Many Are Invited, Few Are Chosen

my friends our second text for this
morning comes from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 22 the first fourteen verses but
before we read ya Bible check let’s see absolutely wonderful wonderful wonderful
wonderful we encourage you to bring your Bible when you come to the house of the
Lord it is good to be able to read for yourself what the Lord is saying in
God’s holy word Matthew chapter 22 the first fourteen verses I’ll be reading
from the New International Version this is what it says Jesus spoke to them
again in parables singing the kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a
wedding banquet for his son he sent his service 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 saying tell those who have been invited that I have prepared
my dinner my oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered and everything is
ready to come to the wedding banquet but they paid no attention and went out one
to his field another to his business the rest seized his servants mistreated them
and healed them the king was enraged he sent his army and destroyed those
murderers and burned their City many said to his servants the wedding banquet
is ready but those I invited did deserve to go go to the red smoke them
go to the street corners and invite to the bank when anyone you find so the
servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find
both good and bad and a 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 friend he asked how did you get in here without wet without wedding
clothes 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
friends this is the word of the Lord let us pray for all that you’ve done Lord we say
thank you and for this opportunity we say thank you as well so right now make
me less allow me to decrease so that you can increase and become more and fix us
by clearing our minds opening our hearts and unstopping our ears so we can hear
from you and upon hearing from you we want to leave this place better than the
way we arrived yes yes Lord we want to walk out of here better than the way we
walked in through Christ we ask it all amen if you would please turn to a
neighbor to get them good and repeat after me friend today’s sermon is many
are invited few are chosen a man many are invited few are chosen I
shared with you some time ago that Jesus’s parables they’re not fables Jesus’s parables are not bedtime stories
the parables of Christ are not necessarily intended to make us feel
good actually these parables stink and it’s supposed to they stain they put us
in a position where we have to truly look at ourselves and see what’s there
it put us in a position where we have to stop and think and the parable that we
have for today my friends it is a conclusion of three parables that Jesus
uses to defend his authority his authority to preach to teach to perform
miracles and wonders you see Jesus was the sinless son of God and every time I
look at this parable and I look at how it’s placed with these other three I
think about this Jesus was the son of God and steal the religious elite
question him and the reason why I stopped and I think about this is
because most of us if not all of us don’t want to be questioned was that
just me there’s me okay all right all right all right all right well we don’t
want to be questioned we want to be able to say what we want to say and that’s it
I said it go do it don’t know don’t ask me anything just
get out there and make it happen we don’t like to be questioned but if
Jesus the Christ the Son of the Living God was still subject to being
questioned by folks who were not on his level not anywhere close to being on his
level how should we think that we should not be questioned listen you can be
President and have all the authority that that office possesses and still be
questioned you can be a five-star general and all the authority that comes
along with that and still be questioned you can be the head of your household
running the show as you feel fit and best and still be questioned you can be
the pastor of a church with any authority that comes along with that and
still be questioned if Jesus could be questioned here so can we but our text
is one of the parables that Jesus used to answer his critics to answer his
naysayers now parables my friends are to be understood allegorically and this
parable is God’s continual efforts to save humanity that’s what this parable
is about and every piece of this parable represents something greater well
naturally the king is God in the parable the banquet for his son is the messianic
banquet or the full church at the end of time those sent to invite guests are
Israel’s prophets and the Christian missionaries
the mistreatment of the Kings servants is a reminder of how Israel mistreated
the prophets and how the world has mistreated missionaries and the Apostles
the burning of their City very well may be likened to the Roman government
taking over in 70 CE II and they burned the temple down to the ground but the
inviting of others and is parable the inviting of others well that’s you it’s
me it’s the inclusion of humanity now one of the most powerful images is the
absolute desire of the King to make sure every seat is filled no empty spaces
every seat filled listen the Lord does not stop does not stop trying to reach
all of us the Lord is relentless in this fact it doesn’t matter how bad you think
you are doesn’t matter where you are from
doesn’t matter how messed up you think your family is doesn’t matter how many
times we turn away from the Lord the Lord continues to come after us because the Lord loves us the Lord loves
each and every one of us but this parable this parable shows us that there
are some who will not receive the Lord’s love who will not receive God’s gift of
salvation but there are also many who readily will and if those who readily
will the question is why why would they well one of the great
challenges of being a Christian is to be a fully functioning Christian you see in
other words it’s easy for us to come in here and be Christian with other
Christians it is it is when we come into the house of the Lord we don’t really
expect to find any drunkards in here that are drunk rather in here we don’t
expect to see that will be come into the house of the Lord we don’t expect to see
a husband who abuses his wife doing it in here parents who abuse their children
doing it in here when we come in here we expect to see other Christians and it’s
easy for us to fall in line mmm when we go out there when we leave this
space and we go back out into the world it’s a challenge to be a fully
functioning Christian okay some of y’all look at me like okay let’s put it this
way it’s a challenge to be a fully functioning Christian on 6:35 during
rush hour it’s the challenge to be a fully functioning Christian during the
Superbowl when your satellite dish goes out right around the end of the second
quarter it’s a challenge to be fully functioning Christian well my friends
what we have here in our text is an understanding that our walk with Christ
is truly transformational oh hello somebody it’s transformational
I should be better today than I was yesterday I should be better this year
than I was last year and what I mean by that I should be stronger in my walk
with Christ it’s transformational I’ll think about it there’s some things that
you’re dealing with right now that if you had to deal with this stuff 10 years
ago it would have broken you down but here you are as the late great Stuart
Scott would say just as cool as the other side of the pillow because of how God is at work in your
life this is transformational now the banquet
table may be seen as the church but what we see here in our text is that within
the banquet hall you’ve got good and bad folks good folks and bad folks have both
been invited and we can’t always tell who’s good and who’s bad we all look the
same we all sing the same song we do the job we do the party we can’t always tell
just by looking at each other who’s good and who’s bad you see sometimes
sometimes sometimes good folks don’t financially support the church as they
should and I may be because of a lack of knowledge it may be because the faith
that they possess is just not strong enough yet to allow them to let go of
some things and then in the same vein of same train of thought you’ve got some
bad folks who make huge contributions to the church but they do so selfish
Lee you got some good folks who are reluctant to volunteer to serve in the
church they don’t think that they have time perhaps to do a decent job or maybe
it’s because they have not quite realized the power of Christ at work
in their lives and then again you’ve got some bad folks in the church who
volunteer all the time they’re part of every committee part of every ministry
every time you look up you see them in everything but again the reason behind
it is selfishness and self-serving but both are encouraged to come to the
banquet and it’s parable and both do come why is that parent so glad you
asked because both have to eat both want to eat but some are eating because they
are grateful for being invited to this banquet while others are eating because
well it’s the place to be seen it’s the place to be remembered everyone who goes
to that party is always a dull boy and I want to be a door so I’m going to now
whereas we may not know the difference in looking at folks Jesus does Jesus
does you want to know we used to really upset me as a kid was when either
my parents could tell me exactly what I was thinking and they were right I so
desperately wanna say uh-uh just not what I’m thinking oh but they were right
they were right because they knew me they knew me anybody else in the room
may not have been able to figure out what pairing rice was thinking about
mama knew Papa knew Jesus knows we may not be able to tell the difference but
Jesus knows it’s like the old preacher when I was a kid when a person came down
and wanted to be baptized and the old preacher said now look if you a devil
and I’ll put you in this water you’re just gonna come out of it a wet devil I
don’t know if you’re sincere or not the Lord does the Lord know the Lord knows
everything and all things but listen closely both bad and good at the table
as long as this takes place as long as both are at the table the good can
become stronger and the bad can become good all are invited the good can become
stronger the bad can become good as I told you a little while ago just this
this parable sting and this one has a big stinger in it that’s the conclusion
of this parable there’s a man who shows up and he’s not wearing the right
clothes for the banquet and this may be the harshest and hardest thing to take
this parable you see because in your mind and in my mind we were thinking
that the king ought to be glad this king has spent all of his time preparing this
meal putting this banquet together as a whole group of folks that the king
invited who didn’t come they had something better to do
and the King wants every seat filled and here’s somebody who’s not wearing the
right clothes but is at the banquet the king ought to be happy and leave this
man alone that’s how we see it that’s how we review it it’s too harsh just
because he’s not wearing the right thing to kick him out has that ever happened
to any of you gone to a restaurant you’re supposed to wear a jacket and you
didn’t have one and they gave you one that was too small get your arms drawn
in like this and you can barely eat your food has that ever happened to anyone or
for those of us who golf or for those of you who golf I just I’m just out there
you go to a golf course and you don’t have a shirt with a collar on and they
make you put one on and it’s too tight what’s this deal about clothing and here
because this man does not have on the right clothes he gets kicked out thrown
out into the darkness where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth seems
harsh seems difficult for remember this is taken to be taken allegorically look
we’re not dealing with clothes here that’s not what we’re dealing with we’re
dealing with an attitude and a lifestyle you see the right attire is
righteousness righteousness to live your life according to the teachings of
Christ and there’s no fooling God we can fooled
each other but we cannot fool the Lord and listen yes we’ve made mistakes we’ve
sinned we’ve we’ve done wrong we know that we’ve done wrong but even in doing
wrong even in sinning for those of us who know and love the Lord even in doing
these things that does not strip us of righteousness because we know what’s
next we must confess our sins and as the Bible says the Lord is faithful and just
to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness that’s why we
have the period of confession in our worship each and every week the Lord
knows if we’re since Serie nights the Lord knows the truth and this is the
reason why the man in this parable is speechless because he’s been exposed and
he’s got no defense I didn’t know that I wasn’t aware of this and the people that
I came with didn’t tell me no no no none of those excuses were because the Lord
sees all and knows all listen if we say we are Christians our lives must back
that up should have been about 40 man’s right there if we say we’re Christian
our lives must back that a matter of fact people should know that we’re
Christian by how we live before we even say anything they ought to be able to
figure out there’s something different about you some sums odd about you we all
got laid off and we all gonna go do something to make us feel better
and you’re not coming what’s up with you what’s going on with you must back up
our title well many are called actually all or call but just a few a chosen what’s that about well this is not to be
taken with a numerical under painting this is to be taken again allegorically
many are called actually is many are invited many are invited the Lord
invites the whole of humanity to salvation through Jesus Christ so who
are the chosen I’m so glad you asked simply the chosen are the ones who said
yes the chosen are ones who’ve answered the
call faithfully truthfully sincerely whose lives prove that they are doing
their best to make Jesus known in this world doing their best to show the world
that jesus is alive and well today so are you one of the chosen are you one of
the chosen let me put it to you this way if you’re one of the chosen you say yes
and you know it there’s no questioning there’s no doubting I know I’m one of
the chosen because I’ve answered the call the invitation that the Lord has
given but if you can’t say that don’t you want to be don’t you want to be one
of the chosen well listen closely the Bible says that God’s gifts and God’s
call or irrevocable you know what that means
God doesn’t give us something and then snatch it away from us so the invitation
is still out there it’s still there so be it today or tomorrow yeah the Lord is
just waiting for you to say yes so please do so we can all get to this
table and get to started eating in Jesus name Amen

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