isn't in that ordinary white let white envelope, but it's in a gold envelope. Oh, and it's it's got writing on that a a calligrapher would be proud of. Yeah?
And you realize that you have been invited to something And you open it off, and there you have, John and and Joanne Smith. I'm making these names all those that you can probably tell. Want you to be at the request your pleasure at this at the daughter and the and the son-in-law's wedding. Yes. I've been invited It's great, isn't it?
You're like, oh, well, if you like them, it's great. I suppose. If it's the, oh, gosh, that family member, I wish I hadn't, but usually, you were like, brilliant. I've been invited to the wedding. I've been invited.
We love to be invited, don't we? We love to be invited. I I think as soon as we are aware that parties are a thing, we want to be invited to them. Who who didn't want to be at the birthday party when they were in school? Who didn't wanna go to the sporting event that everyone else is going?
We wanna be invited to the things that everyone are going to. Why? Because it shows that we belong, it shows that we're loved, it shows that we, that we mean something to the person who's inviting us. We love invitations. And tonight, this parable has the most important invitation in the universe.
This is the gospel invitation. See, we've been going through parables in Matthew. And actually, weirdly, we sort of jump backwards and forth, but, Chris and Richard took us through the the parable of the 2 sons and the parable of the tenants in chapter 21, you can flick back and and see them. And really what Jesus has been doing is he has been exposing the the Jewish leaders, the pharisees, the the religious guys of the day, he's exposed them and said that you haven't got real faith. That you're gonna miss out on the kingdom of heaven, and those that you would consider inferior to you are enjoying the benefits of being in my kingdom.
And and that's actually caused them to be quite murderous in their intent towards Jesus. You'll see that At the end of chapter 21 where they look for a way to arrest him. And at the end of this parable, they're gonna try and trap him in his words. This murderous intent. But Jesus is gonna continue here because he wants to he wants to press home what he's saying here.
He wants to keep on showing us what's going on here, with with with with what's in front of him and what what will go on in history. So he goes on in in verse 1. And he says in in verse 2, again, in a parable, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. So here's what the kingdom of heaven is like. If you're gonna be in Jesus' kingdom, if you're gonna be in the kingdom of heaven, then it's like being invited, and it's like being in a wedding banquet.
And this is not this is not just an ordinary banquet. I actually I just thought for a laugh, I would search up the greatest banquet that have ever existed in history. And there was a there's a cycle of the roasting pig. I think they were trying to sell me a hog roast. And I I looked up this up, and and and apparently there was a wedding in the 16 hundreds, called the medici wedding, and they had 50 courses in 1 in 1 banquet.
That's incredible, isn't it? Well, the fourth not to be outdone, In 18 17, he had the Brighton Pavilion, feast. He had a hundred courses, and he had a 4 foot replica of the the bright and pavilion made out of Marzipan. I like Marzipan. I know you do.
Victoria queen Victoria and Prince Albert, they had a 300 pound cake at their wedding. That's incredible. And the the biggest banquet that I I researched actually was, of course, it's the Freemasons. There was 8000 Freemasons at 1 banquet, and they were fed by, well, I don't, I guess served, sorry, by 1300 waitresses. Great banquets.
Here, we are introduced to the greatest banquet that has ever existed. And that is what the kingdom of heaven is like, but it's not just a banquet. It's a wedding banquet. This is this is a a cause for the greatest of celebrations. This is a cause for laughter and joy and happiness and the celebration of 2 loved ones committing to 1 another and saying that we are gonna love 1 another until we go on.
It's a wedding banquet, but not only is it a wedding banquet, it's a royal banquet. It's a royal wedding banquet. Did you see? The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. This is it.
This is the king of the world that he's saying I am gonna make a banquet for my son. And so as king, I will invite people. And as king, I expect you to come. That's important, that. The king expects his subjects to come.
It's a gracious invitation, but you must accept it. And you can see just as we walk through this this passage that the that the wedding banquet here is incredible verse 2 he's going through and he's he's inviting people to it, but it's sorry. He's preparing it lovingly. He's trying to prepare it. In verse 4, you'll see that he's not skimping on on on price.
This is not gonna be finger food at this wedding. It's not a baked potato. Oh, sorry. If anyone has had baked, I realized I went to a wedding with baked potatoes. Okay.
This isn't baked potatoes at this at this banquet. Look, what is there? There is the the oxen and the fat and cattle. This is the best of the best. This is the food that you want.
This is the, you know, not just the chicken legs and bologons. This is the the beef, the beef boggling on. I don't know why I'm just going on with food. There's every food imaginable at this banquet. And then 10.
Not only is it is it is it is it the best food, but it's not stingy either. This is this is I want as many people in my bank as possible, and I'm gonna feed them. This is a king who is not skimping on any expenses. He's splashing out. He's splashing out to to put on the greatest of lavishes feasts ever.
And a Jewish audience would be quite, used to to seeing this because they would have realized that god has promised in his words that his kingdom will be like a great feast. In Isaiah 25, he says this, on this mountain, he's predicting the future when now the Messiah will come, and there'll be a new kingdom. The kingdom of heaven will come. He says, on this mountain, the lord, almighty, will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples. A banquet of aged wines.
If you like your wine, this is the banquet to be in. The best of meats and the finest of wines on this mountain He will destroy the shroud that unfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations. He will swallow up death forever. The sovereign lord will wipe away the tears from all faces. He will remove its people's disgrace from all the earth.
The lord has spoken. This is the feast of feasts. This is the banquet of banquets. And this king is spending everything to get it ready, and that is what god the father does. He spends everything to get you ready.
That's the reason that our lord Jesus Christ comes. He comes to die on a cross so that we may come into the wedding feast of the lamb. Christ wants us, and he extends his invitation to the whole of humanity as Christ dies on a cross with his arms outstretched as as if he beckons people to come and know him and come and be part of the great banquet of the lamb. This is the greatest feast. This is the wedding feast of the son, the lord Jesus Christ, and his bride the church.
This is a feast that you really wanna go to. You might look forward to parties and and weddings if you love weddings and whatever event it is, well, don't look forward to those events. Look forward to the greatest events, the great feast that god invites us to. This is the wedding feast at weddings. There is life.
There is love. There is refreshment, there is joy, there is laughter, there is happiness. This is the feast of the lamb. And it is that feast that the king invites people to. There's 2 2 parts to this, I think.
And in each part, we're gonna see that the invitation goes out, but there is rejection, and there is judgment. So here's my first point if you've taken them. If you've taken notes, come to the wedding banquet, come to the wedding banquet. You'll notice in verse 3, that's when the first invitation goes out. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come.
See, that in those days, like most places, you don't just get an invitation then and go, oh, I've gotta go to the party. There would have been a save the day. Usually you get that when you're getting invited to a wedding, don't you? Have been invited to 1 of Malaysia. Save the date, July.
We're going to Malaysia. Lovely. We get to save the date, don't you? So they would have had to save the date. They will know that this wedding is coming.
They will know that this royal wedding is coming that they should be going to. And so the save the date is gone, and now the banquet is ready. And so the king sends out this invitation. He sends out the first time in verse 3, yes, it is ignored, and we'll get into that in a minute. And then again, in verse in in verse 4, did you notice Then he sent some more servants and said, tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner.
My oxen and Fassen Castle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready come to the wedding banquet. Come. Do you see that? It's actually changes the word. It's more of an urgent comment.
Come. Come hither. That's what the original said. Like, that's what the word means. Come hither.
And it says, okay. You maybe maybe you thought I was like that stingy king who only gives a few crisps in a bowl. No. I've got I've got my the feast is worth coming to. The feast is worth coming to.
Look at the spread I put on, and so he summoning his subjects to come to the feast. He's graciously summoning. He's given it once. He's given it twice. Come.
Come. And that is the invitation of the father. God. He says I have a great feast. Will you come?
Will you come? But secondly, in this part, we see rejection. You'll see it straight away that they invite Inversely, and they they they refuse to come. But then in verse 5, it goes on. I mean, that's rude enough.
The the king has told you to come, and you said, now I'm actually alright. But then in verse 5, if it goes on. Right? But they paid no attention to the second invitation. You might you might see the second invitation.
You go, oh, I hope they changed their mind. Hope they have a change of heart. Will they have a change of heart? Apparently not. No.
They say they pay no attention and went off 1 to his field, another to his business. The word no attention is like they're careless. They they see the invitation of the king as not of any value. It's just worthless. It doesn't deserve my attention or my care.
Actually, my everyday life is much more important. My my Business deserves more care than the business of the king and his banquet. I've gotta go to my field. I've gotta go to my business. I've gotta earn my money.
That that's much more important than what Jesus has to offer. And isn't isn't that our world? Isn't that our world? Would you like to know about Jesus? I've got no time to know about Jesus?
I've got I've got I've got to get to work. I've got a I've got I actually I've got a party to go to in this world. I'm hitting Kingston tonight, much more important than the banquet of heaven. I I thought I'd I'd I'd research how many people went to sporting events a weekend. How how many do you reckon?
Look at all thinking, oh, goodness. What is the population of Britain? 76200000.0 people a week go to a a sporting fixture. How many people are in churches a week? I have much more to do and see and experience and to know the feast of heaven.
But it gets worse, doesn't it? Look at verse 6. The rest seized the servants ill treated them and killed them. Not only do some just go, actually, I've got more important things to do. The others grab them, and they abuse them, and they're known as murder.
They they're they're they're the the word literally means they commit homicide. That's why he calls a murderers in verse 7. They're just like the tenants in chapter 21. Right? God senses servants and servants and servants and the ill tree and they kill and they kill.
And the the word, it it could it could be physical harm. It could be that you actually physically kill them or physically ill treat them, but it actually can also mean that you destroy reputation, that you are out to seek to destroy the reputation of another person These servants are being treated insulin, insolently. They're being treated shamefully. It is isn't this an amazing picture? Here's the servants.
They're coming with the most gracious of of invitations. I've got the most glorious feast to offer. And they kill them. You can be part of the greatest banquet in the world. And they reject them and they ill treat them.
That is how the servants of god are treated. Isn't it amazing? But that's always been the way. Throughout the history of god's people's existence, they have been treated exactly like this. God is a gracious god.
He he's he's the king who sends profit after profit, after profit, after profit, and they're inviting people to the to the to the banquet, and then he sends John the Baptist as he sends his own son, the lord Jesus Christ, he sends apostle after apostle after apostle after apostle after apostle, and then so on and so on and so on and people as they hear the truth that there is a there is a way to have the greatest banquet in the world. They reject and they ill treat, and they hate those who offer this invitation. And so there is rejection, but then there is judgment. Look at verse 7 with me. The king was enraged.
He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. As you can imagine, when these when when his servants are mistreated, this king is not best pleased. When they reject his invitation, he's not best pleased. In fact, he's enraged see. He's furious and so what will a furious king do when someone has so offended him?
He will rightly punish them violently. It is a violent punishment, isn't it? It's quite stark, but whoa. And so he sends in the army destroys those who have treated this people like this, he burns down the city because there must be judgment for this offense. As I was reading about this, they that some people think that this is a prediction that the Romans will go into Jerusalem in AD 70, I think it is.
And because they've rejected the lord Jesus Christ as Messiah, they destroy everybody and they destroy the city burning it down. But I think the the point really is that if you treat god's servants in such a fashion, you will provoke him to anger. If you treat his servants this way, you treat him this way. If you insult his servants this way, you insult him this way. It reminds me of, you know, in in acts, when, Paul's going around or Saul at the time, he's going around and he's he's persecuting Christians, and he's putting them in prison, and he's happy to kill them.
We're gonna see a little bit later on. And when Christ appears to him in this blinding light, what does he say? Says soul, soul. Why do you persecute me? He's so he's so wrapped up with his servants god.
He's so wrapped up with his people Christ that when that when people hurt him, his body, they hurt him. When when his people are hurt, he is hurt. I remember, Gavin, my brother was preaching at contagious, and he said, you know, in acts 7 when Stephen's being stoned. And as Stephen's being stoned, he looks up to heaven. And what does he see in heaven?
He sees the lord Jesus Christ. What is the lord Jesus Christ that it is the only time that this is recorded in the scripture? We're what position is the lord Jesus Christ in? He's standing up. That's the only time.
And I I I'm and I think it's right Gavin's conjecture was that when his people are harmed, Christ stands up in anger, You know when you're outraged with something, you might have been you may have been I mean, you know, you might be 1 of the 76200000.0 people at sport and fiction, and you so love your team. The referee goes against you. And what do you do? You get out your chair. Gah.
I am blind and and other choice words. But Christ people are harmed. He stands up in anger. Because he so identifies with his people that to treat them like this is to treat him this way. And so the offense of rejecting the invitation of Christ, the the offense of of treating his people like this can only result in punishment.
Can only result in judgment. See, the grace has been poured out here, hasn't it? 7 after 7 grace after grace after grace after grace, after grace, will you come? Will you come? Will you come?
Will you come? Will you come? But there is a time when you keep rejecting and if you treat god's people in the way like this, that there will be no more grace, the time of grace will be ended and there'll only be judgment. And so listen to the invitation respond to it now. Come.
To the wedding banquet. Come now. Don't think that this world is more important. Don't think that your business is more important. Don't think that The party that you've been invited to next Saturday is more important.
This is the important thing to do and get into it. Come to the wedding banquet. But secondly, come dressed for the wedding banquet. Come dressed for the wedding banquet. And look, we see the we see the invitation again.
Look at verse 8. Then he said to his servants, the wedding banquet is ready. But those I invited did not deserve to come. I said, those they didn't deserve to come. It means that they were not worthy of my banquet.
But this king is still so gracious. This king is so kind and loving that he must have his wedding full, and so he says in verse 9. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet. Anyone you can find. The street corners, it's like their the thoroughfares or the highways or the the roads that lead out of the city.
Go to those roads. Go to those roads. Go to anywhere you can find, anywhere your feet will take you go there. And if you see anyone, invite them. Invite them, and and and invite them specifically because I wanna show them my hospitality.
I wanna entertain them. I wanna love them. I want them to know what it is to be in my wedding feast. And so they do, don't they? Look at verse 10.
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. So they go And did you notice they go indiscriminately? They're not just looking out for those who are pretty. We'd all be in trouble. I'm sorry.
You know, I'm sorry everybody. We're British, though, aren't we? If we're British, we're we're always considered quite ugly. Yeah. Which is good, isn't it?
Because Christ is gracious to ugly people like us. But it's not just those who are pretty. It's not just those who are the most well behaved. It's not the most academic people. It's not just the inter actual.
If everybody is the good and the bad. It's those who have done what they shouldn't have done. It's those who you wouldn't want to be seen near. It's those who are so desperately immoral, yet the gospel invitation goes out to wall. It's it it remember what the context of this is.
The Jewish leaders are not coming in. They are rejecting the lord Jesus Christ. They're rejecting the feast. And Jesus is saying that there are sinners. There are tax collectors.
There are prostitutes who are coming into the kingdom. Who are coming into the feast before you, but not just those people, but because you're rejecting me, My gospel will go out to the gentiles. That's why I love the fact that those streets are actually rows that go out of the city. They go out of Israel. They go out of Jerusalem, and they go to all nations.
They go to all people. Of every tongue, tribe, and nation, the gospel goes out that rejection of the Jewish leaders means that the gentiles can come into the banquet. And so god's servants go out, and they tell people about this great banquet. And do you know what? That's our job.
That is our job. We take the the invitation and we go come to the feast. That's your evangelistic message. When you're going out because I won't be there I'll be in Australia, but when you're out in the street and your son drummer boy, You can then say come to the feast. Do you wanna come to a banquet?
Come on then. That's our job. To, to say to all people young and old and men and women and girls and boys And all these kids that are coming in Christmas journey is our job to say come to the feast. Will you come to the feast? Will you come to the feast?
Whether they're good or they're bad, whether they're clever or they're as thick as they come, whether they're being skinny, whether they're fat and whatever else is the opposite, that's our job to say come to the feast. There's the invitation. But look again, we have rejection. Verse 11 to 12, but when the king came in to see the guest, He noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, how did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?
The man was speechless. So here's the picture. The the wedding hall is filled. They're all reclining. They're all ready to eat this fat induction and the the little carflings and all those lovely little finger foods as well.
And there they are, and the king comes in, and and and you know, when you're in at a wedding and the important people come in and everyone has to stand up to it. I think why do we all have to stand up to well? Anyway, you do. You're standoff and the the couple come in and we all cheer at them again. We we just shout at them all all day, apparently.
But we all stand up, and so you can imagine the king walks in and everybody stands to attention. And as he looks around, and as they give him honor, there's 1 there that sticks out like an absolute sore thumb. Did you see him? I mean, he's you can't miss him everybody. You know, you know, like, when people go, we're gonna go on a night, I've seen videos of this where people go, we're gonna go on out.
And they say to 1 of their friends, we're all wearing fancy dress. And then he comes, and he's the only 1 in fancy dress. Well, that's what's going on here, except he hasn't been told he's decided to come in fancy dress. He's calm on his own terms. He's he's dressed how he wanted to.
But it's not the dress code. You know, when you get an you get an invitation, sometimes it will tell you how your mentor your mentor dress. It's a black tie event. Okay. I know I have to wear a black tie.
It's a smart casual. Okay? I can wear a blazer and trainers. You must wear colorful stuff or we're at a wedding. Please dress smart, appropriate for the occasion.
And this man has ignored the invitation. He's ignored the dress code, and he's come just wearing his old clothes. He's just got a track suit on. It's got a shell suit on. And so he says friend.
Did you see the word friend? And you you might think, well, how is he his friend? Doesn't seem like a friend. Well, that word friend means a companion, usually an imposter. He's posing as a comrade, but he's only out to serve his own interests.
At 1 time, this man looked like a friend, At 1 time, this man looked like he was a partner of the king. At 1 time, he looked the part, but actually, he is nothing like the parts. He's only out for his own interest. He's a bit like a Judith. Right?
You know, you imagine going around with Jesus and you see Judith and you think He's 1 of them. He I mean, he went out and he and he preached to to people, and he healed people, and he did miracles, and Yeah. His true colors are revealed. He's got the wrong dress code. And so this man has flagrantly ignored the dress code of the king.
And by ignoring his dress code, he ignores and rejects the king. He's just rejecting the, like, the others. Yes. They've been a little bit more like, oh, we we're not gonna go to my field, or I'm gonna kill you 7, but he's just as much rejected to the king. Cause he's not willing to listen to the king and what it means to be in his in his wedding feast.
What's interesting is there's some evidence that around this time, a king, if they invited you to his wedding feast, he might actually loan you his clothes to wear to be in his in his banquet. I love that. I love that that the king clothes people to be in this banquet. Why do I love that? Because to be in Jesus' kingdom, to be in Jesus' banquet, he's gotta clothe you.
And he clothes you with the righteousness of Christ. I cannot wear my own clothes. I must wear the king's clothes of Jesus. Ephesians, chapter 4 says this, I've got a slide here, so it'll just come up now. Ephesians 4 22 to 24 says you were taught with regard to your former way of live put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires to be made new in the attitude of your mind and to put on the new self created to be like god in true righteousness and holiness.
God has to clothe you. Colossians 3 says, do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices, and I've put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its creator. You have to be dressed in the king's clothes of righteousness, and Romans 13, 13 to 14 says let us behave decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy, rather clothe yourself with the lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. You must be dressed in Christ to be in his banquet. You cannot come to his banquet and say, actually, I'll do it my way.
I'm gonna come on my own terms. I'm gonna decide on the dress code. You can't come in and say, actually, I've I've obeyed these laws. That's what we were hearing about this morning in colossians, wasn't it? Actually, if you if you go down that route and it and and and and people were saying, if you go down the route of of of obeying laws or denying your body all these things, He says it may disqualify you because you're not wearing the clothes of Christ anymore.
You might clothe yourselves in Christ. You must trust in the lord Jesus Christ to be your righteousness. You must allow his blood as it sheds it on the cross to cover you and to give you his righteousness. You you give him your unrighteousness, which is incredible that he would take my unrighteousness, he would take my sin upon the cross. And then he will dress me with his righteousness, with his perfection, with his innocence so that when I am in the wedding banquet, the king comes in and he sees a man dressed appropriately Do I deserve it?
No. But I am the recipient of incredible grace. You cannot be in the feast if you're not dressed correctly. And so it comes to the question Why are you here? How did you get in?
How does he respond? Speachless. Speechless. Nothing to say now. And so thirdly, there is judgment.
Look at verse 13. 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. See, just as the others were judged for their rejection, so too is this man. The thing is if you wear the wrong dress codes, you will be kicked out. I don't know if you remember a few years back Lewis Hamilton tried to go to Wimbledon.
He tried to go in with jeans and a baseball cap, I think. And as he went into Wimbledon, do you know what happened to him? He was terfed out. Great when celebrities are turfed out because they anyway, sorry. Or another 1, the the singer, Jess, Jess Glen, tried to go to a restaurant in Mayfair wearing track suit and hoodie, and she was turfed out.
Even celebrities are not important enough to to to not wear the dress code. They must wear the dress code. And so this man, like those people, is kicked down, but the The consequence for him is so much greater than just not being allowed to eat a meal or watch a 2 people hit a ball over a net. No, look, he's bound. He's put in and he's he's cast out into outer darkness.
It's actually outside of the limits of the lighted palace. Remember, we've got the feast. You can imagine the feast has got the most incredible lights and and it's sparking and it's shiny yet now he has been bound, hand and foot, and he's been taken out of the palace where with all its glories and its beauty, and he's been put into complete and utter darkness. It's darkness that you can feel. It engulfs, and it embraces.
And it's a shocking thing because this man thought he was he was in. Matthew Henry says says this. I'll get there eventually. Hifencrits go by the light of the gospel itself down to utter darkness. And hell will be Hell indeed to such a condemnation more intolerable.
He thinks he was there, He thought he was 1 of the people. He was at church every week. He pre went to prayer meeting every month. He did all the right things that he thought was the religious practice of a Christian, yet he was wearing the wrong clothes. And he is in darkness.
Darkness, utter. Darkness, but not just darkness. There is weeping and gnashing of teeth. The weeping is is this bitter grief, and and and it evokes the the the image of people shrieking as they have these uncontrollable, pangs of emotion of of of pain. You know, you may have seen it on the news recently.
If you see 1 of these parents who've lost lost a child, and they are devastated. That is the picture we get here. There is devastation. There is lamentation. Not just that there is gnashing of teeth.
This is a place of extreme anguish. And I I and this is just words to try and help us understand what an eternity of how it looks like. And I think that's quite bad enough, but I think it's even worse than what we can say. Utter darkness, pain, anguish, lamentation, grief. And that is what is in store for those who are not dressed in Christ that reject him.
And so we've gotta examine ourselves, don't we? Am I wearing the correct clothes? I might look the part, but am I the part? Some will come in the last days and say lord, lord, and he will say, away from me, I never knew you. You evil doer.
But didn't we preach in your name? I do not know your name. I do not know who you are. And then we cast out into darkness and and pain and anguish. That's hell.
I don't think we I don't think I don't think I get this enough. I don't think I understand it enough. I need to understand hell. That is what I've been saved from. So I must examine myself to make sure that that is not the place I'm gonna go.
I must make sure that I'm in Christ and that Christ isn't me. And that it is he that has clothed me. And John Bunyan's pilgrims progress. He has a character called ignorance. He may have read him.
Ignance thinks he's gonna get into heaven. And he comes to the gates to let himself into having knocks on the door. And they they say to him, where's your scroll of assurance. Where's your parchment that will admit you in here? I mean, fumbles.
Fully realizing he's never had it. He's bound hand and foot and he's taken away and Bunion says, that's what I realized. You can get to heaven. And you end up in helm. So will you come dressed for the wedding banquet?
Dressing Christ. And here's my third point, will you come to the wedding banquet? Will you come? Look at verse 14. For many are invited, but few are chosen.
See, the invitation goes out to all humanity. Imitation goes out to anybody, and everybody but only a few are chosen. 1 of the madness of humanity 1 of the absolute insanities of our of our race is that we all will choose hell over this banquet. And so we need a supernatural act of god to come and rescue us and bring us to this feast. We need god to come and save.
And so then you may ask the question, how do you know if you're chosen? How do you know if God saved you, well, you're gonna come to the wedding banquet, and you're gonna come dressed in the correct clothes. And so will you come? Will you come to the banquet? Where will you go?
Are you gonna go to heaven or are you gonna go to hell? You gonna experience the banquet or will you experience the burning? When you come into the party, or you perish, where you come into the feast, or you have the famine. Come. Come to the banquet.
Come. If you haven't come, come. Come now, experience now what it is to know the joys of heaven, come now, and then experience what it is to have the life and the love of Christ come now and be refreshed, come now, and have a relief for your burdens. Come now with the incredible promise of a future glory where we will be with the father. We will be with the son for an eternity forever and ever enjoying the feast of joy and love and laughter, come now and be part of that banquet.
Will you come? Says it 4 times. Come. Come. Come.
Come. Come to the banquet. And if you have Have you come to the banquet? Keep on enjoying the feast. And as you enjoy the feast, be a servant of god and invite people.
Let us tell people I was speaking to rooted on Friday I said, we need to warn people of hell. Let's warn people of hell. Let's warn people of where they're gonna go. Not because we want to to not because we hate them, but because we love them, but not only warn them. Yes.
There's hell. Let us scare them into heaven. But let's show them the beauty and the glory of the banquet that there is so that they may see what is on offer for them. Let us invite that. Let's hold that out.
And say, will you come to the wedding banquet of the king? That's our jobs. What a great thing to pray for during Christmas. Share life, Christmas after Christmas event, after Christmas event, that our prayer be that we invite people to the great banquet of heaven. Let's pray.
Father, we thank you for this parable, and we thank you that you are such a loving god that you do warn us. And so we pray father that we will hear the warning tonight, that we won't be those who reject you because we think are more important things in this world that we won't reject you by trying to get into your kingdom our own way and our own strength and our own laws. But we pray far that we will listen to the invitation to come and that we will trust in the lord Jesus Christ to be our righteousness. And as we come, father, we pray that we will enjoy the benefits of this feast now. And we pray father that you will give us eyes to see the future glory where we will be with you forever and ever and ever.
And as we see those things, as we experience your love and your grace and your mercy, your kindness, we pray father. That we will have such a vision of what you have done, that we will have such a vision of Christ and what he has saved us from and what he has saved us for. That we will go out and we will invite people. Let our let our sermon be come to the wedding banquet. And so we pray these things in Christ's precious name, amen.