March 18, 2012 INTRODUCTION – There was not a contentious bone in Jesus Christ’s body. He did not enjoy conflict any more than anyone else in their right mind. But He never came to just teach nice moral lessons so we can all just get along.
The reality of two kingdoms. One we are born in and stuck in unless God Himself delivers us from it. One He rules and He decides who enters it and who doesn’t.
Context of our passage today in light of Matthew’s purpose
I. The Glories of the Kingdom of Heaven – vs. 2, 4 A. “A wedding feast” vs. 2,3,4 “my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; “ vs. 4 Jesus said of His kingdom that is was “like a treasure hidden in the field which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matt. 13:44 Then He said right after that that His kingdom is like a merchant seeking fine pearls. And upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Vs. 45, 46 Paul said the kingdom of God is characterized by righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Spirit and true transforming power. Romans and II Cor.
Everything that is wrong in this world is right in the kingdom of God. Everything we long for, but never really find in this sin sick world – – such as satisfaction, fulfillment, security, hope, meaning, etc., is waiting for us in the kingdom of God
II. The Host of the Kingdom of Heaven – vs. 2 Talk about this King! “He is a King and not a president. He does not act by the sufferance of an electorate. He cannot be deposed and He will not be ignored. “ William E. McCumber
III. The Invitations to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven – vs. 3, 4, 9. 10 A. Please note these people were already invited, which was the custom in those days. You would send out an initial invitation to specific people so the people knew the time and place and the occasion. Then when the meal and the party was ready you would send out servants or messengers to let these people know the time was at hand. In this case the King went beyond that because of their initial unwillingness to come; and sent a second group of slaves.
IV. The Invitees for the Kingdom of Heaven – vs. 3-12 A. Initial invitees
B. Subsequent invitees – 9,10 Niv & NLT “street corners”
V. The Responses of the Invitees – vs. 3b, 5, 6,10, A. Initial response – probably referring to the Jews – vs. 3b-6 Not horribly sinful stuff like prostitution or drunkenness; just giving themselves to their business and responsibilities without thought of their greatest responsibility
B. Response of folks on the streets – they all came vs. 10
VI. The Requirements for the Invitees – vs. 11-13
VII. Judgments on the Rebellious Invitees – vs. 7, 13
VIII. Called vs. Chosen – vs. 14
Lessons for LOCF: 1. The Kingdom the King has invited us to enter and experience is amazingly glorious. We get to taste that now. But some day soon we will experience it to the fullest.
2. We should be beating the door down to get in rather than having to have multiple invitations to try to even get our attention
3. God is wonderfully merciful and forbearing; but He is also justly wrathful at our rebellion and hard heartedness and stubbornness. His mercy will not endure that kind of evil forever.
4. God’s judgment is more than just – because His invitations and reminders have been many; when we really didn’t deserve any.
5. God’s security badge is the blood of His Son. Our wedding clothes are our decision to be clothed with Christ (or not). Anything other than the blood of Christ will leave us speechless – – no leg to stand on. Ex. of taking date to restaurant and ordering a beer Gal. 3:27 “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
6. God gets the glory because it is not about our choosing Him, but His choosing of us. All have been invited; but relatively few are chosen or predestined or elected to be His children and to receive eternal life. Eph. 1:3-14
A man once asked Dr. Joseph Parker, “Why did Jesus choose Judas Iscariot to be His disciple? “I do not know” replied Dr. Parker, “but I have a harder question – – why did Jesus choose me?”