Yesterday in England there was a Royal Wedding between an English prince and an American commoner. There was much pomp and ceremony and many people got caught up in the “royal fever” of the day, as you can well imagine. But not I. I just used the beautiful sunny day to weed my garden whilst thinking and praying about my own preparation in becoming worthy to be part of that glorious, future bride of Christ in His eternal Kingdom. Let me explain a little more as I contrast this royal wedding to that future event.
Wedding Garments – What will you wear?
Much is made by this world about what everyone was wearing for this royal wedding. The A-List guests in their designer clothes were all commented upon by the media. Of course, the bride’s attire was the focus of attention. I was just musing upon the notion that I’d never make the Z-List, never mind the A-List! But then I thought of God’s requirements of the clothing that He desires and I was encouraged. Let me explain more by looking at what the scriptures say about this matter.
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation19:7-9
I have noted that the King James Bible says, “the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Though the New King James Bible and the Young’s Literal Translation both use the phrase, “righteous acts.” Whatever the true rendition of this phrase it is certainly nothing to do with our external attire and appearances. The clothing of those counted worthy to be with God forever is all about this righteousness which is an inner born-again-spirit and heart matter. We need the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ and we need to follow and obey Him throughout our lives as He is our king. Remember in Revelation 19:16 it says;
“And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Let us now look at the parable that Jesus told regarding a wedding and the clothes required. It can be found in Matthew 22:1-14.
“And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready.
Come to the wedding.”
But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore, go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’
So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did NOT have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Yet here again we see that we need the correct wedding attire in order to be worthy of attending the marriage supper of the Lamb, as Revelation calls it.
We know that the Jewish people were first called to follow God, but many rejected the Messiah and so that very Saviour Himself told them this story to illuminate that the good news of the invitation to the wedding was going out now to the whole world. Even then, some will get mixed in with the wedding throng (church going, yet unsaved crowd perhaps) who are not eligible to remain there, and they will be cast into outer darkness.
It is therefore crucial that we get our wedding garments sorted out now and do not be merely religious and lazy in our lives. I was thinking of what Jesus said about John the Baptist in Luke 7:24-26.
“When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments?
Indeed, those who are gorgeously apparelled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.”
We know that John clothed himself in camel’s hair and a leather belt (Mark 1:6) so not exactly what the world’s royalty wears but John was doing the Father’s will and was most highly esteemed by Jesus Christ. Again the outer clothing is not the point in God’s eyes but rather it is about doing His will on earth as it is done in heaven.
Woe to the Rich
As I continued to contrast the wealth of the English royal family and the wedding they hosted yesterday I remembered Jesus’ words when He spoke the Beatitudes and found that He also taught a series of woes to the wealthy. Let’s take a look now.
“Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”
This “rich man” theme was mentioned again in Matthew 19:23-24
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
It is hard for the rich because they have so much in this world to satisfy them or distract them from considering their standing before a Holy God. They can become proud and full of their own self worth due to the adulation of the world and its media. However, it is still possible for such to be saved, but it is not easy for them. Of the crowd gathered for the English royal wedding yesterday I would be surprised if any of them had on a hidden garment of salvation that the King of Kings requires for attendance at His wedding supper. Most will just have their consolation in this life but pay for it with an eternity of outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Kings of the Earth
I turned this morning to Revelation chapters 18 to 22 and noticed many mentions of the theme I was thinking upon. Let us look at some of these scriptures now, that are both shocking and comforting depending on where you will stand in the time of God’s true judgement.
“Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” Rev 18:2-3
An angel is sent to deliver the woes upon the world and its systems and peoples but we as true believers are told clearly to come out of such systems.
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people,
lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” Rev 18:4-5
When I read the next verses, I am so glad that I am not living luxuriously like the British royal family and glad that I am not a queen or princess in this world.
“In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart,
‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’
Therefore, her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.” Rev 18:7-8
Next, I saw what this Babylon world system was clothed in outer finery as we saw yesterday.
‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!” Rev 18:16
Later we read that at this future judgement upon the wickedness of the world that there will be an end of the wealth and the weddings.
“The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.”
And finally, we are back to the scripture I quoted above, which is the good bit for those who follow the Lamb and obey His commands.
“Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” Rev 19:6-9
There is so much in the Bible about marriage, weddings and as Christ being King and what His Kingdom is, that I have only touched the surface here. Suffice it to say that God is not that interested in our outer beauty but the inner beauty of a redeemed and gentle spirit. As I was doing my weeding on the day of the royal wedding I was pruning some of my plants with sharp secateurs. In doing such, I was also praying that the Lord would thus prune my life to remove all that is dead and of this world. As I dug out the unsightly weeds I prayed that God would reveal to me all the wrong things that have taken root in my mind and heart that are choking the work of the Holy Spirit in my walk of faith. Will you pray the same things too? Perhaps a bit of weeding now is prudent for the wedding ahead to be more glorious – what do you think?
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