Jesus once gave a parable in Matthew 22:1-14. In that parable, a King had planned a great wedding for his son. The King sent out his servants to those who were invited to the wedding but they would not come. Those invited either didn’t want to come or they were too busy with their own affairs. A small group of those invited went so far as to slew the King’s servants. The King in return grew angry and destroyed those who had killed his servants.
Jesus continued with the parable by saying the King told some other servants that, “the wedding is ready but those who were invited were not worthy.” He then told his servants to go into the highways, (streets) and gather everyone they saw and bring them to the wedding. As a result the wedding was furnished with many guests. When the King saw the guests, he noticed a man who did not have on the appropriate wedding garment. The King was upset about this and he told his servants to bind the man, take him away and cast him into outer darkness. Jesus ended this parable by saying, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Like all parables this event did not actually take place. Jesus was using this parable to highlight a spiritual truth. But this spiritual truth is now completely revealed when we read and study Revelation 19:7-8 which says, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb, is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints”.
Before Jesus Christ returns to reign for a thousand years there will be a Wedding Feast in heaven. The bridegroom is Jesus Christ and the bride is the Church. The bride and the bridegroom got engaged when the bride accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and in return Jesus Christ gave her an engagement ring called the Holy Spirit.
The bride or the church has made herself ready as evident of being arrayed with the proper wedding garment which is fine linen, clean and white. So the question that should come to you is how did the bride or church make herself ready to be able to be arrayed in the proper wedding garment. This is also the question for every individual believer, as part of the church or bride of Christ. How can I make myself ready.
The answer to that question(s) is found in scripture. I have always stated, it is scripture that interpret scripture, not man. For example, Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust do corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasures there will you heart be also.” The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Paul also said in Titus 3:8, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that you affirm constantly that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are profitable unto men.”
In order for any believer to be ready for the wedding feast with Christ and to be arrayed with the proper wedding garment, that believer must be building up treasures in heaven by constantly doing good works. A believer must be careful to maintain good works.
Only those believers who are assured of their salvation and place in heaven are capable of constantly doing good works. I am not talking about living something because all who say and believe that are delusional. I am talking about doing good works. As a believer, the Lord has already set up for you the good works you should be doing on a constant and daily basis. Many have been deceived into thinking that their work inside the church building is sufficient but they are only fooling themselves.
This is why Jesus gave us a new commandment because all good works are based on this new commandment. Prior to the new commandment, many believers lived, and still do today, by the golden rule that says. “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Or the one that says, “love everybody as you love yourself.” But Jesus gave a new commandment in John 13:34-35, which says, “A new commandment I give unto you. That you love one another as I have loved you that ye love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”
The new commandment will not only let other people know that you are saved and a disciple of Christ. But just as importantly, it will let you know if you are truly saved and a disciple of Christ.
Good works comes in all shapes and sizes. But they are all based on loving others as Christ has loved you. For example, do you pray for believers who may or may not be doing something wrong or do you just talk about them? Do you spread gossip about a believer or do you keep your both shut and pray about it? Do you help somebody who needs help or do you walk away. Do you only help those in need who go to your church?
Good works also include simple things such as, arriving on time for church services, giving to the Lord, giving to others, being consistent in attending your local church, making sacrifices for others, carrying each other burdens on your shoulders instead of spreading their burdens in gossip. These are just a tiny few.
There is one truth I think we all agree with. Everybody who claim to be saved is not saved. Because if you are saved your life will be a consistent fountain of good works that is produced out you loving others as Christ has loved you!!! I pray what you do in church is the only good work you see yourself doing. It takes much more than that do make yourself ready for the wedding feast. Hope to see you at the wedding!
Gilbert Owens is a native of Roseboro and a columnist for The Sampson Independent.