Matthew 22:1-14

Matthew 22:1-14

Wherever God is, that's where heaven is. Heaven isn't a place. Heaven, once again, is the relationship that we have with the Creator of this universe... You can build a city of gold...but if God's not there, it's not heaven. It's just another fancy place.We look at heaven, again, as that place that we’re going to; that we do not yet have involvement with because we’re stuck here, and who would dare call this place heaven. But you know what? Everything He just described in this parable is talking about life as it was several thousand years ago, and it had to do with the men who lived on the face of this planet at that time, and “heaven is like” wherever God is and whomever God is dealing with, because where God is, that’s where heaven is. Heaven isn’t a place. Heaven, once again, is the relationship that we have with the Creator of this universe. I’ve said this a few times, and I’m going to say it again. You can build a city of gold. You can put diamonds and jewels in it. You can pave the streets with gold. You can clean up the air, and you can make it the most perfect place there ever, ever was to be, but if God’s not there, it’s not heaven. It’s just another fancy place to be… Heaven is not the place. Heaven is the person, the relationship, the love that we can have with Him…

There are a lot of people who say, “Well, when I change my life, when I clean up my act, when I’ve spent time reading the Bible and I know Who this God is a little better, when I know all there is to know about Jesus, then I’ll give my life to Christ. Then I’ll invite Jesus into my life. You’re wasting your time. Well, maybe not, if that’s what it takes for you, but I have observed that those that feel like they have to know everything before they come, will never come because guess what? You will never know enough about God, you will never know enough about that relationship. If you are looking at it through the eyes of knowledge, you’ll never know enough to actually make an intelligent, informed decision. You have to look through eyes of faith. He has given us enough knowledge to know He is the King. Romans tells us all we have to do is look at nature around us, see how the trees grow and the birds fly to know that this did not just happen by accident…

Jesus is inviting you to be part of something great that is happening in history. You know what? You can get to know Him as you go, but you can choose to come, you can choose to accept the invitation now, even though you don’t know everything there is to know about Him. He desires for you to be at this wedding banquet…

There is a standard that God expects us to follow. He’s not demanding really, but if you’re going to be at the wedding feast, you have to wear the wedding clothes. He provides them. He provides the covering for us… God intends to cover us. God intends to deal with what’s making us dirty… The wedding covering was for a very specific purpose. One, it showed that you appreciated the blessing that was given to you and you accepted it. You accepted the invitation, and you came into the wedding banquet under the terms of the Host. There’s a lot of people who want to come into banquet on their own terms. They don’t need the Host’s terms. “I’ll do it my way,” but the Host has gone to great expense to provide these coverings for you. This is what God is saying. This is the reality of what’s happened. God went to great expense to provide covering for us to be part of what’s going on in this banquet. But there are some who would still stand before God and say, “God, I’m good enough on my own. I don’t need Your covering. I don’t need to do it Your way. I don’t care how gracious Your intent is. I don’t care how loving your intent is. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I’ll do it my way.” Well, that’s fine, because like this man you might find yourself standing there at the banquet and have the King walk up to you and say, “How did you even get in here?”…

God has laid out the terms. He has invited all men to participate in eternity with Him. He has freely offered for you and I to spend eternity with Him, and to come to this great banquet. But Jesus was very clear. There is a condition. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, no one stands before the King, no one gets into the wedding banquet, unless they put on My covering. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” You can sneak into the banquet. You might make it into the hall. But guess what? You will be recognized, and you will be cast out. All of us will, at some time in the future, stand before the Living God Who created all things, and we will either have the covering that was offered to us, we will have accepted the free gift to come to the banquet and have accepted the clothes that are given to us that will cover us, or we will choose to do it on our own strength, we will choose to do it through religion, we will choose to do it through other means, and though you might make it through the front door, guess what? You’re not going to be there for very long, because you will be recognized because nothing gets past the King. He is not going to allow any man to remain on his own merit, on his own strength. You can’t do it.

Pastor Dave Elkins