Monday, December 7, 2009

Please, Keep your Robe on!

I’m going to shift gears a bit for today’s blog and do some prophetic teaching. This is a message that has been on my heart for sometime, but the pieces had yet to be put together. When God is trying to bring revelation to me about something in the word, usually I’ll continue to get that scripture until I get from it what He is trying to tell me. This revelation is a result of years of being baffled about one particular passage of scripture.

Matthew 22:1-14 (NKJ) says, “The Parable of the Wedding Feast

1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and[a] cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

For many years I kept being lead to read this passage and there were something’s that baffled me about it. For the purpose of this teaching I am going to focus on the second set of wedding guests here but I wanted to put the whole section in this blog so that all of you can read the whole passage. This is a parable that Jesus used to teach.

It is obvious that these second set of guests were people who were working and doing things. Why? The servants are instructed to go out into the highways and byways to find guests. These are people that are out of their homes. They are active. These “guests” are doing works.

It did not matter if they were bad or good. They were brought into the wedding feast. The significance of this is that it doesn’t matter of persons past. It doesn’t matter if someone is bad or good before they enter the wedding feast. What matters is when the “king” or God sees them. In the historical context of this, if someone who had a lot of wealth was throwing a wedding. The guests were given a wedding garment to put on. It would have been considered a great insult to the host of the wedding for a guest not to be wearing the garment. However it’s the guests’ choice whether to put this garment on. Why is this symbolic? We have a choice in life to choose Jesus or not. It doesn’t matter of our past. 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Jesus makes us white as snow. He cleanses us. Once we accept him in our heart spiritually speaking we put on a robe of righteousness. Isaiah 61:10 says, “
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

In verse 12 God or the king calls this person “friend.” In every translation I have read this scripture in, God always calls him friend. Why is that significant? This is someone that has known God and walked with him. This “guest” was once a friend to God. What confused me so much is why then if God calls him friend does he then cast him out to hell.

The next thing that I found significant in this passage was also in vs. 12. The “king” or God approaches a person not wearing a wedding garment and after calling him friend, asks the person why and the person is speechless. Romans 3:19 says, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” To be speechless before God means that you are under the law, or the old covenant. When Jesus died on the cross we are offered an eternity in heaven with him, all we have to do is to put on that robe, and continue to live for Him. This wedding guest had slipped out and taken off his robe and now is under the law. Meaning he’s back under the Old Testament and has stepped out of a lifestyle of living under the grace of Jesus’ salvation. This “guest” is no longer under grace, but is bound by law. Also, this person sticks out like a sore thumb. Many people think they can live their lives the way the want and just hide under the radar. I assure you that is not possible. God will be able to spot you out.

I believe this guest is a symbol of a person who was once a friend and a believer of God. This was a person who was out doing the works of God, but then choose to slip back under the law thinking that their works would save them. So many Christians believe a lie of “once saved, always saved.” People that is not scriptural! This was a person that was considered a friend, and this person choose to take off the robe and think it was okay to go their own way.

I began seeking God as to why’s and what’s that made this person take off the robe. Finally last week this is what I felt God showed me. Revelations 2:4 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” This is a person that went through all the right moves and all the right hoops, but internally had walked away from God. As a result they’ve stepped back under the law, and end up going to Hell. Matthew 7:22 says, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Many people believe they are above what the Bible actually teaches, but Paul himself who God used to write the majority of the New Testament said in Philippians 2:12 says, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;”

It didn’t matter of this wedding guest’s past. He had chosen to come into the wedding. God looked at him as a friend. He started to love other things more than God. He walked away from his first love. Sometimes it can be so easy to be caught up in the things of this world. Even pursuing ministry and doing works can sometimes push God aside. Works are good. But it can’t replace the relationship you have with God. That guest choose to take off his robe. The guest chose to take off Jesus. He couldn’t hide in the crowd. God knew. He couldn’t keep pretending that something deep down inside of him had changed and as a result he goes to Hell. God doesn’t want to send his creation into Hell. People choose that path. They choose and as a result of their choice consequences occur.

I know that sometimes life can get to all of us. I’m not trying to bring fear to people in the sense of just because you had an off day that it’ll send you to hell. This guest made a choice. I am trying to get you all to think. It can be easy to be caught up in this life. But you must keep him first. What is your first love? Is it Jesus, or is it doing the works of God? Is it Jesus, or is it going the ways of the world. Is it Jesus?

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Life is too short, and eternity too long to put anything before God. Seek Him first. Return to your first love. He longs for you. Please don’t keep him waiting any longer.