In the bible, we read this story…
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 fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 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.
“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, friend?’ The man was speechless.
“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.’
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
This is a tough story. The implications are HUGE. Let me give you some context for the story. Jesus was talking about the Kingdom of God. He was telling his followers the state of things to come. The King in the story is God, and his son who is getting married is Jesus. The servants and messengers are the profits who came before Jesus telling of His coming. The first group of invited guests were the religious Jews of that time. They refused to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, or the Son of God and in doing so refused to come to the party. Because of this disbelief Jesus now opens the invitation to all the people of the world. The good, the bad (at this time referred to as gentiles), anyone who wanted to come to the party can come. Unless you are of Jewish decent, you are part of this group of people, the Gentiles.
Now here is where the story gets tough. The King kicks someone out for not wearing the proper attire. WHAT!?!? How is that right? This can’t be right.
Digging a little deeper we can begin to understand the parable. The Kings Son was getting married. But whom was he getting married to? The Church is often referred to as the bride of Christ. It’s very possible the wedding feast in this story was to celebrate the union of Jesus and the Believers of the world who call themselves The Church.
Now, imagine you are invited to a wedding…
You arrive along with many other guests. You place your gift with the others, sign the book and take your seat. The wedding begins and the pastor takes his place at the front. The groom walks forward with a huge smile and beaming with excitement. He takes his spot next to the pastor then turns. The classic wedding song “Here Comes the Bride” begins to play. The entire crowd stands, and you turn to look at the entrance to the hall. To your surprise there is no one coming, even more surprising, the entire room, men, women, children begin to walk up on stage. You are in absolute shock. It seems everyone else knew something you didn’t know. You quickly take your seat to watch what is about to happen next. You think to yourself “perhaps it’s some sort of weird ceremony or something.” You continue to watch as every person takes the stage next to the pastor, opposite the groom. Everyone is smiling and it causes you to smile until the pastor catches your eye. He seems concerned. He walks off the stage and right up to you. You try to think of things to say as he makes his way to you, but he starts in with, “Aren’t you going to come up?” You’re mind begins to race. Was there some sort of instructions on that invitation that you forgot to read? Was this some joke? What’s this guy’s deal? Doesn’t he know I’m not here to get married? I’m just here to watch; to support the groom.
The pastor presses his lips together almost as if he heard your thoughts or read them from your face. Before you can say anything he replies, “This ceremony is for those involved only.” The words no sooner sink in then two large men are behind you escorting you from your seat and out of the hall. You begin to argue with the two large men in suits who seem to be more carrying you than escorting you at this point, but it does no good.
Just as you are thrown out you look back in the room for some explanation and your eyes catch the groom who is looking right at you. And even though you are far away, you can make out a tear running down his cheek as the doors close you out.
Heaven is going to be a place where Jesus and those who love Him will be reunited. It is not going to be full of just good people, or those who gave a lot of money, those who sat in church and agreed with the pastor or even those who follow the teachings of Jesus. Heaven will be filled with those who LOVE Jesus. Many are called. Everyone is called. But Heaven will be for those who are chosen. The chosen are the ones who respond. Those who are clothed in His mercy, those who are willing to walk down the aisle and say, “I do”.