Many are Called, but Few are Chosen

Summary Matthew 22:1-10

Jesus told a parable about a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. The king sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come, and so he repeated this, but still they paid no attention and went off to do their own thing. And some of them seized the servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and so he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers.

Then the king told his servants that the wedding feast was ready, but those invited were not worthy, so they were now to go out on the main roads and invite as many people as they could find and invite them, so they did, and the wedding hall was now filled with guests.

I believe the point of the parable is that the king represents God the Father and the Son is Jesus Christ. [The wedding feast won’t actually take place, though, until Jesus returns for his bride, when our salvation will be complete and our marriage to Christ will be consummated (completed).] And the invited guests were the Jews, who were God’s chosen people at that time. They, as a people, as a nation, rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah.

So, the Lord invited the Gentiles (the non-Jews) to believe in Jesus, and thus the gospel of our salvation went out to all people, to both Jew and Gentile, and many people trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. Thus, those who believed in Jesus were crucified with Christ in death to sin, and then they were raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23).

Matthew 22:11-14 ESV

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Now, I believe this is speaking of something future when we will all stand before the judgment seat of God and we will have to give an account for what we did with Jesus, when we will all be judged by our works (See Matt 7:21-23; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; Gal 5:16-21).

We are now the invited guests, as the Jewish nation was before us, but “we” includes both Jew and Gentile. So, what does it mean to be an invited guest? Well, the Jews were God’s chosen people and they were called “invited guests.” But we have accepted the invitation to believe in Jesus. So, we are the church, the people of God. We are now God’s chosen people who are heirs of the promise of eternal life with God.

We are in the wedding hall, and we are waiting for the wedding feast to begin. But, like I said, that won’t happen until Jesus returns and he takes his bride to be with him for eternity, which is when our salvation will be complete, and not until then. So, this is us waiting for Jesus to return one day to take us to be with him forever.

But there is a caveat here that we are to be made aware of. Not everyone who gathers with the church and who claims to believe in Jesus and who declares he is awaiting the Lord’s return is a true believer in Jesus. Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of God the Father who is in heaven. Many will think they are saved, but he will tell them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matt 7:21-23).

And this is what this is about. The one not wearing the wedding garment is not clothed in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, but he is still of the flesh, for he did not surrender his life to Jesus Christ. He did not die with Christ to sin, and he is not presently putting sin to death in his life, by the Spirit, and he is not walking according to the Spirit in obedience to our Lord and to his commands, and in obedience to the voice of God’s Spirit living within us.

So, his profession of faith in Jesus Christ is surface level only, for he has no feet to his faith. It is all talk, but no walk. It has all the appearance of righteousness to those around him, who don’t really know him like God knows him, but God sees right through the masquerade, for he alone can see inside our hearts. So, God knows who is faking it and who is truly sincere. He can see who has on the proper garments and who doesn’t.

So, making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, or “praying the prayer,” does not guarantee you that you will enter into God’s eternal kingdom. There are conditions that God has set forth for entering his kingdom, and like we read in Matthew 7, which is repeated for us much throughout the New Testament, it is that we have to be those who are doing the will of God, who are obeying the Lord and his Spirit.

But obeying the Lord is not just following a bunch of rules, which none of us can obey perfectly anyway, which is why Jesus gave his life up for us. Obeying the Lord is surrender of our lives to him, dying with him to sin, and following him wherever he leads us, obeying his commandments (New Covenant), in practice, yes, but also listening to and obeying the Spirit who lives within us who is the one given to us by God to teach us, to guide and to counsel us in the way we should go – all in his power and strength.

Anyway, if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God, and to partake in the wedding feast one day, then our lives must be surrendered to Jesus, we must be dying with him to sin, and we must be walking in obedience to his commands and to the Holy Spirit, in practice, not necessarily in absolute sinless perfection – all in the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit living within us until the very end.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]


An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.

They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.

He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.

By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.

Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.

Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.

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