MATTHEW CHAPTER 22

I) INTRODUCTION

Objectors to free grace salvation and eternal security point to Matthew chapter 22 as a proof text for the false doctrine that one's lifestyle must reflect some unspecified amount and type of faithful works otherwise one is not saved at all or will lose one's salvation and be cast into the Lake of Fire.

Here's how the passage reads:

[Mt 22:1-14]:

(Mt 22:1) '''And Jesus answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying,

(Mt 22:2) "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king, who gave a wedding feast for his son.

(Mt 22:3) And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.

(Mt 22:4) Again he sent out other slaves saying, 'Tell those who have been invited, 'Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.'

(Mt 22:5) But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business,

(Mt 22:6) and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.

(Mt 22:7) But the king was enraged and sent his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and set their city on fire.

(Mt 22:8) Then he said to his slaves, "The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.

(Mt 22:9) Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast."

(Mt 22:10) And those slaves went out into the streets, and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

(Mt 22:11) But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes,

(Mt 22:12) and he said to him, "Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?" And he was speechless.

(Mt 22:13) Then the king said to the servants, "Bind him hand and foot, and cast him out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

(Mt 22:14) For many are called, but few are chosen." '''

A careful examination of this parable provides the following parallel statements:

Just as the king is holding a wedding banquet for his son, so there will be a banquet in the kingdom of heaven on earth which New Testament revelation teaches that God the Father will hold a wedding banquet for His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, (Rev 19:7-9).

Just as a specific group of individuals were at first invited to attend, so those of the nation Israel were invited to be part of the banquet held on earth during our Lord's millennial rule, (ref. Mt 10:1-42, Lk 9:1-6; Mk 6:7-13).

Just as the first group rejected the invitation, attacked and murdered the king's servants; so the Jews rejected the Son of God as Messiah, attacked and murdered His prophets, disciples and other faithful believers, (ref. Mt 23:29-34; Lk 11:47-51).

Just as the king sent his armies, destroyed the murderers, and set their city on fire, so God decreed and history showed that Rome would likewise send an army, destroy millions of Jews, and burn the city of Jerusalem in AD 70, (ref. Lk 19:41-43).

And just as the king thereupon extended his invitation to all who would come to his son's banquet from all over, so our Lord then extended His invitation to accept Him as Messiah Savior to "whosoever will" believe in Him as Savior, (ref. Mt 28:19; Lk 24:46-49; Acts 1:8; 10:43).

Just as those who did not accept the king's invitation did not attend the banquet of their own volition, so those who did not accept God's invitation to believe in His Son unto eternal life, (1 Jn 5:9-13), will not attend the wedding banquet of their Messiah. Especially in view are those to whom our Lord was speaking: the Jews - who felt that it would be their exclusive destiny to take part in the Kingdom banquet, (ref. Jn 8:39; 9:28).

Just as the individual who chose not to wear the proper wedding garment was bound and cast out of the banquet itself, so those who are not wearing the proper attire representing faithful lives will be likewise cast out of the Lord's wedding banquet. Both to experience weeping and gnashing of teeth at their utter disappointment at their great loss of fellowship, (Mt 25:14-30).

But neither were cast out of their respective kingdoms.

Just as God invites all to believe and be saved but only those who are chosen by Him will be saved, so God invites all believers to be faithful, but only those who are chosen by Him will be faithful.

Just as every tear will be wiped away and there will be no more sorrow when God finally recreates the new heavens and the new earth, so there will be a season of sorrow and regret beforehand for those who did not serve the Lord faithfully. And finally, just as the faithful will enter heaven with maximum capacity to serve the Lord and enjoy eternity, so the unfaithful believer will be limited in such capacities.

II) A PARABLE OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ON THE EARTH PRESENTED BY JESUS TO THE JEWISH RULERS

[Mt 22:1-2]:

(Mt 22:1) "Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:

(Mt 22:2) 'The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son."

A) TO WHOM WAS JESUS SPEAKING: HIS ENEMIES, THE JEWISH RULERS

"Jesus spoke to them again" = "them" refers to the religious leaders of Israel who were looking for a way to destroy Christ and His ministry without harming themselves or their position of power.

Compare Mt 21:23 which indicates to whom Christ was primarily speaking:

[Mt 21:23]:

(Note that Mt 21:23 begins the section which contains the passage we are examining):

(Mt 21:23) "And when He had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, 'By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?' "

So the point of view of the those to whom our Lord was speaking was Jewish and the attitude was hostile.

Later verses in Matthew indicate the extent to which these leaders will go to rid themselves of the 'threat' of our Lord's ministry. Compare verses 21:23, 25b-27 & 45-46. Nevertheless, our Lord is staying on the theme that is contained in 21:31-32: the rejection of Him as Messiah and those who will be there in the kingdom of heaven at His millennial reign.

The "Bible Knowledge Commentary", New Testament edition, Walvoord and Zuck editors, Victor Books, 1983, p71, states on Mt 22:1-7:

"Jesus had in mind the effect of the nation's [Israel's] rejection of Him. God had made plans for His Son's millennial reign and the invitation had been extended [to Israel].

[That reign would have begun immediately after Israel's acceptance, i.e., belief in Him as Messiah]

But the preaching of John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples had largely been ignored......................... [which up to that time had been done exclusively and only to the nation Israel, cp Mt 10:1-42; Lk 9:1-6]

The nation [Israel] would even kill those extending the offer. Finally in A. D. 70, [approx. 40 years after Christ's death and resurrection] the Roman army would come, kill most of the Jews living in Jerusalem, and destroy the temple."

II cont.) A PARABLE OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ON THE EARTH PRESENTED BY JESUS TO THE JEWISH RULERS, (cont.)

B) A WEDDING BANQUET WITHIN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ON THE EARTH IS IN VIEW

[Mt 22:1-2 cont.]:

(Mt 22:1) "Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:

(Mt 22:2) 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son."

Notice that the previous parables provide a picture of the kingdom of heaven. This parable does likewise as it draws a parallel of a wedding banquet which evidently takes place within the kingdom of heaven - which a father has prepared for his son. This obviously limits the scope of the parable to not an entire picture of the kingdom of heaven but to a slice of that entire picture.

C) THE BANQUET IS A PAN-IN VIEW OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN NOT A PANORAMIC ONE

"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to" - Keep in mind that our Lord is presenting a picture of a portion of the kingdom of heaven on earth: the wedding banquet. This is a 'pan-in' view not a panoramic one.

Note that the previous parables, [the Parables of the two sons, (Mt 21:28-32), and the landowner, (Mt 21:33-40)] have the same 'vignette' characteristic - portraying a different aspect of the future kingdom of heaven, as do many of our Lord's parables on this subject, (Mt 13:24-58; 20:1-16; 25:1-30).

This is very important to realize because the end of the parable is often used as a proof text by loss of salvation/lordship salvation proponents if the scope of this parable covers all of the kingdom of heaven.

D) THE BANQUET'S SETTING IS ON THE EARTH DURING OUR LORD'S MILLENNIAL RULE

Picture what the kingdom of heaven is like in terms of the parable's scenario in light of New Testament revelation. Although New Testament revelation of the wedding banquet provides some detail that the immediate hearers of Mt 22 would not immediately perceive if at all, this does not rule out the consideration of such detail for application to the passage under consideration even for the immediate hearers who may later realize such detail in their physical lifetimes. But this revelation is especially significant for all mankind to perceive later on. Such is the nature of biblical progressive revelation, especially prophecy.

E) FIRST THE WEDDING OF THE LAMB TO HIS BRIDE, THE CHURCH, IN HEAVEN

THEN COMES THE SECOND COMING, THE JUDGMENT OF NATIONS AND WEDDING BANQUET ON THE EARTH DURING OUR LORD'S MILLENNIAL RULE

[Compare Rev 19]:

The wedding of the Lamb to His Bride, the Church, has taken place in heaven while the Tribulation raged on the earth:

[Rev 19:1, 7, 9, 11-16]:

(Rev 19:1) '''After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God..."

[Notice that the wedding is in heaven with a great multitude joyfully shouting praises to God. And this joyful rejoicing continues relative to the wedding of the Lamb]:

(Rev 19:7) let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.

[Then the angel who was providing God's revelation to the Apostle John, (v. 1:1), told John, to write, "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!", in anticipation of that momentous event to be held on the earth soon after our Lord's Second Coming]:

(Rev 19:9) And he [the angelic messenger to John] said to me [apostle John] "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb,' And he said to me, "These are true words of God." ''' [And then, before the banquet begins, there is first preparation for and execution of our Lord's Second Coming]:

(Rev 19:11) And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He Who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

(Rev 19:12) And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself.

(Rev 19:13) And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.

(Rev 19:14) And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.

(Rev 19:15 ) And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

(Rev 19:16) And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, 'KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.' "

F) OTHER SCRIPTURE PASSAGES SUPPORT AN EARTHLY BANQUET

1) THE WEDDING CEREMONY IN HEAVEN IS A DIFFERENT EVENT FROM THE WEDDING SUPPER OF THE LAMB ON THE EARTH

The fact that the wedding supper of the Lamb, a different event from and following the wedding ceremony itself is to be held on the earth following our Lord's Second Coming is confirmed from Scripture in a number of ways:

a) CONSIDERING TO WHOM JESUS WAS SPEAKING: THE RULERS OF ISRAEL AND THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF SCRIPTURE, THE CONTEXT OF MT 22 IS AN EARTHLY BANQUET

Jesus is speaking to the rulers of Israel in Matthew chapter 22 which we are examining. Their scriptural frame of reference relative to the kingdom of heaven is the Messiah's earthly reign - the millennium, (Rev 20:4-5). Compare Isa 9:4-7; 49:8-end; Jer 30:18 to 31:40; Ez 36:24-38.

And Isa 25:6-8 indicates that the millennial banquet is to be held on top of an earthly mountain.

b) AN EARTHLY BANQUET WOULD ENABLE ALL BELIEVERS OF ALL AGES TO ATTEND

Given that our Lord is Lord of all the elect in heaven and on earth, and that all are to be invited to His wedding supper as guests; and since this includes both mortal and immortal believers in heaven and on the earth - some yet to be born in the Tribulation and the Millennium; then the celebration of the banquet could hardly be held in heaven excluding millions of mortal believers of the Tribulation and Millennial periods.

c) SCRIPTURE ONLY PRESENTS ONE HISTORICAL BANQUET FOR THE END TIMES: AN EARTHLY ONE

Furthermore, the consecutive sequence of events as described in Rev 19:1-20:15 from the heavenly praises of the Lord at the destruction the great prostitute, Babylon, through the wedding of the Lamb through the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment and on to the New Heavens and the New Earth make mention of only one banquet: the Wedding Supper of the Lamb in 19:9. At the same time, other passages of Scripture mention an earthly banquet having great significance for both Jew and Gentile which has not occurred either. For example:

[Isa 25:6-8]:

(Isa 25:6) "On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine - the best of meats and the finest of wines.

(Isa 25:7) On this mountain He will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations [and keeps people divided];

(Isa 25:8) He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth."

[Compare Lk 13:28-29]:

(Lk 13:28) "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being cast out.

(Lk 13:29) And they will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will recline at table in the kingdom of God." (Cp. Mt 8:11, 22:1; Lk 14:24)

d) THE PARABLE OF THE 10 VIRGINS AWAITING ENTRANCE TO THE BANQUET CAN ONLY HAVE AN EARTHLY SETTING

Finally, the parable of the kingdom of heaven of the 10 virgins in Mt 25:1-13 who are awaiting entrance to a wedding banquet could only have an earthly banquet in view since there are no virgin types in heaven nor a heavenly significance to having sufficient lamp oil so as to be prepared when the Bridegroom arrives to celebrate His Wedding Supper with them. There is only an earthly significance of staying prepared while on earth before the Lord comes to the earth in order to celebrate His wedding supper with all of His faithful believers.

e) CONCLUSION:

ONE BANQUET - AN EARTHLY ONE

There is only one banquet which is described in part by all of these passages: our Lord's Wedding Supper.

So the setting of the wedding supper of the Lamb must be an earthly setting so that believers of all ages can attend and celebrate the wedding of their Lord and His Bride the Church.

G) IF THE SUPPER IS TO BE HELD IN HEAVEN, (AND IT WILL NOT), THE PROBLEM STILL REMAINS FOR OBJECTORS TO EXPLAIN SUFFERING IN HEAVEN

Objectors who still hold to a heavenly banquet before our Lord's Second Coming in spite of all of the aforementioned evidence from Scripture to the contrary, must still answer as to how an unbeliever could gain admission to heaven in order to be extricated from the banquet which they falsely maintain is held in heaven above the earth. Note that only believers in Christ gain entrance to heaven, (Jn 14:6). Unbelievers do not even gain a temporary entrance to heaven, much less gain admission into our Lord's Wedding Supper.

H) CONCLUSION

So here is portrayed in Mt 22:1-14 a kingdom within which the king is preparing a wedding banquet for his son. This wedding banquet is not the entire kingdom but it is a very important and unique part of that kingdom. This becomes evident as the picture of the parable of the wedding banquet develops. At first, a specific group from a specific location, (v. 7: "their city"), of individuals is invited into the banquet, (vv. 3-4). This group rejects the invitation. Then the king extends his invitation to individuals from all over - the good and the bad. And at the banquet there are those who are rejected. All of this as directed under the decrees and sovereignty of God.

III) THE KING'S INVITATION IS REJECTED

[Mt 22:3-6]:

(Mt 22:3) "He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

(Mt 22:4) Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet'

(Mt 22:5) But they paid no attention and went off - one to his field another to his business.

(Mt 22:6) The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them."

"servants" = "slaves" - "douloi" - a term in the context of Mt 22 which has reference to faithful servants of the King as well as believers and followers of the Messiah Jesus Christ.

[Compare 1 Cor 7:22]:

"For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave"

A) THREE GROUPS OF THE KING'S SERVANTS ARE REJECTED

The three groups of slaves may represent the prophets and John the Baptist as the first group, (v. 3), for they were certainly rejected - to the extent of being tortured and killed, (Mt 23:29-32; Lk 11:47-51). Verse 4 may represent the disciples who were at first sent out to Israel only, (Mt 10:1-42; Mk 6:7-13; Lk 9:1-6). And then later in the period of the book of Acts after our Lord's crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into heaven the disciples regrouped and received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and then went out again. At first they went almost exclusively to the 'House of Israel' again with the message which still preached of the kingdom of God through faith in Christ the Messiah. Compare Acts 2:14-47; Gal 2:7-9. But then later they expanded to the Gentile world. It was primarily through the Apostle Paul that the gospel of salvation was later spread to all nations, (Gal 2:7-9). The disciples were commanded to spread the gospel to all nations - Mt 28:19; Lk 24:46-49; Acts 1:8; and later on this would happen, but first to the Jew and then to the Gentile, (Ro 1:16). This second group of disciples, which were of Christ's servants, were "paid no attention" to by most of those to whom they gave the gospel - just as the parable teaches, (Mt 22:5). But "the rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them", (Mt 22:6). The Jewish leaders likewise mistreated the disciples and killed them as prophesied by our Lord, (Mt 23:34). This prophecy was fulfilled as noted in many places in Scripture: Acts 4:1-22; 5:17-40: 6:8-14; 7:54-60; 12:1-4; 13:50; 14:19; 16:19-24; 17:13-15; 18:12-13; 21:27-33; 23:12-15; Jn 9:22; Rev 1:9; 2:13. Immediately after this rejection by the Jews of the invitation of the kingdom of God through faith in Christ the Messiah of this second group of disciples came the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of Titus in A.D. 70:

IV) THE KING TAKES REVENGE

[Mt 22:7]:

"The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city."

[Compare Lk 19:41-44]:

(Lk 19:41) "And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it,

(Lk 19:42) saying, 'If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.

(Lk 19:43) For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side,

(Lk 19:44) and will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

The third group of servants, (Mt 22:8-9), may well be representative of the disciples of Christ who have gone out after A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed and continue to go out all over the world to Jews, (the Jews are now largely dispersed all over the world), and Gentiles alike to preach the gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone in the Messiah Jesus Christ alone:

V) ONE MUST BE WORTHY ENOUGH TO ATTEND THE BANQUET

[Mt 22:8]:

(Mt 22;8) "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those who had been invited were not worthy." "but those who had been invited were not worthy" - "worthy" - "axios" - deserving.

The parable keeps the banquet within the kingdom in view. So it is stating that those who have rejected the invitation to come to the son's banquet are not worthy to attend; just as those who do not accept the invitation to trust alone in Christ alone are, in the absence of any righteousness, unworthy to attend our Lord's wedding banquet. They do not get into the kingdom of heaven, much less are they deemed worthy to attend the wedding banquet.

This being a parable and parables generally being straight forward illustrations of Biblical truths, we must consider the most straight forward meaning of the word unworthy here: that of those first invited being unworthy relative to their own merits. Since salvation is never a meritorious condition on the part of the believer, (Eph 2:8-9), then attendance at the wedding banquet of our Lord does not have the subject of salvation in view. Furthermore, those who do not accept the invitation to trust alone in Christ alone never permit themselves the opportunity to perform a single faithful deed for the Lord:

[Ro 8:6-8]:

(Ro 8:6) "For the mind set on the flesh, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

(Ro 8:7) because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so;

(Ro 8:8) and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

VI) INVITATION IS EXTENDED TO ALL WHO WILL COME

[Mt 22:8-9]:

(Mt 22:8) "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those who had been invited were not worthy.

(Mt 22:9) 'Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find'

" 'to the street corners' " = "diexodous" = to the major intersections of internationally traveled roads, i.e. to the rest of the world - to Jews and Gentiles.

"and invite to the banquet anyone you find." = and preach the gospel of salvation to anyone who will listen - preach the message which invites anyone into the kingdom of God by faith, Jews and Gentiles alike.

[Cp Mt 28:19]:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

VII) THE BANQUET HALL IS FILLED WITH ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACCEPTED THE INVITATION

[Mt 22:10]:

"So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad and the wedding hall was filled with guests."

"gathered all the people they could find" = who would accept the king's extended universal invitation, (ref. Mt 22:9).

Those who gain entrance into the banquet are those who have accepted the invitation to trust alone in Christ alone as Savior. But to remain in the banquet is another matter:

A) SOME OF THE GUESTS WILL BE GOOD

[Mt 22:10 cont.]:

"So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad and the wedding hall was filled with guests."

"both good and bad" = both good = those who accepted the invitation and became eternally secure believers AND who remained in fellowship with God, performing divine good works

B) SOME OF THE GUESTS WILL BE BAD

"and bad" = "ponerous" = evil, onerous = those who accepted the invitation into the kingdom by faith alone in Christ alone and also became believers BUT did not remain in fellowship with God and so they lived as carnal Christians - lived evil lives - out of fellowship with God and involved with worldly interests. Compare 1 Cor 3:1-23; Heb 5:11-14; Gal 4:1-11. These are the believers who accepted the invitation to the wedding banquet but who continued to live evil lives and will be thrown out of that banquet when their rebellious lifestyle is revealed.

Compare 2 Cor 5:10 which indicates that there will be those believers who do evil:

[2 Cor 5:10]:

"For we [believers] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." ["bad" = "kakon" = corrupt, worthless, depraved, evil]

VIII) NOT ALL WHO ATTEND THE BANQUET WILL BE ACCEPTABLE

[Mt 22:11-12]:

(Mt 22:11) "But when the king came into view the guests, he looked intently at a man there who had on no wedding garment;

(Mt 22:12) And he said, 'Friend, how did you come in here without putting on the appropriate wedding garment?' And he was speechless."

Traditionally, in the Middle Eastern part of the world, guests at an event such as this are often provided with some sort of appropriate clothing to wear. And this would be an important factor to consider here since these particular guests were invited to attend right from where they were encountered out in the street corners and intersections - and without any advance notice so that one could be prepared. So anyone not wearing appropriate dress has refused to put on the clothing that was provided. So, on the one hand, it becomes an attitude problem: one of being unfaithful to accepted customs of social behavior, thus offending the king in the parable. And on the other hand, it becomes an attitude problem: one of being unfaithful to God's command to the believer to obey His commandments, thus offending the King of kings. The immediate hearers of our Lord's words would have clearly understood this message even without further revelation as found in the New Testament.

A) THE KING IS THERE TO VISIT, NOT TO JUDGE

[Mt 22:11-12 cont.]:

(Mt 22:11) "But when the king came into view the guests, he looked intently at a man there who had on no wedding garment;

(Mt 22:12) And he said, 'Friend, how did you come in here without putting on the appropriate wedding garment?' And he was speechless."

Notice that the king is inside his kingdom and then he comes into the wedding banquet itself in order to visit with, i.e., to meet with his guests.

"to visit with" = "theasasthai" = to meet with.

The king's guests have been invited from all corners of the world, from all peoples - as all are invited to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

The king's guests are guests - they have accepted the wedding invitation and are inside at the wedding supper - as all who have accepted the invitation to believe in the gospel of salvation gain entrance inside the kingdom of heaven and gain entrance into the wedding supper of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ which is held inside the kingdom of heaven on earth.

So the king comes into the wedding banquet to visit with, "to see", his invited guests who have accepted his invitation. He does not come into the wedding banquet with the purpose of judging to see that each of his guests is properly attired and acceptable to attend his son's wedding banquet. The king just came in to visit with his guests and to make them welcome not to judge them. And especially at a wedding supper would seeking out and judging offenders be highly inappropriate! The grace of God is clearly portrayed here, providing an invitation to whosoever will", providing opportunity to obey His commands and receive robes of individual acts of righteousness and then visiting with those whom He has so graciously provided for in order to meet and accept them at the event of His Son's wedding banquet.

B) NO JUDGMENT WHICH CAN RESULT IN THE LAKE OF FIRE HAS THE CHARACTERISTICS PORTRAYED IN THE WEDDING SUPPER PARABLE:

There is no Old or New Testament passage on judgment unto Hades or Gehenna, (Lake of Fire), which has the following characteristics such as described in the parable in Matthew chapter 22:

1) A wedding supper at which all will be invited to celebrate.

2) Being invited to attend such that you have the choice of coming or not coming to the Judgment, (Mt 22:3-10).

(But believers of all dispensations do have the choice of accepting or declining the invitation to the banquet - based on their own choice of lifestyle).

3) Being called a guest at the Judgment.

(But believers of non-church age dispensations are certainly going to be guests at the wedding feast).

4) Gaining entrance into the banquet which is perceived to be the entire kingdom of heaven, and then those who behave unsatisfactorily being kicked out of heaven into Gehenna.

(Unbelievers will be judged before gaining entrance into the millennial kingdom and the rest before the new heavens and the new earth are occupied at the Great White Throne Judgment).

(On the other hand, believers will be inside the millennial kingdom in order to be inside the wedding feast and may very well be extricated from the banquet only due to unfaithful behavior).

5) On the one hand, an attendee of the wedding feast will be extricated from the banquet on account of his behavior, but attendees of either judgment will be extricated only on account of never having trusted alone in the Messiah Jesus Christ alone.

6) The attendees or 'guests' are visited by the King in order to make them feel welcomed

7) If this is supposed to be a scenario of the final Great White Throne Judgment, as some contend, there is a problem with only some of the 'guests' being condemned as the Great White Throne Judgment condemns all who appear before God in this particular Judgment.

C) JUDGMENT UNTO ETERNAL LIFE OCCURS BEFORE AND AFTER THE MILLENNIAL WEDDING BANQUET

Scripture elsewhere does not support the judging by God between believers and unbelievers at the time of the wedding feast. This judgment, which is an earthly judgment exclusively of mortal and physically alive believers and unbelievers, occurs before anyone enters into Christ's millennial rule on earth, (Mt 25:31-46).

And after this rule, there is the Great White Throne Judgment. This final judgment is a heavenly judgment exclusively of resurrected dead unbelievers which occurs after our Lord's millennial rule, (Rev 20:11-15).

D) COMPARE THE PASSAGE OF THE JUDGMENT OF NATIONS WHICH IS CRITICAL TO OUR STUDY:

[Compare Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46]:

(Mt 25:31) "But when the Son of Man comes [to Earth] in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

(Mt 25:32) And all the nations will be gathered before Him, [on the earth, (Ez 20:33-38)] and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;

(Mt 25:33) and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

(Mt 25:34) Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

(Mt 25:41) Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

(Mt 25:46) And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Likewise, Old Testament Scripture testifies to the judgment of Israelites before the Kingdom Age in which unbelievers will be excluded from that kingdom:

[Ez 20:33-38]:

(Ez 20:33) " 'As I live,' declares the Lord God, 'surely with a mighty hand and with and outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be King over you.

(Ez 20:34) And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out;

(Ez 20:35) and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.

(Ez 20:36) As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,' declares the Lord God.

(Ez 20:37) And I shall make you pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant;

(Ez 20:38) and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the LORD."

Notice that the judgment here has the earth, specifically the "land of Israel", in view. So it is an earthly judgment which is performed before our Lord's millennial rule.

E) SO THOSE WHO GAIN ADMISSION INTO THE BANQUET ARE ETERNALLY SECURE BELIEVERS

So the guests who are received into the millennium and into the wedding supper of the Lamb have already had judgment passed on them and were deemed worthy to have eternal life STARTING IN THE MILLENNIAL REIGN ON EARTH - this on the basis of having trusted alone in Christ alone for salvation. Therefore all of the attendees at the wedding supper of the Lamb are eternally secure believers. Unbelievers will not even gain entrance into the millennium, much more receive admission into the wedding supper of Jesus Christ!

VIII) NOT ALL WHO ATTEND THE BANQUET WILL BE ACCEPTABLE, (cont)

F) THE KING ADDRESSES THE INAPPROPRIATELY DRESSED MAN AS 'FRIEND' INDICATING A FRIENDLY ATTITUDE AND NOT AN ATTITUDE GOD MIGHT HAVE TOWARD HIM IN ONE OF THE JUDGMENTS

[Mt 22:11-12 cont.]:

(Mt 22:11) "But when the king came into view the guests, he looked intently at a man there who had on no wedding garment;

(Mt 22:12) And he said, 'Friend, how did you come in here without putting on the appropriate wedding garment?' And he was speechless."

["And he said, 'Friend..." = Notice that the king addresses his guest as a friend. This would not be an appropriate address if the king was intent upon judging each of his guests unto heaven or hell.

Objectors to this point indicate that other passages in Matthew which have the same word, "friend", in them do not use the word with a friendly connotation, but rather the opposite, therefore they falsely maintain that the word means the hostile opposite in Mt 22:12 as well:

[Compare Mt 20:13-16]:

(Mt 20:13) "But he [the landowner, (v. 1)] answered one of them [a disgruntled field laborer who accused the landowner of being unfair], 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius?

(Mt 20:14) Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you.

(Mt 20:15) Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?"

There is no indication that the landowner does not consider the disgruntled man more a friend than an enemy. Nor is the term friend used in such a way that it indicates that he is distancing himself from him. The confrontation with the man might be done with friends or enemies in the same manner and phraseology considering the circumstances, especially the ingratitude of the individual. The use of the term "friend' might very well be a communication to the disgruntled individual that there is no hostility or distancing coming from the landowner while he is rebuking him for his attitude.

[Compare Mt 26:50]:

"Jesus replied, "Friend, [speaking to Judas Iscariot, (v. vv. 47-48)] do what you came for." Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested Him."

In light of both passages quoted above, we can observe that the hostility of one individual toward another, such as the laborer toward the landowner or the betrayal of our Lord by Judas Iscariot does not rule out the landowner's consideration of the laborer as friend or our Lord's view of Judas as friend in spite of the Judas' betrayal.

C. I. Scoffield writes re: Mt 26:50, (Oxford NIV Scofield Study Bible, Oxford University Press, New York, 1984, p. 1015):

"Here is one of the most touching things in the Bible. The Lord still reaches out to Judas in friendship while he is about to betray Him."

[Mt 22:11-12 cont.]:

(Mt 22:11) "But when the king came into view the guests, he looked intently at a man there who had on no wedding garment;

(Mt 22:12) And he said, 'Friend, how did you come in here without putting on the appropriate wedding garment?' And he was speechless."

A king who is intent upon looking for offenders does not ask a man in a conciliatory way how he came into the wedding banquet without appropriate attire, wedding attire which the king himself provided for each guest.

G) THE FRIEND HAS NO EXPLANATION TO OFFER - NO EXCUSE

It was often traditional at oriental wedding suppers that the host provide a robe for each guest to wear and in this circumstance it must be concluded that the speechless guest could offer no excuse for his obvious refusal to put it on. It will also be discovered that the believer who was unfaithful to the Lord with his life on earth will not have proper wedding attire either when he appears at the wedding supper of Jesus Christ and the church; and he will likewise have no explanation - no excuse - to offer.

H) THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT PERFORMING ONE'S DIVINELY APPOINTED GOOD WORKS

Although believers will also be wearing robes of righteousness symbolic of the imputed righteousness of God as result of their moment of faith alone in God's Son alone, (Ro 4:5; Isa 61:10), only faithful believers will wear other robes which are representative of their faithful living on earth. Rev 19:8 speaks of fine linen which believers wear at their wedding to our Lord as the Bride of Christ. This fine linen, the verse goes on to say, represents righteous acts on the part of the believer and not a gift upon which salvation is based, (Eph 2:8-10). These acts are the righteous acts - the divine good works, (notice acts is plural), which each believer himself performs. So the fine linen does not represent the robe of the absolute Righteousness of Christ, (notice that robe is singular), which is received at the moment an individual trusts alone in Christ alone for salvation. Cp Ro 3:21-24; Eph 2:8-9. (Ro 3:22; 4:1-8).

Believers of all ages - Old Testament ages, Church age, future ages - are all sovereignly provided with specific divine good works prepared in advance for us to do, (Eph 2:8-10), which we, as believers, are enabled to perform by God's grace and by living a life of faith energized by love for the Savior, (Gal 5:6), as led by the Holy Spirit, (Eph 5:18-20). These divine acts are rewarded in heaven and on earth.

I) THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST IS NOT SOMETHING SCRIPTURE PORTRAYS THAT ONE WOULD PUT ON AS WEDDING CLOTHES FOR THE WEDDING BANQUET IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN AS A VOLUNTARY DEED FOR THIS SPECIFIC EVENT - HENCE THE WEDDING CLOTHES CANNOT REPRESENT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST

An individual immediately receives the righteousness of Christ upon a moment of faith alone in Christ alone in any dispensation. This parable portrays individuals putting on wedding clothes for a wedding banquet in the kingdom of heaven for this specific event. Since believers must automatically be clothed in the righteousness of Christ from the moment they believed and before they arrive at the banquet then these particular clothes that they put on for this specific event cannot be the righteousness of Christ. Unbelievers would not be clothed in the righteousness of Christ and would not be given an opportunity to don the righteousness of Christ at the time of the wedding banquet, nor gain entrance into the banquet inside the kingdom of heaven. Since the guest that was excluded could not be an unbeliever because he gained entrance into the Kingdom and into the wedding banquet; then the wedding clothing which is portrayed as something an attendee in the banquet must put on in order to remain in the banquet or be sent out into outer darkness and weeping and gnashing of teeth must be something other than that which represents the righteousness of Christ.

1) [Compare Ro 3:21-22]:

(Ro 3:21) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(Ro 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."

2) [Compare Ro 4:3]:

'''What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." (Gen 15:6)

IX) THE OUTER DARKNESS AND WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH

[Mt 22:13]:

(Mt 22:13) "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "

"Into the outer darkness" = The willfully disobedient guest who refused to wear the wedding garment that was provided for him is tied up hand and foot and thrown outside into the outer darkness:

"to ..skotos ......to .exoteron"

"the darkness the outer"

A) THE OUTER DARKNESS IS NOT THE LAKE OF FIRE IN THE CONTEXT OF MT 22

The wedding feast is a figure of the wedding supper of the Lamb during the millennium which occurs after unbelievers are judged and condemned unto the Lake of Fire. The rest of humanity at that time, being believers, will remain on earth to live in the kingdom. Therefore, we may conclude that the outer darkness cannot refer to hell but instead to a place inside the kingdom of God but outside of the wedding banquet.

Furthermore, none of those who are admitted into the Kingdom will then be cast out of the Kingdom and into Hell because those who are admitted inside are believers in the first place. Their salvation is solely by the sovereign grace of God through faith alone in Christ alone. What they did with their lives has no bearing on their inevitable entrance into the Kingdom:

[Compare Titus 3:5]:

(Titus 3:5) "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit..." Compare also Eph 2:8-9, Ro 9:16, 2 Cor 7:17-21.

[Cp Jn 10:28-29]:

(Jn 10:28) "And I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.

(Jn 10:29) "My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."

[Cp Eph 1:13-14]:

(Eph 1:13) "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

(Eph 1:14) Who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory."

1) IT IS DARKNESS BY CONTRAST TO THE BANQUET AND THE PRESENCE OF OUR LORD

a) THE PICTURE OF AN ANCIENT JEWISH WEDDING PROVIDES THIS CONTRAST

What is outside the banquet by comparison to what is inside the banquet is relative darkness and inestimable loss of rewards in the Kingdom!

Imagine what Matthew has pictured for his Jewish readers to visualize:

A Jewish wedding banquet being held in a brilliantly lighted hall with a great profusion of lights. There is joy and festivity within. Feasts were always held toward evening time and wedding feasts frequently went on to a late hour. Cp Lk 12:36-38.

Outside the banquet hall in the very narrow city streets of ancient Jerusalem is darkness. The narrow streets were then not illumined by any lights whatsoever.

The streets outside were filthy, there were no street cleaners - no sewers - and the night air was chilly. A tremendous sense of loneliness pervaded the night outside of the banquet hall back in ancient times and will likewise permeate the area of the kingdom of heaven outside the wedding feast especially for those who will be absent from the intimate fellowship with their Lord and Savior inside.

So the "outer darkness" alludes to that area outside of the well-lighted dining room, an outside area where there is darkness both physical and spiritual by comparison to being inside in the presence of

The Messiah King

The Lord Jesus Christ.

So if the believer has no righteous acts, i.e., is improperly dressed relative to the absence of the fine linen of righteous acts performed by him, then he is determined by the Lord as unfit for the wedding banquet and consequently the unfaithful believer will be thrown "outside into the [relative] darkness [outside of the banquet hall and fellowship with our Lord]. Inside at the wedding banquet there is such tremendous fellowship and intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, and outside there is a darkness relative to the light of the banquet and the Savior and His faithful inside, both spiritual and literal.

2) FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD IS DESCRIBED IN SCRIPTURE AS LIGHT AND THE LACK OF IT, I.E., DARKNESS:

[1 Jn 1:5-7a]:

(1 Jn 1:5) "And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

(1 Jn 1:6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

[So being out of fellowship with God is characterized as walking in darkness which parallels the outer darkness where believers, who had a history of being out of fellowship with God, will be cast. This is contrasted to the brilliant light inside the banquet in the presence of our Lord which parallels the light that a believer walks IN during those moments when he is in fellowship with almighty God]:

(1 Jn 5:7a) but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another [the believer and God]..." Eph 5:8-11 teaches that believers have the opportunity to live righteously in the light or unfruitfully in the darkness:

[Compare Eph 5:8-11]:

(Eph 5:8) "For you [believers] were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light

[So believers have a choice to be faithful in the light or unfaithful in the darkness]:

(Eph 5:9) (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

(Eph 5:10) trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

(Eph 5:11) And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.."

4) SCRIPTURE OFTEN MAGNIFIES CONTRASTS TO ILLUSTRATE IMPORTANT POINTS

The sharp contrast in Matthew chapter 22 is not only a part of the background of the way the Hebrew people expressed themselves in their language, it is a function of the importance of the message.

[Compare Lk 14:26]:

"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple."

By comparison, then, the devotion of a true disciple of our Lord verses the attachment to one's own father, mother, wife and children must be as love is to hate.

And compare the difference between God's viewpoint of Jacob vs. Esau even before they were born and relative to God's decree of election:

[Compare Ro 9:11-13]:

(Ro 9:11) "For though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him Who calls,

(Ro 9:12) it was said to her, [their mother, Rebekah] 'The older will serve the younger.'

(Ro 9:13) Just as it is written, 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.' "

God's hatred in this passage is presented in a relative sense - the difference between God's election of Jacob for His divine purposes verses the absence of such a decree with Esau - before they were born.

5) IT IS THE BANQUET WHICH INDIVIDUALS ARE KICKED OUT OF NOT THE KINGDOM

[Compare Mt 8:10-12]:

(Mt 8:10) "Now when Jesus heard this [the faith in Him of a Gentile Roman centurion] He marveled, and said to those who were following, 'Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.

[So there is a comparison made between the Gentile Roman Centurion, (v. 5), and "anyone of Israel", (10), with respect to the relative amounts of faith exhibited toward Him by the centurion and those of Israel; and not with respect to faith vs. no faith at all. For Scripture testifies that there were many in Israel who were believers, but evidently not so faithful in their walk with the Lord as this centurion, (v. 10). So this passage is not about heaven vs. hell, but about the amount of faithfulness of believers, specifically many Gentiles vs. many Jews. And one of the rewards of this faith is presented in the next verses]

(Mt 8:11) And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west [i.e., Gentiles], and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven

[So it is presented to His listeners that many Gentiles will be so faithful as to be rewarded with reclining at table Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the Kingdom Banquet]

[And the result of unfaithfulness]:

(Mt 8:12) but the sons of the kingdom [In this context, Jewish believers, (vv. 10, 12)] shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

6) SONS OF THE KINGDOM DEFINED

"sons of the kingdom" = those who are destined to occupy the kingdom of heaven on the earth - believers.

'Son of' or 'sons of' can mean 'belonging to' or 'destined for':

[Compare Mt 9:15]:

"And Jesus said to them, 'The guests [lit., sons = "huioi"] of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.' "

[Compare Mt 23:15]:

" Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of Hell [="Gehenna"] as you are."

And finally, compare a passage which uses the term 'sons of the kingdom' to describe those of Israel who will enter into the kingdom:

[Compare Mt 13:38-41]:

[Our Lord is explaining the parable of the weeds in the field to His disciples]:

(Mt 13:38) "The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,

(Mt 13:39) and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

(Mt 13:40) As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.

(Mt 13:41) The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil."

So here in Mt 13 the term "sons of the kingdom" means those who are destined to occupy the kingdom of heaven on the earth - believers.

The term "sons of the kingdom" in the context of Mt 8:12 has in view those Jews who are destined for the kingdom, i.e., those who are Jewish believers. On the other hand, other passages indicate that there will be both Jews and Gentiles who will be in the Eternal Kingdom, (Isa 2:24; Zech 14:8-21; Dan 7:13-14; Micah 4:1-5; Ro 1:18-3:24; Jn 3:16-18). But Mt 8:12 only has in view those whom God chose to be His people, Israel, to be sons of His kingdom. So in view of God's promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Jews throughout history - whether they were believers or not - often and mistakenly pictured themselves as automatically going to receive entrance into the Kingdom, and excluded Gentiles from this promise - despite Old and New Testament passages to the contrary.

[Compare Dt 7:6]:

"For you [Israel] are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, his treasured possession."

[Mt 22:13 cont.]:

"Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him out out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "

"shall be cast out" = "ekblethesouta" = cast out of the banquet itself

The Greek verb form "ekblethesouta" has as its prefix, (first few letters), the letters "ek" which mean "out" from within.

The very fact that "ek" is prefixed to the verb "ekblethesouta" implies that the subject of the verb (sons of the kingdom) was inside whatever they are being cast out from. So God's choice of grammatical construction is critical here in not misunderstanding what Mt 8:12 means. And Mt 22:13 also uses the same verb for "cast him out out:, "ekbalete"; and the object out from within of which the maldressed man is cast is also open ended.

This leaves the matter of what the "sons" and the maldressed man are cast out of specifically undefined in verses 8:12 & 22:13. So the key object of what the "sons" and the maldressed man are cast out of must grammatically be found in the previous verses, (vv. 8:11 & 22:12): The banquet itself! This makes both grammatical and scriptural sense because the banquet is the primary focal point of the immediate context, not the overall kingdom of God. So a believer who has been unfaithful in his obedience to the Lord will be cast out of the banquet.. but will remain in the kingdom of heaven.

B) WHERE THERE WILL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH

[Mt 22:13 cont.]:

(Mt 22:13) "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...' "

1) THE DEVASTATION IN THE UNFAITHFUL BELIEVER'S SOUL IS EXPRESSED THRU WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH

"where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." = Refers to the utter disappointment and devastation in the souls of the unfaithful believers who have all been cast out of the wedding banquet but still remain in the kingdom. There is a literal weeping and gnashing of teeth of these believers due to their loss of eternal rewards in heaven and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Believers who have wasted their lives, who chose not to serve the Lord, but only to pursue their own carnal desires and self-serving interests will be excluded from their own wedding banquet with the Lord Jesus Christ. They will not suffer condemnation in the Lake of Fire but they will weep and gnash their teeth at the severe disappointment of being excluded from so great a feast and celebration as the "wedding supper of the Lamb", Jesus Christ.

2) WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH IS NOT LIMITED TO THE LAKE OF FIRE

a) NUMEROUS PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE SHOW THAT THE TERMS WEEPING AND GNASHING HAVE A VARIETY OF MEANINGS

In other passages in Scripture the term "weeping and gnashing of teeth" describes the behavior believers demonstrate who are eternally secure in the Kingdom of heaven because of loss of rewards and fellowship with the Lord. Mt 8:12; 22:13; 25:14-30.

In still other passages the term "weeping" does not apply to condemnation into the Lake of Fire at all but for a variety of reasons which can be found by examining the context of each passage:

Joy:

[Acts 20:37]:

[Gen 45:2; 46:29]

Mourning for the dead:

[Dt 34:8]

Facing one's own death:

[2 Kgs 20:3]

Physical suffering and the loss of everything:

[Job 16:17]

In trouble due to evil:

[Ps 6:8]

And in other passages the term "gnashing of teeth" does not always apply to condemnation into the Lake of Fire either:

Expression of anger:

[Job 16:9]

The wicked trying to intimidate a potential victim:

[Ps 35:16; 37:12]

[Lam 2:16]

The reaction of the wicked when defeated:

[Ps 112:10]

Behavior of a demon possessed individual:

[Mk 9:18]

Behavior of those actually in the Lake of Fire

In Mt 13:42 & 50, the term weeping & gnashing of teeth does describe the behavior of those who occupy the 'fiery furnace' [i.e., the Lake of Fire], so salvation or the lack of it and the Lake of fire are certainly in view.

Regretful behavior in contemplation of being excluded from the kingdom of God

In Lk 13:23-30 the term weeping and gnashing of teeth refers to the regretful behavior at the moment of contemplation of being excluded from the kingdom of God paralleling in type the regretful behavior that unfaithful believers will express when they are excluded from the intimate fellowship with the Lord at the wedding banquet and throughout the millennial rule. Experiencing the Lake of Fire is not in view in this passage, but the exclusion from the Kingdom of God is - which results in the weeping and gnashing of teeth, outside of the Lake of Fire:

[Lk 13:23-30]:

(Lk 13:23) "Someone asked Him [Jesus Christ] 'Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?' He said to them,

(Lk 13:24) 'Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, [of the kingdom of God] because many, I tell you, will try to enter and not be able to' "

[Verses 23 and 24 set the context of this passage which is salvation unto the kingdom of God - unto eternal life. For the door that is being referred to is that which opens to the kingdom of God. Cp Mt 7:13-14.]

[Lk 13:23-30 cont.]:

(Lk 13:25) "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know where you are from.'

(Lk 13:26) Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets';

(Lk 13:27) and He will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVIL DOERS.' "

Notice that the context is further set as those who "ate and drank in Your [our Lord's] presence" during the time when they could say "and You taught in our streets." So these individuals are those who were contemporaries during our Lord's 3 year earthly ministry.

[Lk 13:23-30 cont.]:

(Lk 13:28) "There will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD, but you yourselves thrown out "[of the kingdom = having not been permitted entrance through the narrow entry door, (vv. 24-25)]

So here we are describing everlasting punishment outside of the kingdom of God. It is clear in this passage the word "people", (v 23), refers to the Jews who were there at the time of our Lord's earthly, three year, ministry. It portrays them at the "narrow door" to the entrance to the kingdom of God, i.e., before the Great White Throne Judgment seat of God.

(Rev 20:7-15 teaches of the final judgment of Satan and the remainder of all unbelievers who died before our Lord's return, which Judgment occurs at the end of the millennium).

These "people" will have a view of the kingdom of God as they are judged and will see and recognize the Patriarchs and the prophets who are in attendance, (v. 28), giving strong indication that these "people" mentioned in Lk 13:23 are indeed mostly Jewish. For Gentiles would for the most part not be familiar with the Patriarchs and the prophets of Hebrew Scripture. The rejecters of the Messiah will all be judged as unworthy to be in the kingdom of God and cast out of the kingdom into the Lake of Fire. The weeping and gnashing of teeth will evidently occur as a result of learning and experiencing that they will not be permitted entrance into God's kingdom, even after pleading that they ate and drank with the Lord Himself and heard His teaching, (v. 28).

They will realize the inestimable loss of losing their chance FOREVER of being in the kingdom of God with their own Messiah and their own Patriarchs and prophets! WHAT AN UNFATHOMABLE LOSS!!

This loss and consequent weeping and gnashing of teeth parallels the regretful behavior that unfaithful believers will express when they are excluded from the intimate fellowship with the Lord at the wedding banquet and throughout the millennial rule.

The agony and a resultant weeping and gnashing of teeth due to being cast into the Lake of Fire is NOT specifically in view here in this passage. This is not to say that ONLY the unbelieving Jews of Jesus' time will be excluded from the kingdom. Other passages such as Ro 1:18-3:24 & Jn 3:16 deal with other kinds of people and their eternal destinies.

So, in Jesus' time the Jews for the most part have rejected Him as their Messiah. On the other hand............

[Lk 13:23-30 cont.]:

(Lk 13:29) "They [other people = Gentiles] will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God."

So other people, predominately Gentiles, will not only enter the kingdom of God based on faith alone in Christ the Messiah alone but they will take places of honor at the banquet alongside the Patriarchs of Israel!

People from all over the world will be saved, Jews and Gentiles alike, (Ro 1:16), and will enter into the kingdom of heaven. Those who were faithful in their service to the Lord will have the tremendous honor, the inestimably grand experience of sitting at the feast with their King and Savior Jesus Christ and all the patriarchs and prophets.

[Lk 13:23-30 cont.]:

(Lk 13:30) "Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last."

How you served others with your divine good works and put others before yourself determines how you will be rewarded. The balance of this passage in Luke continues with our Lord's prophesying and lamenting the rejection of Him as Messiah and of the prophets, (vv 34-35). The context of Lk 13:23-35 then has to do with the fact that the Jews will largely reject the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah and that Gentiles who trust in Him as Messiah will be admitted to the kingdom, many to sit the banquet table.

4) DOCTRINAL PASSAGES WHICH INDICATE MOMENTS OF SUFFERING IN HEAVEN

An important rule of interpretation must be stressed here: Let the clear passages dictate and clarify what Scripture is saying. And certainly, doctrinal passages which clearly state a doctrinal principle must dictate and clarify the meaning of a parable on the same principle.

5) CONSIDER A NUMBER OF PASSAGES WHICH INDICATE THAT UNFAITHFUL BELIEVERS WILL ACTUALLY SUFFER FOR A TIME FOR THEIR UNFAITHFULNESS:

a) 1 COR 3:11-15 SPEAKS OF SUFFERING LOSS

[1 Cor 3:11-15]:

(1 Cor 3:11) "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

["foundation" = "themelion" = a foundation for a building which one would "lay" and then "build upon".

Salvation is the key to entrance into heaven and the foundation of one's life in heaven which God solely and exclusively builds as a result of one trusting alone in Christ alone, (Eph 1:13-14; 2:8-9)]

(1 Cor 3:12) Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

[Now once one is saved one then begins to build upon this foundation. One may build with eternally valuable gold, silver and precious stones, i.e., divine good works; or with valueless and destructible wood, hay and straw, i.e., human good works, (or perhaps no works at all - just a sinful lifestyle). The building that a believer's lifestyle is forming upon the foundation of salvation in Christ is representative of the reward that a believer receives when he gets to heaven]

(1 Cor 3:13) each man's [each believer's, (v. 11)] work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work,

[each man's work will become evident; for the day......................

"the day" = a term which signifies the day when our Lord will return in judgment and rule the earth from Jerusalem, (Isaiah - details of the "Day" described throughout the entire book. 2 Thes 2:1-2 and I Thes 4:13-18 point to the rapture which is the beginning of the "Day" of the Lord]

(1 Cor 3:13 cont.) each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work,

[Notice that the quality of each believer's work will be tested by fire. What a believer does with his life on earth will then be judged as to whether or not it deserves a reward in heaven. So fire is not just a judgment of the unsaved it is also used by God to judge the value of the deeds of believers' lives]

[1 Cor 3:11-15 cont.]:

(1 Cor 3:14) If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward,

["it" = the "foundation" of eternal life which is faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, (v.11).

If a believer's work which he has built by what he did with his life on earth survives the test of our Lord as to its eternal value then he will receive a commensurate reward in heaven. The question as to whether the believer's works were of divine origin or not, (Eph 2:10), will be decided by Jesus Christ Himself. Ref. 2 Cor 5:10]

(1 Cor 3:15) If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."

["any man's" = 'any believer's', since the context is limited to the population of those who are building on the foundation of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone, (v. 11). Notice that if the believer's works were burned up, i.e., if the works did not survive the test of fire, then that believer will actually suffer loss - suffer in heaven for the loss of what he could have received but did not because he wasted his time on earth. But that believer, the Scripture says, will still remain saved unto eternal life, barely entering onto heaven's shores as one escaping to safety from a burning house - without bringing anything out of the burning house but himself. 2 Cor 5:10 supports I Cor 3:11-15 in teaching about the judgment of a Christian's life on earth:

b) 2 COR 5:10 INDICATES DISCIPLINE IS METED OUT

[2 Cor 5:10]:

"For we [believers, v. 5] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or worthless." "recompensed" = given what is due him, i.e., rewarded/disciplined for his deeds whether good deeds or worthless/evil]

"worthless" = "kakon" = "evil"

Notice that here again it is the believer's works which are judged and not his salvation. He is either rewarded or disciplined for what he has done with his earthly life.

c) MARK 8:34-38 INDICATES THAT GOD WILL BE ASHAMED OF UNFAITHFUL BELIEVERS

[Mk 8:34-38]:

(Mk 8:34) "And He summoned the multitude with His disciples and said to them, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

[Notice that our Lord is addressing believers only here since taking up one's cross and following Jesus is out of the question until one is saved and indwelt with God the Holy Spirit Who enables individuals to serve the Lord in the first place]

(Mk 8:35) For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's shall save it. [i.e., preserve the value of it for eternal rewards in heaven]

(Mk 8:36) For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

(Mk 8:37) For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

["forfeit his soul" = loss relative to the appointed number of years they are given to live, (ref. Pr 3:1-2), and to the value of their lives when they do get to heaven.]

[And Mk 8:38 goes on to address what happens if a believer is unfaithful and acts ashamed of His Lord and Savior?]:

(Mk 8:38) For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in the adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.' " (cp Lk 9:26)

[The effect of Christ's shame is not specified, but one could surmise that for a redeemed and now fully-enlightened believer once he has arrived in the Eternal Kingdom of God, the shame would produce agonizing regret. [cp Mt 22:1-14; 25:14-30].

In Mt 10:32-33, the idea of recompense to the believer being good (v. 32) or bad (v. 33) is in view. Christ's confession (or lack of it) in heaven would not relate to the judgment of ones salvation, but to an acknowledgment (or lack of it) before the Father of the disciples' unity or fellowship with Christ which is recompensed in an unspecified but appropriate way].

d) MT 10:33 INDICATES THAT OUR LORD WILL DENY UNFAITHFUL BELIEVERS BEFORE GOD [Cp Mt 10:24, 33]:

(Mt 10:24) "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master." [So the subject is discipleship which is limited to believers]

[Good recompense for faithfulness]:

(Mt 10:32) "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven."

[Bad recompense for unfaithfulness]:

(Mt 10:33) "But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in heaven.", (cp Lk 12:9).

[Those who were too ashamed to identify with Christ will experience Christ's denial as a result of His shame. The effect of Christ's denial and shame is not specified, but one could surmise that for a redeemed and now fully-enlightened believer, this would at least produce agonizing regret...[cp Mt 22:1-14; 25:14-30]. In Mt 10:32-33, the idea of recompense is good (Mt 10:32) or bad (Mt 10:33) according to how faithful the believer is. Christ's confession (or lack of it) in heaven would not relate to the judgment of our salvation, but to an acknowledgment (or lack of it) before the Father of the disciples' unity or fellowship with Christ which is recompensed in an unspecified but appropriate way - from good to bad.

e) 2 TIM 2:11-13 INDICATES THAT UNFAITHFUL BELIEVERS WILL BE DISOWNED

Eternally secure but unfaithful believers will be denied before the Father in heaven. This is confirmed by 2 Tim 2:11-13:

[2 Tim 2:11-13]:

(2 Tim 2:11) "Here is a trustworthy saying:

'For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him;

"For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him" = If, by faith, we become sharers in the death of Christ, then we will also share in His eternal life, (Ro 3:21-24; 6:1-16.

Compare Col 3:1-3:

[Col 3:1-3]:

(Col 3:1) "If then you have been raised up with Christ,

[If then you were raised up with Christ at the point of trusting in Him for eternal life, (Ro 6:1-10)]

(Col 3:1 cont.) "If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things that are on earth.

(Col 3:2) Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

(Col 3:3) For you have died [with Christ, (cp Ro 6:8)] and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

[If we died with Christ we were saved unto eternal life..... If we died with Christ which is by faith alone in Christ alone, (Jn 3:16; 5:24; Eph 2:8-9), then we will live with Him forever, (Ro 6:1-10). If we received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in us which is our identification with the death of Jesus Christ and its benefits then "we we also live with Him", (Ro 6:8b)]

[2 Tim 2:11-13 cont.]:

(2 Tim 3:12) If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.......

["If we endure" = If we, who are believers, who are secure in our eternal life, (Eph 1:13-14), endure the difficulties and testing and live a faithful, productive life = full of divine good production....]

(2 Tim 2:12 cont.) If we endure, we shall also reign with Him...

[If we endure as "endure" is defined above then we believers will not only have eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven because of our one time expression of faith in Him; but we will also reign, i.e., corule, with Him and receive unimaginably glorious rewards. Compare with Romans 8:16-17:

[Ro 8:16-17]:

(Ro 8:16) "The Spirit Himself with our spirit that we are God's children" [i.e., born again believers]

(Ro 8:17) Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory."

["Now if we [believers] are children, then we are heirs of God [unto eternal life in heaven] and [not only heirs of eternal life in heaven but if we are faithful, as the rest of this verse states, then we are] co-heirs [coinheritors of rulership] with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings [by taking up our own cross, (Mt 16:24-27)] in order that we may also share in His glory."

So it is those believers who "Take up [their] cross and follow" Christ who will reign with Him. Indeed, those who endure by remaining faithful, by abiding in Christ - by producing fruit will also suffer their own peculiar suffering during their lifetime for the sake of Christ. Those believers who do not abide in Christ will not inherit much in heaven when they get there:

[2 Tim 2:11-13 cont.]:

(2 Tim 2:12 cont.) If we endure, we shall also reign with Him, If we disown Him, He will also disown [disinherit] us,", (cp. Mt 10:33).

"If we disown Him, He will also disown (disinherit) us," = If we believers disown, i.e., disavow Christ's ownership of us by acting in thought, word and deed in disobedience and unfaithfulness, (1 Cor 6:19-20), then Christ will disown our ownership, i.e., our inheritance of eternal rewards and co-rulership with Him, (Col 1:10-12; 3:23-24; Eph 5:5; Gal 5:21).

[2 Tim 2:11-13 cont.]:

(2 Tim 2:12 cont.) "if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown [disinherit] us

(2 Tim 2:13) "If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself."

"if we [believers] are faithless, He [Jesus Christ] will remain faithful [to His promise that] "if we died with Him, we will also live with Him," (v. 11).

If we believers are faithless toward our Lord, He will nevertheless remain faithful to His promise of eternal life to all who have trusted in Him no matter what, (Jn 3:16: Eph 1:14), because He cannot disown, i.e., disinherit Himself - His Body - the Body of believers to whom He promised eternal life, (Col 1:24). Our Lord cannot deny eternal life to those who have become part of His body forever - the body of Christ - the body of believers whom He indwells forever, the church. The believer's unfaithfulness cannot cause God to deny His own work of salvation.

IX) WHERE THERE WILL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH, cont.

[Mt 22:13 cont]:

(Mt 22:13) "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...' "

C) SUMMARY STATEMENT OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF AN UNFAITHFUL LIFE FOR THE BELIEVER

Charles C. Bing states, ("The Cost of Discipleship" from the Grace Evangelical Society Journal, vol 6, Spring '93, p. 43:

"The idea of being ashamed of Christ or denying Christ is clarified in some contexts more than in others....Perhaps the greatest clarification comes from...

[Mt 10:32-33]...There Jesus is giving instructions to the Twelve before sending them out to preach the Gospel (Matt 10:5ff). He warns of rejection and persecution (vv 16-25) and encourages them not to fear (vv 26-31). Verses 32-33 are also followed by similar warnings about rejection (vv 34-36). In vv 32-33 Jesus is both encouraging and warning in the face of the fear off persecution. He wants the disciples to know that anyone who identifies with Him will be rewarded, while anyone who shrinks from this will be denied by Christ before the Father (explained below).

[Mk 8:38]:

Matthew's context seems a close parallel to that which is signified by Mark's phrase 'in this adulterous and sinful generation' (Mark 8:38).

[Mt 16:27]:

The consequence of facing someone who is ashamed of or denies Christ is more enigmatic. Does Christ's reciprocal shame and denial of that person at His coming denote a denial of salvation? In correlating Matt 10:32-33 with 16:27, it is clear that the issue is some kind of recompense for one's works...

(Mk 16:27) "For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done."

...Matthew takes care to state that at His coming, Christ 'will reward (apoodosei) each according to his works" (16:27).

[Eph 2:8-9]:

That Jesus makes works the basis of the recompense demands that salvation not be the issue

(Eph 2:8-9)...

(Eph 2:8) "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it it the gift of God -

(Eph 2:9) not by works, so that no one can boast."]

Charles C. Bing, (cont. op cit, p. 43):

...Also, the verb 'apoodosei' carries the idea of 'recompense' with no inherent sense of whether it is good or bad, so it could speak of positive reward or negative judgment. In Mark and Luke a negative recompense is suggested...

[Mk 8:38]:

"If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father's glory with the holy angels." (cp Lk 9:26)

...Those who were too ashamed to identify with Christ will experience Christ's shame. The effect of Christ's shame is not specified, but one could surmise that for a redeemed and now fully-enlightened believer, this would at least produce agonizing regret...[cp Mt 22:1-14; 25:14-30]...In Mt 10:32-33, the idea of recompense is good (v. 32) or bad (v. 33) accordingly. Christ's confession (or lack of it) in heaven would not relate to the judgment of our salvation, but to an acknowledgment (or lack of it) before the Father of the disciples' unity or fellowship with Christ which is recompensed in an unspecified but appropriate way. (However, one might compare 2 Tim 2:12, where reigning with Christ is the specific reward.)

[Mt 10:32-33, 37-39 cont]:

(Mt 10:37) "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (v. 38) And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

["take up his cross and follow Me" = Charles C. Bing states, (op. cit., p.41):

"...Because following another person is a process, a progression, and requires time, this condition cannot speak of entrance into salvation. This would promote salvation by the imitation of Christ or by adherence to His example which would be a salvation of works. It is best taken as a term that describes a continuously committed lifestyle."

"is not worthy of Me" = Not being worthy in this passage does not constitute a condition of being unsaved. The context of this passage speaks of eternally secure believers, (Mt 10:1-5). Only believers can take up their cross in the first place. Unbelievers cannot please God by taking up any cross, (Ro 8:8). First they must be saved before they they do anything! So being unworthy of Christ in this context speaks of a believer who chooses not to follow Jesus as one of His disciples - choosing not to make the necessary sacrifices and not enduring the God ordained hardships, i.e., not taking up his cross].

(Mt 10:39) He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.

[Losing one's life = turning the control of one's life over to the sovereign will of God. By living according to the will of God, (which is contained in His Word), one is rewarded on earth with an inner happiness and confidence that God will carry them every step of the way through life, into heaven and on into eternity, especially in light of the confidence a faithful believer has in going to heaven and receiving indescribably wonderful rewards. One who has lost his life to the sovereignty of God has found the real purpose of his life for which he was created, (Eph 2:10). This new found purpose brings love, joy and peace to a child of God's earthly life when he is aligned with the purpose of the great Almighty God of the universe Who provides that love, joy and peace. The peace and inner happiness is based on Who God is and His indescribably wonderful promises.

Charles C. Bing, (op. cit., pp. 42-43):

"...When Jesus says 'whoever loses his life for My sake,' the sense is certainly not eternal destruction, for He says this one will then 'find it,' which is something good. Conversely, it fits well that what one may lose when he tries to save his life (preserve himself from the hardships of self-denial and cross-bearing) is life in the essential qualitative sense (i.e., experiencing God's life in this life, John 17:3), not the eternal soul. The paradox Jesus used has great meaning. What He appears to be saying is this: 'Whoever desires to preserve himself from the hardships of God's will of self-denial and cross-bearing will in fact forfeit the essential quality (= true spiritual value) of the present life he is trying to preserve. On the other hand, whoever forfeits himself to God's will of self-denial and hardships will discover the greater essential quality (spiritual value) of the present life he was willing to forfeit.' This interpretation would therefore not describe eternal salvation, but a higher quality of experience with God in this life, with implications for the eschatological life [future & eternal life]..."

X) MANY ARE INVITED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN

MANY = ALL MEN

[Mt 22:13-14]:

(Mt 22:13) "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,'

(Mt 22:14) For many are invited but few are chosen.' "

"For many are invited, but few are chosen." =

In other passages it is made clear that all men are called by God - which can be characterized as "many" - to trust in His Son as Savior and walk a faithful walk with the Lord during their earthly lifetime:

[2 Pet 3:9]:

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."

And in other passages it is stipulated that God is not willing that any should perish in the sense of living out the full appointed length and value of their lives, i.e., saving their souls - that men will not perish in the sense of an early physical death due to an unfaithful lifestyle while they lived out their mortal lives on the earth:

[Compare Jas 1:18-21]:

(Jas 1:18) "In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.

[This passage has in view those who are brought forth in the sense of being birthed by the word of truth unto eternal life, i.e., born again believers to be the first fruits among His creatures - a guarantee of their eternal destiny in heaven, cf. "brethren" in verse 19]

(Jas 1:19) This you know, my beloved brethren [i.e., believers]. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;

(Jas 1:20) for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

[So believers who are secure in their eternal destiny as the firstfruits of eternal life are exhorted to lead righteous and faithful lives]:

(Jas 1:21) Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls."

[The salvation of ones soul is therefore a preservation of the length and value of ones mortal life if one heeds the Word of God which is implanted in one]

[Compare Mk 8:34-38]:

(Mk 8:34) "And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

[Note that the subject here is discipleship not salvation, for it requires faithful works of the disciples, i.e., believers, (Ref. Eph 2:8-9)]

(Mk 8:35) For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it;

[i.e., whoever holds on to self centered interests as their life's goals instead of giving their life in service to God will waste the value of that life and thereby lose it, perhaps to die an early death]

but whoever loses his life for My sake = [i.e., whoever gives his life in service to the Lord] and the gospel's shall save it.

(Mk 8:36) For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?"

Although these are believers whose souls will go to heaven they still must lead faithful lives so that they will not lose their souls in another sense: loss relative to the appointed number of years they are given to live, (Ref. Pr 3:1-2), and to the value of their lives when they do get to heaven.

If they do not heed such exhortation their lives will be cut short and/or they will suffer loss of rewards in heaven including being excluded from their own wedding banquet.

We have one category of mankind which numbers in the majority. These individuals will not trust alone in Christ alone as Savior so they will not get to heaven's shores at all much less attend the wedding banquet.

And there will be others, the majority of Christians, who will trust alone in Christ alone as Savior but will not be faithful. The value of their earthly lives will perish and they will have excluded themselvcs from the banquet and innumerable other rewards in heaven. But they will not be excluded from heaven.

X) MANY ARE INVITED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN cont.

B) INVITED = CALLED, CHOSEN = CALLED OUT

[Mt 22:13-14 cont.]:

(Mt 22:13) "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,'

(Mt 22:14) For many are invited but few are chosen.' "

"invited" = "kletoi" = called

"chosen" = "ekletoi" = called out. Notice the prefix ek = out, signifying something more than "kletoi" or "called." This is especially emphasized by the contrast between the words "many" and "few" and the conclusion of the parable in which one of the many who were called was cast out of the banquet, which is attended by the relatively few who were chosen or called out.

So all men of all ages are called i.e., invited to attend the Lord's wedding banquet; but God's sovereign calling out of those who will remain encompasses only a few.

Without God's election unto eternal life, (ref. Ro 8:30), man will inevitably choose to reject Christ as Savior of his own finite free will. Thus he will opt out of the kingdom of heaven entirely as well as the wedding banquet, destiny to be the Lake of Fire.

And in accordance with the individual content of God's election of each individual believer unto faithful service, the believer may serve the Lord of their own volition, some will qualify to remain in the banquet and receive various rewards in heaven but many will not.

[Compare Acts 9:15-16]:

(Acts 9:15) "But the Lord said to him [Ananias, (v. 13)] 'Go, for he [Paul] is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;

(Acts 9:16) for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."

[Compare Jn 15:16]:

"You [the disciples] did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit..."

[Compare Eph 2:10]:

"For we [believers, (v. 8-9)] are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

And believers will inevitably choose of their own finite, free will to be faithful in accordance with the measure of faith that God has provided for them:

[Compare Ro 12:3]:

"For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith."

And there will be those believers who will choose not to be faithful at all:

[Compare 1 Cor 3:12-15]:

(1 Cor 3:12) "Now if any man [i.e., any believer, (v. 11)] builds [i.e., does some kind of work, (vv. 2:10, 3:9-10)] upon the foundation [of salvation, v. 11)] with gold, silver, precious stones [or] wood, hay, straw,

(1 Cor 3:13) each man's work will become evident [whether it is faithful or not] for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.

(1 Cor 3:14) If any man's work which he has built upon it remains he shall receive a reward.

[And now comes the other possiblity: loss of rewards due to an unfaithful lifestyle. The believer will actually suffer loss, barely making it to heaven's shores as if he were escaping through the flames of a burning building, left with nothing but himself]:

(1 Cor 3:15) If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

C) ELECTION AS IT RELATES TO MATTHEW CHAPTER 22

****** EXCERPT FROM STUDY ON ELECTION ******

OR SKIP TO NEXT SECTION: ALL TEARS WILL BE WIPED AWAY

FOREORDINATION= THE OVERALL PLAN FOR THE UNIVERSE WHICH IS DETERMINED BEFOREHAND BY GOD

God foreordained, i.e., determined His plan for the universe in every minute detail beforehand - not as an ongoing, evolving, reactionary plan, to be adjusted one way or another depending upon circumstances and man's volition. Indeed, all circumstances in every minute detail including the free will choices of every man have occurred as part of God's foreordained plan for the universe.

[J. Dwight Pentecost in his book, "Things Which Become Sound Doctrine", Revell Publishing, Westwood, N.J., 1965, pp. 135-6]:

Foreordination = "To determine, to fix beforehand...

...Within this word is the thought that God possesses the ability to provide, with infinite precision, the things necessary for the ongoing of this universe which He has created. God planned all the details before the work of creation. God did not create and then sit down to decide what He would do with what had been created. As a careful Architect, God planned the use to which each part of creation would be put, the use to which each member within creation would be put."

[Compare Eph 1:4-5, 11]:

(Eph 1:4) "For He [God the Father, (v. 3a)] chose us [believers, (v. 1)] in Him [i.e., to be in Christ - to be saved, (v. 3b)] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight."

[Pentecost, cont.]:

["This truth is presented to us in Ephesians 1:4 where the Apostle reminds us that God has chosen us in Him (that is, in Christ) before the foundation of the world...

God's purpose was determined previous to the actual act of creation....

God, as an Omniscient God... was the Architect of a plan which included evil within it."]

(Eph 1:5) [In love, (v. 4c)] He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.

(Eph 1:11) In Him we were also chosen having been predestinated according to the plan of Him Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will"

[Pentecost, cont.]:

"In Ephesians 1:5, Paul tells us that God has worked all things 'according to the good pleasure of his will. Then, in verse 11... God's purpose was to glorify Himself... God... predetermines His purpose, His goal, His aim, and His end in creation, and then God brings into existence that program which will fulfill His purpose and aim. Paul makes this very clear in 1 Corinthians 2:7."

[Compare 1 Cor 2:7]:

"No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began."

[Pentecost, cont.]:

"From that verse we discover that foreordination has to do with the determining of a plan before the plan is put into operation."

DECREE = THE ACT BY WHICH GOD ESTABLISHED THE CERTAINTY OF WHAT HE FOREORDAINED

[Pentecost, op. cit., pp. 137-8]:

"[Decree is defined as] The act by which God established the certainty of what He has planned, or predetermined. By foreordination God determines what the program will be. By God's decree God establishes the certainty of that which He has foreordained....

[Compare Dan 11:36]:

"The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined [by God] must take place."

Daniel is recording the fact that God has issued a decree as to what His plan is and despite the king's will God's decree will certainly come to fulfillment, for Daniel says, '...that which is determined shall be done.'

[Compare Lk 22:22]:

"[Jesus said] 'The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays Him.'

The word 'decreed' in that passage refers to God's decree by which God established what Jesus Christ would do during His earthly ministry in every detail - even with respect to men's free will choices in those ancient times which determined our Lord's trials, crucifixion and where he was buried.

[Compare Acts 2:23]:

"This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death."

Notice that God predetermines and as a result foreknows rather than foreknows then predetermines. And it was by God's "predetermined plan", i.e., His decree that godless men would choose of their own volition to put Him to death by nailing Him to a cross.

[Compare Acts 4:27-28]:

(Acts 4:27) "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy Servant Jesus, Whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel.

(Acts 4:28) to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur."

[Pentecost, cont.]:

"God had foreordained a certain program, and then God had established the certainty and irreversibility of that program by issuing a decree as to what would take place in detail. The Apostle, proclaiming the facts concerning the death of Christ, points out that Christ's death was no accident, that Christ was not subjected, primarily, to the will of the Jews nor the will of the Gentiles, but that the Jew and the Gentiles were doing that which God - Who had foreordained the course of events - had settled and established by His decree would certainly come to pass. God in foreordination lays the plan and program; God, by His decree and His determinative counsel, establishes the certainty of that program."

[Compare Lam 3:37-38]:

(Lam 3:37) "Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?

(Lam 3:38) Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?"

God is sovereign in all that occurs - the good and the bad. For example, those who of their own volition believe in Christ as Savior were decreed to believe of their own volition and those who reject Christ as Savior of their own volition were decreed to do just that of their own volition.

FOREKNOWLEDGE = WHAT GOD KNOWS WITH CERTAINTY WILL COME TO PASS BECAUSE HE HAS DECREED IT

[Pentecost, op. cit., pp. 138-9]

"...Foreknowledge, as used in Scripture, refers to what God knows with certainty will come to pass because He has decreed that event. God knows all things, not only because He is an omniscient God, but because God by His decree has settled and established what will come to pass in fulfillment of His predetermined program. Foreknowledge, then, is the result of God's foreordination, or God's decree, of what would take place. God foreknows, not only what will take place, but the people who will be instruments in the fulfillment of His plan and His program. Foreknowledge has to do not only with what will take place but who will be included within the scope of God's program.

It is that thought that is in mind when the Apostle writes to the Romans and says:

[Ro 8:29]:

"For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers."

GOD DID NOT ELECT CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS ON ACCOUNT OF FOREKNOWING THAT THEY WOULD ACCEPT CHRIST AS SAVIOR BUT ON ACCOUNT OF HIS DECREE THAT THEY WOULD ACCEPT CHRIST AS SAVIOR

[Pentecost, cont.]

"A widely-held interpretation is that God has elected those Who He knows will accept Christ as Personal Savior. This is an erroneous interpretation, for if God elected those who He knew beforehand would accept Him as Savior then God has not foreordained, God has not decreed, God has not foreknown; but rather, God has exercised His omniscience, and has limited Himself by the will of man. God is no longer a sovereign God if He elects those who He knew would accept Him as a Savior, those who would put faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God is then subject to the whims of the human will, and God cannot act upon, nor go beyond, the limits of the human will. Rather, what the Apostle writes in Romans 8:29 is the fact that God knew who would be included in His plan because He has foreordained and decreed that they would be included.

We find the same truth is presented in 1 Peter 1:2 where Peter says that we were elect according to the foreknowledge of God...

[1 Pet 1:2]:

"[God's elect, (v. 1)] who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood...."

Peter teaches that we were 'elect according to the foreknowledge of God...' The election is in keeping with the foreknowledge, not because of the foreknowledge, or based upon the foreknowledge. Foreknowledge says nothing of what God knew the individual would do but foreknowledge has to do with what God knew He would do with men. God foreordained; that is, He drew the plan. God, by His decree or by His determination, settled, solidified, and finalized the plan. Consequently, God in foreknowledge knows what He will do because of His foreordination and His decree."

ELECTION:

ELECT AND ELECTION DEFINED

The elect = the chosen = the selected out ones = those who are appointed by God for a certain object or goal.

Election = the process of selecting out, choosing, appointing for a certain object or goal.

It is indeed true that God calls out some for the purpose of salvation and others He does not.

[Compare Ro 11:5-8]:

(Ro 11:5) "So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.

(Ro 11:6) And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

(Ro 11:7) What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others [the non-elect] were hardened,

[Notice that God hardened the hearts of the non-elect]

(Ro 11:8) as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day."

[Kenneth S. Wuest states relative to the term elect in 'Ephesians and Colossians in the Greek New Testament', Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Mich, 1963, p. 29-30]:

"Elect = pick out, choose...[eklego]...

First, the word is used of God choosing out Israel from amongst all nations to be the channel through which He will bring salvation to all those in these other nations who will receive it. This choosing out of Israel from among the nations does not imply that those nations not chosen are rejected or refused salvation. Indeed, the salvation of Israel was for the purpose of making salvation possible to the other nations. The same usage applies in the case of individual sinners selected out from amongst mankind. These are selected for the purpose of being channels through which the knowledge of salvation might be brought to the rest of mankind, so that those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus as Savior might be saved. This precludes the idea that those not selected are rejected or refused salvation;

Second, the middle voice of the verb [elect] gives it the meaning of [God] taking or setting apart something for... [Himself], to see, or choose out something for [Himself]...

The main import is appointment for a certain object or goal;

Third, the word is used of the act of choosing some person or thing for a definite object or calling. The middle voice in Greek represents the subject of the verb acting in His own interest or for Himself...

[1 Thes 1:4-5]:

(1 Thes 1:4) "Knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you,

["eklogen" = calling out of, election]

(1 Thes 1:5) for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake."

[1 Pet 1:1-2]:

(1 Pet 1:1) "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

(1 Pet 1:2) who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance."

[Wuest, op. cit., pp. 30-31]:

"The word 'elect.... is the translation of the noun form of this verb eklego. Here these are said to be 'selected out ones', this selection being dominated by the foreordination of God the Father in the sphere of the setting apart work of the Spirit resulting in obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.' We have here three steps God takes in the salvation of a sinner. God the Father selects him out from among mankind. This selection is made in the sphere of the setting apart work of the Spirit, which the Holy Spirit brings that sinner to the act of faith in the Lord Jesus, which faith is answered by the act of God the Son cleansing him in His precious blood. God the Father selects, God the Spirit brings to the act of faith, and God the Son cleanses the believing sinner in His precious blood. This is the same election or selection spoken of in Ephesians....

Expositors says: 'What is meant, therefore, is that the blessing which God bestowed on these Ephesians was not a thing of time merely, but the issue of an election prior to their call or conversion, a blessing that came to them in accordance with a definite choice of them out of a mass of others by God for Himself.'...

...The grammatical classification is locative of sphere, the translation, chosen out 'in the sphere of Christ.' That is, those chosen out were chosen with the provision and limitation that this choice would be followed by the inclusion of the person thus chosen, within the sphere of the saving work of the Lord Jesus, which in turn would result in their position in Him as the Last Adam who would confer upon them righteousness and life as the first Adam by his fall brought sin and death upon the entire human race...

The idea of the Divine election in the N.T. is not a philosophical idea expressing the ultimate explanation of the system of things or giving the rationale of the story of the human race as such, but a religious idea, a note of grace, expressing the fact that salvation is originally and wholly of God...

It is, as is here clearly intimated, an eternal determination of the Divine Will, and it has its ground in the freedom of God, not in anything foreseen in its subjects. Of a prevision of faith as the basis or motive of the election, there is no indication here....

That choice is as eternal as God is...

What a salvation, based upon an eternal choice, which extends through time, into, and throughout the eternity after time ceases. And then some dear children of God are afraid that after God has saved them, they can be lost."

ONLY THOSE WHO ARE GIVEN BY THE FATHER TO THE SON WILL COME TO THE SON AND NO ONE CAN COME TO THE SON UNLESS THE FATHER DRAWS AND ENABLES HIM

[Compare Jn 6:37, 44, 65]:

(Jn 6:37) "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away.

[Note that the Father is sovereign in His choice of whom to give to the Son - not depending upon the will of man.

Since not all men will be saved,

then only some will be chosen to be given by the Father to the Son, i.e., only some are elect and will be saved.

The concept of the Father giving individuals to the Son does not infer that the Father is dependent upon knowing that those individuals will believe in Christ as Savior first because the order of events and sovereign priority is that those who are given by the Father to the Son will then come to the Son, i.e., believe in Him and be saved. God cannot be dependent upon the will of man, otherwise His sovereignty is not absolute. Furthermore, we have to consider the Father's drawing and enabling of an individual to come to the Son]:

(Jn 6:44) No one can come to Me, unless the Father Who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

(Jn 6:65) He [Jesus] went on to say, 'This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has enabled him.' "

[If all individuals, elect and non-elect are drawn/enabled by the Father to the Son to be saved, then our Lord's statement in verse 44, 'No one can come to Me, unless the Father Who sent me draws him,' of verse 65: "...enabled" would be redundant. But this is not the case, one must draw the conclusion here that only those who are to be 'raised... up on the last day' are drawn/enabled by the Father, i.e., only those who are elect are drawn & enabled.

So, since not all men will be saved,

and since only all of those who are drawn and enabled by the Father to come to Christ will come to Christ,

then not all men will be drawn and enabled by the Father to be saved]

[Compare Jn 12:32]:

"But I [Jesus Christ, (v. 30)], when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."

[BKC, NT, p. 318]:

"Jesus said that at the cross He would draw all men to Himself. He did not mean everybody will be saved [or drawn by the Father to the Son] for He made it clear that some will be lost (John 5:28-29). If the drawing by the Son is the same as that of the Father (6:44), it means He will draw indiscriminately [i.e., not just one kind of men, but draw from the entire population of men]. Those saved will include not only Jews, but also those from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Rev 5:9; cf. John 10:16; 11:52).

[Jn 10:16]:

"I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."

[Leon Morris states, (THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN,' Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1989, p. 372]:

"Men like to feel independent. They think that they come or that they can come to Jesus entirely of their own volition. Jesus assures us that this is an utter impossibility. No man, no man at all can come unless the Father [give him to the Son and] draw him. The impossibility was implied in the former statement, [v. 37] but it is explicit here."

The following passage indicates that there are those who will go to destruction, denying the Lord Who bought them out of that destruction - thus indicating that the Father must indeed draw men unto Himself in order for them to be saved:

[2 Pet 2:1]:

(2 Pet 2:1) "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord Who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves."

This verse says that "the sovereign Lord...bought them", i.e., redeemed them by what he did on the cross, (cp. Gal 3:13-14). It is saying that the great redeeming work of Christ extends to false prophets and teachers and all men who deny the "Lord Who bought them" [i.e., men who never trusted in Him for salvation], meaning that He made provision for their salvation. But those false teachers are never saved because they never chose to believe in Christ as Savior, they instead "bring swift destruction on themselves" by denying Christ.

[So those who have brought 'swift destruction on themselves' were not given by the Father to the Son, nor drawn by the Father to the Son]

Since every man has already been purchased out of the condition of condemnation, and the only thing remaining for them to do is to accept salvation by faith alone in Christ alone,

and since no man of his own accord can accept the sole condition of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, (Ro 8:7-8), then it surely must take God Himself to bring an individual to Himself unto eternal life through His sovereign electing process.

[Compare Ro 8:7-8]:

(Ro 8:7) "The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

(Ro 8:8) Those controlled by the sinful nature [=unbelievers, (v. 9)] cannot please God [i.e., cannot exercise faith in Christ unto salvation or anything else].

(Ro 8:9) You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."

[Compare 2 Cor 4:3-4]:

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God."

Notice that while one is an unbeliever one is blinded to the gospel - helpless and hopeless - unable to please God through faith in His Son.

Since all men before they become believers have sinful minds, are controlled by the sinful nature all of the time and are blinded to the gospel, they therefore cannot please God with faith in His Son unto salvation,

then no one solely of his own accord can be saved.

ELECTION IS THE WORK OF GOD. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF THE INDIVIDUAL ELECTING GOD AND THEN GOD ELECTING HIM IN RESPONSE - AND GOD'S JUSTICE IS NEVER IMPUGNED AS A RESULT

[Pentecost, op. cit., pp. 139-141]

[Election]"...means 'to call out.' It has to do with selection... Election is the sovereign work of God, according to His own purpose and will, predetermined by His foreordination, in which He selects those through whom the divine purpose will be fulfilled. We refer you again to Ephesians 1:4: We were chosen, in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him.

Election is the work of God. It is not a matter of the individual electing God, and then God electing him in response. We find this same truth presented in Romans where, concerning the national election of Israel, the divine principle in election was made very clear. The Apostle [Paul] says...

[Ro 9:10-23]:

(Ro 9:10) "And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;

(Ro 9:11) For though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His election [="Eklogen"] might stand, not because of works, but because of Him Who calls [="kalountos"],

[Notice that there was no merit or future actions foreseen or implicated in any way in either Jacob or Esau. God's choice was unaffected by the character or future action of either twin]

(Ro 9:12) it was said to her, 'The older will serve the younger.'

(Ro 9:13) Just as it is written, 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.'

(Ro 9:14) What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!

(Ro 9:15) For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.'

(Ro 9:16) So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God Who has mercy.

[Notice that God chooses one over another without impugning His justice, (v. 14).

Furthermore, that choice is solely in accordance with His will, (v. 15).

Finally, nothing in this operation is dependent upon the will of man, (v. 16).]

(Ro 9:17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.

(Ro 9:18) So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

(Ro 9:19) You will say to me then 'Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?'

(Ro 9:20) On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, 'Why did you make me like this, 'will it? [Isa 29:16; 45:9]

(Ro 9:21) Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump a vessel for honorable use, and another for dishonor?

["dishonor" = "atimian" = "vileness" = points to those who are destined to God's eternal wrath & condemnation.

Notice that God has "a right...to make from the same lump" of the clay of lost humanity a vessel for honorable use, the elect, and another for dishonor = eternal condemnation. And this is His right, without impugning His character, especially considering that all humanity deserves eternal condemnation]

(Ro 9:22) What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

(Ro 9:23) And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory."

[Pentecost, cont.]:

"This passage is very important to understanding of the doctrine of election. You will notice that God [alone] is the One doing the electing; further, election was based upon the sovereign will of God [and not man's]. It was not God's response to good or evil in the one elected, for this election took place while the twins [Jacob and Esau] were in the womb of their mother, before either had done good or evil as the basis for His election or rejection. Election was to fulfill the purpose to God. God's foreordained plan was the reason for God's election of Jacob. God has separated unto Himself those through whom His program would be fulfilled."

ELECTION SEPARATES FROM AMONG MEN, ALL OF WHOM ARE UNDER CONDEMNATION, SOME TO FULFILL GOD'S PURPOSE OF SALVATION BY GRACE AND SOME TO FULFILL HIS PURPOSE OF DESTRUCTION

[Ro 9:10-23]:

(Ro 9:10) "And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;

(Ro 9:11) For though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God's purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him Who calls,

(Ro 9:12) it was said to her, 'The Older will serve the younger.'

(Ro 9:13) Just as it is written, 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.'

(Ro 9:14) What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!

(Ro 9:15) For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.'

(Ro 9:16) So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God Who has mercy.

(Ro 9:17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.

(Ro 9:18) So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

(Ro 9:19) You will say to me then 'Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?'

(Ro 9:20) On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, 'Why did you make me like this, 'will it? [Isa 29:16; 45:9]

(Ro 9:21) Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump on vessel for honorable use, and another for dishonor?

["dishonor" = "atimian" = "vileness" = points to those who are destined to God's eternal wrath & condemnation]:

(Ro 9:22) What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

(Ro 9:23) And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory"

[Pentecost, op. cit., pp. 139-141]:

"Observe that when God elects, God elects out of men who were lost. Election does not separate some unto heaven and some unto hell. Election separates from among men, all of whom are under condemnation, some to fulfill God's purpose and program. Election is of grace because all men were under the curse and the wrath of God. God, to fulfill His predetermined, foreordained, decreed program, has selected those instruments He chooses to use by which that purpose and program should should come to fulfillment. That any man should have been elected by God is a manifestation of the infinite grace of an infinite God."

[For none selected is deserving anything but eternal condemnation]

THE ELECT WILL INEVITABLY TRUST IN CHRIST AS SAVIOR UNTO ETERNAL LIFE AND THE NON-ELECT WILL NOT

THE ELECT WILL INEVITABLY TRUST IN CHRIST AS SAVIOR UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

[Compare Ro 8:28-30]:

(Ro 8:28) "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.

(Ro 8:29) For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers.

(Ro 8:30) And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified."

Notice that God foreknew therefore He predestined and thus He called, i.e., "EkalEsE" = "elected", resulting in justification and glorification. Man's free will decision to believe or not believe unto eternal life is not in this equation. From man's point of view it is, (Jn 3:16; Ro 3:22-24), but not from God's point of view.

THE NON-ELECT WILL INEVITABLY NOT BELIEVE

[Compare 1 Peter 2:7-8]:

(1 Pet 2:7) "Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,'

(1 Pet 2:8) and, 'A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.' They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for."

Notice that those who disobey, i.e., refuse to believe the message of the gospel and thereby stumble were destined, i.e., decreed for this to happen by God. All individuals have this incapacity to obey the message of the Gospel, (Ro 8:7) - elect and non-elect alike and therefore all individuals stumble over the message of faith alone in Christ alone, the Stumbling Block until some, (the elect), are provided with God's election work where they are drawn to the Son by the Father, (Jn 6:44), the veil hiding an understanding of the gospel is taken away, (2 Cor 3:16; 4:3-4), and they are provided with the gift of faith, (Phil 1:29); at which time they inevitably trust alone in Christ alone of their own volition and are saved - as decreed by God from the foundation of the universe, (Ro 8:28-30).

[Compare Ro 9:19-22]:

(Ro 9:19) "One of you will say to me: 'Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?'

(Ro 9:20) But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'

(Ro 9:21) Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for dishonor"?

["dishonor" = "atimian" = "vileness" = points to those who are destined to God's eternal wrath & condemnation]:

(Ro 9:22) What if God, choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath--prepared for destruction?"

Notice that those who are destined for the Lake of Fire were made 'out of the same lump of clay' of humanity 'for dishonor', i.e., for the purpose of condemnation, (v. 21). They were 'prepared for destruction', (Ro 9:22). Although they indeed do have the opportunity to believe and be saved, (Jn 3:16), they evidently were not elect so they are on their own as to the choice to trust in Christ or not. They were thus created for 'dishonor' and 'prepared for destruction', such that they inevitably will 'disobey the message' of the gospel, i.e, choose of their own volition to never trust in Christ as Savior and suffer eternal condemnation.

PREDESTINATION = THAT END WHICH IS DETERMINED BEFOREHAND BY GOD TO WHICH THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ELECTED ARE SET APART AS PART OF GOD'S OVERALL AND FOREORDAINED PLAN

God predestined each aspect of His overall and foreordained plan for the universe to a predetermined end which includes the predestinated yet free will choices of each individual man and angel who ever lived.

[Pentecost, op. cit., pp. 141-143]

"The next word following election is 'predestination,' which means determine beforehand.' This has to do with the end to which those who have been elected are set apart. This word, when used in Scripture, is always qualified by a statement of the end or the aim in view. In Ephesians 1:4-5 we read...

[Eph 1:4-5, 11]:

(Eph 1:4) "For He [God the Father, (v. 3a)] chose us [believers, (v. 1)] in Him [i.e., to be in Christ - to be saved, (v. 3b)] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight, in love...

(Eph 4:5) [in love, (v. 4c)], having predestinated us to adoption as sons [i.e., as children] through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will."

"...He predestinated us - and what was the end, or the aim? The adoption of [us as] children. Notice it again in verse 11:

(Eph 1:11) In Him we were also chosen having been predestinated according to the plan of Him Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will"

Predestinated - for what end? To obtain an inheritance. See it in Romans 8:29:

[Ro 8:29]:

"For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers."

'For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate [and what was the end?] to be conformed to the image of His Son...'

Or we see it again in 1 Corinthians 2:7 where we were predestinated unto glory. The Apostle [Paul] says:

[1 Cor 2:7]:

"No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and which God ordained before the world unto our glory."

From these Scriptures we would emphasize again the important fact that when predestination is used in the Scriptures it determines the end, or the goal in view, for those whom God has elected unto Himself. I find no place in Scripture where it is said that we were predestinated to faith, that we were predestinated to belief, or that we were predestinated to accept Christ. No, we were predestinated for glory. We were predestinated unto sonship or inheritance."

On the other hand whomever God elects and predestinates inevitably believe of their own volition, (Jn 3:16).

CALLED = TO BE SUMMONED FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE FOREKNOWN BY GOD BECAUSE GOD PREDESTINATED THEM TO BE CALLED AS A RESULT OF HIS FOREORDAINED PURPOSE AND PROGRAM

[Pentecost, op. cit., pp. 141-143]

The word 'predestination' is logically followed by the word 'called,' which is to be understood in its normal designation in which God summons those whom He has foreknown, those whom He has elected, those whom He has predestinated, unto Himself. The call of God to the elect of God - who have been predestinated unto glory - is the consummating act of God's foreordination. God sees to it that His purpose will be accomplished. Those whom He has chosen for Himself will be brought to Himself, that His foreknown and predetermined program might be brought to consummation. The Apostle, in Romans 8:30, said...

[Ro 8:29-30]:

(Ro 8:29) "For those God foreknew He also predestinated to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers.

(Ro 8:30) And those He predestinated, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified."

The call, then, is a summons to Himself, because they have been predestined unto glory by His foreordained purpose and program, [cf. Jn 6:37, 44].

God's call is not a call to the human will, asking the human will, unaided by divine grace, to respond. God's call is also God's enablement; and God, Who issues the call, imparts the power through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to respond to that call, so that the sinner who is dead, who is without life, who us under condemnation and judgment, may hear God's call; and although he has no power in himself because he is dead, and no desire to respond because God has been put out of his life, he is enabled by the Holy Spirit to respond to the gracious invitation: 'Whosoever will may come.' Christ made it very clear that the call was part of God's purpose and program, for in John 6:44...

[Jn 6:37, 44, 65]:

(Jn 6:37) "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away."

(Jn 6:44) "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day."

(Jn 6:65) "He went on to say, 'This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.' "

And the drawing and enablement of the Father is the call of the Father to those who have been elected by God's grace, to those who have been predestinated or set apart unto glory, to those who God had foreknown would be the instruments to accomplish His foreordained purpose, which is settled and sure by the eternal and unchangeable decree of God.

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SINNER = TO BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BE SAVED, OF HIS OWN VOLITION

[Pentecost, cont.]:

"Does this mean that the sinner has no responsibility? Far from it, for Christ has died for the sins of the world. Christ has made a propitiation, or a covering over, for the sins of the world:"

[1 Jn 2:2]:

"He is the atoning sacrifice for our [believers', (v. 2:1)] sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."

Our Lord said:

[Jn 3:16]:

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life"

The 'whosoever' is unlimited. While only those whom God has called will respond to God's call, yet God's invitation is extended to all men.

If you are without Jesus Christ, there is only one thing that keeps you from Him, and that is the response of your will to the invitation which God gives when He says, 'Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'...

To me the truth we have presented is one of the most comforting of all the doctrines in the word of God. We delight to know that nothing happens by chance. We are not creatures subject to circumstances, dependent upon luck. There is no such thing as 'good luck' for the child of God. An infinite, sovereign God, has foreordained every minute detail of our lives from before the foundation of the world. God has settled His purpose and His program by His unalterable decree. God foreknows exactly what will take place each moment of each day in our lives because it had been determined according to His purpose. God has elected us, not because of what we have done, but because it suited His infinite purpose. God, Who has elected us, has set us apart by predestination to share His glory forever. God, in infinite grace, called us out of night into His love, out of death into His life, and set us apart unto Himself, not because of what we are, but because it suited God's eternal, sovereign purpose so to do. Every moment of every day we are under His care because He is working all things according to the counsel of His own will, so that we might be found unto the praise of the glory of His grace. In this confidence we rest.'

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BELIEVER: TO WALK IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SOVEREIGN WILL OF GOD

Furthermore, in accordance with Mt 22:14, all believers are called to be faithful Christians but only those whom God has chosen = lit., 'called out' will walk faithfully with the Lord:

[Mt 22:14]:

(Mt 22:14) "For many are invited but few are chosen."

"invited" = "kletoi" = called

"chosen" = "ekletoi" = called out.

Notice the prefix ek = out, signifying something more than "kletoi" or "called". This is especially emphasized by the contrast between the words "many" and "few" and the conclusion of the parable in which one of the many who were called was cast out of the banquet, (vv. 1-13), for being unfaithful, which is attended by the relatively few faithful believers who were chosen or called out. So all men of all ages are called i.e., invited to attend the Lord's wedding banquet; but God's sovereign calling out of those who will remain encompasses only a few.

Without God's election unto eternal life, (ref. Ro 8:30), man will inevitably choose to reject Christ as Savior of his own finite free will. Thus he will opt out of the kingdom of heaven entirely as well as the wedding banquet, destiny to be the Lake of Fire.

And in accordance with God's varying degrees of election and callingof believers unto faithful service, believers will serve the Lord of their own volition, some will qualify in faithfulness to be permitted to remain in the banquet and receive numerous rewards in heaven but many will not.

[Compare Acts 9:15-16]:

(Acts 9:15) "But the Lord said to him [Ananias, (v. 13)] 'Go, for he [Paul] is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;

(Acts 9:16) for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."

[Compare Jn 15:16]:

"You [the disciples] did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit..."

[Compare Eph 2:10]:

"For we [believers, (v. 8-9)] are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

And believers will inevitably choose of their own finite free will to be faithful in accordance with the measure of faith that God has provided for them:

[Compare Ro 12:3]:

"For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith."

And there will be those believers who will choose not to be faithful at all:

[Compare 1 Cor 3:12-15]:

(1 Cor 3:12) "Now if any man [i.e., any believer, (v. 11)] builds [i.e., does some kind of work, (vv. 2:10, 3:9-10)] upon the foundation [of salvation, v. 11)] with gold, silver, precious stones [or] wood, hay, straw,

(1 Cor 3:13) each man's work will become evident [whether it is faithful or not] for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.

(1 Cor 3:14) If any man's work which he has built upon it remains he shall receive a reward."

[And now comes the other possiblity: loss of rewards due to an unfaithful lifestyle. The believer will actually suffer loss, barely making it to heaven's shores as if he were escaping through the flames of a burning building, left with nothing but himself]:

(1 Cor 3:15) If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire."

****** END OF EXCERPT ON ELECTION ******

****

MATTHEW CHAPTER 22 (cont.)

[Mt 22:13-14 cont.]:

(Mt 22:13) "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,'

(Mt 22:14) For many are invited but few are chosen.' "

XI) ALL TEARS WILL BE WIPED AWAY - EVENTUALLY:

THE REGRET WILL BE FOR A SEASON

Although, there will be a season of regret and remorse and weeping and gnashing of teeth, tears will be wiped away on into eternity future:

[Rev 21:1-4a]:

(Rev 21:1) "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

[Notice that the setting of this passage is the commencement of the New Heaven and the New Earth when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven]

(Rev 21:2) And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

(Rev 21:3) And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, [And at this time every tear shall be wiped away]:

(Rev 21:4a) And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes [all saved people, (Rev 20)] "

[Compare Isa 25:8a]:

"He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces..."

A) HEAVEN PROMISES DIFFERENT LEVELS OF REWARDS AND CAPACITY OF ENJOYMENT

The millennium and eternity future will be spent by the believers in varying capacities of enjoyment.

For example, consider the difference between the capacity of a maestro musician to enjoy the wonderful music that he himself is playing to an audience as opposed to someone in his audience who is listening, but has very little musical talent and is thus enjoying what is being played at a much lower level of enjoyment.

Compare the following:

[Mt 25:20-23]:

(Mt 25:20) ''' "The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'

(Mt 25:21) His master replied, 'Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

(Mt 25:22) The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'You entrusted me with two talents; see I have gained two more.'

(Mt 25:23) His master replied, 'Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'''

[1n obedient response to the master's request for an accounting, (v. 19), the first two servants told of the results of their efforts. There is no self-pride being emphasized here - just simple obedience in giving the requested account. The master's response was a "Well done" and much more than that, for he called each one of them a "good and faithful servant." An emphasis is placed on the faithfulness of the two servants to their responsibilities and not on the gross amount of their productivity. There was absolutely no distinction made between the first servant who out produced the second by 21/2 times! The verses which commend the two servants' faithfulness are purposely identical, (cp vv. 21 & 23). God in His sovereignty has decreed different gifts, divine good production capacities and responsibilities for His kingdom to different individuals. He rewards according to the individual's faithful obedience to His assigned tasks:

[Lk 12:48b]:

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

Then the master in the parable in Mt 25 gives the faithful servants responsibility over "many things". Finally, notice that the master invites both faithful servants to "Come and share your master's happiness." The faithful servants, (faithful believers), are enjoined to share in the joy of the Lord - to celebrate and partake of God's indescribable divine happiness!!

The letter to the Colossian believers, (Col 1:2), speaks of the consequences of faithful and unfaithful Christian service:

[Col 3:23-25]:

(Col 3:23) "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men;

(Col 3:24) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ Whom you serve."

[Sad to say, this will not be so for the unfaithful believer who will be weeping and gnashing his teeth over severe disappointment at his eternal loss of rewards when he gets to heaven. This weeping and gnashing to last only for a season, then the Lord will wipe away every tear, (Isa 25:8; Rev 21:4)]:

(Col 3:25) For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality."

B) THE DIFFERENCE IN HEAVEN WILL BE IN OPPORTUNITES AND LEVELS OF SERVICE

[MacArthur states, (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, MATTHEW 24-28, Moody Press, Chicago, 1989, p.104)]:

"Of the many things heaven will be, it will not be boring. Our heavenly perfection, for example, will not be a matter simply of never making a mistake. Nor will it be always making a hole in one or a home run, as it were. Rather it will be a time of ever-expanding and increasingly joyous service, and the saints who then will serve the most and rejoice the most will be those who have served the Lord most steadfastly while on earth. Every soul in heaven will equally possess eternal life and will be equally righteous, equally Christlike, and equally glorious. Everyone will be equally perfect, because perfection has no degrees. THE DIFFERENCE WILL BE IN OPPORTUNITIES AND LEVELS OF SERVICE. [Emphasis mine] Just as the angels serve God in ranks, so will redeemed men and women, and the degree of their heavenly service will have been determined by the devotedness of their earthly service."

[MacArthur, cont.]:

"Heaven will not involve differing qualities of service, because everything heavenly is perfect. Everything done for the Lord will be perfectly right and perfectly satisfying. There will be no distinctions of superiority or inferiority, and there will be no envy, jealousy, or any other remnant of sinful human nature. Whatever one's rank or responsibility or opportunity, those will be God's perfect will for that individual and therefore will be perfectly enjoyed. In a way that is beyond our present comprehension, believers will...

[after a season of reckoning when there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth] ...believers will be both equal and unequal in the ....eternal state." [Comments in brackets mine]

The parallel parable in Luke chapter 19 provides additional support for this:

[Lk 19:12-19] & [Mt 25:24-29]:

(Lk 19:12) '''He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.

(Lk 19:13) And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business with this until I come back.'

(Lk 19:14) But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.'

(Lk 19:15) And it came about that when he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him in order that he might know what business they had done. (v. 16) And the first appeared, saying, 'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.'

(Lk 19:17) And he said to him, 'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, be in authority over ten cities.'

(Lk 19:18) And the second came, saying, 'Your mina, master, has made five minas.'

(Lk 19:19) And he said to him also, 'And you are to be over five cities. ' "

[The second servant did not receive a "well done" - his work being productive but not up to expectation as was the first servant's. Notice that the faithful servants were put in charge of 10 & 5 cities in the kingdom. There is a good possibility that faithful believers will indeed be placed in authority over towns, cities and countries. For 2 Timothy 2:12 and Rev 20:4-6 indicate that coruling with Christ is what is in store for the faithful believer.

[Mt 25:24-26]:

(Mt 25:24) "Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed."

(Mt 25:25) So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'

(Mt 25:26) His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?"

Verses 20-22 of the parallel parable in Luke chapter 19 provides additional insight into this:

[Lk 19:20-22]:

(Lk 19:20) "And another came, saying, 'Master, behold your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief;

(Lk 19:21) for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.'

(Lk 19:22) He said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow?' "

To harvest where you have not sown and gather where you have not scattered seed is not necessarily evil at all. The apostle Paul indicates that this is not only acceptable but in essence decreed by our sovereign God when one is doing the Lord's work:

[Mt 25:28-29]:

(Mt 25:28) " 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.

(Mt 25:29) For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.' ''

[Compare Lk 19:24-27]:

(Lk 19:24) "And he said to the bystanders, 'Take the mina away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.'

(Lk 19:25) And they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas already.'

(Lk 19:26) 'I tell you, that to everyone who has shall more be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.

(Lk 19:27) But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them - bring them here and kill them in front of me.' "

[Notice that even the third servant is not considered an enemy - just an unfaithful servant - a wicked servant. He is distinguished from those that were the king's enemies 'who did not want to be king over them' at all]

C) FAITHFUL BELIEVERS WILL RECEIVE MORE AND THE REVERSE IS ALSO TRUE

[Lk 16:10]:

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest will also be dishonest with much."

[Mt 25:29-30]:

(Mt 25:29) "For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

(Mt 25:30) And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "

In these particular parables the last servant is not faithful in his works and he is defined as worthless in terms of the value of his thoughts, words and deeds to the kingdom of God. The servant who wastes his opportunity with the one talent will be thrown "outside...into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Nevertheless, the last servant is a believer in both parables. For God does not give unbelievers an opportunity to serve Him for the purpose of rewards and enhancement in the kingdom of God. One cannot and will not serve God for rewards in heaven without the illumination and guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit, (i.e., until one is saved). Although God USES the lives of all men to His glory, (even the lives of the worst unbelievers serve Him inspite of what they do with their lives, (cp Ro 9:17-24), He only GIVES unbelievers an opportunity relative to the kingdom of heaven to believe in what He has testified to about His Son, (1 Jn 5:9-13). Not until they become children of God by faith alone in His Son alone, (Jn 1:12), will they then be GIVEN an opportunity to personally serve Him for enhancement in the kingdom of God. Relative to the doctrine of spiritual gifts: only believers are endowed with spiritual gifts....and this at the point of salvation, (Eph 1:3; 1 Cor 12:4-11), when God the Holy Spirit permanently indwells a believer, (Eph 1:13-14). Without any spiritual gift at all it is impossible for an unbeliever to serve God, (Ro 8:6-8). Once that unbeliever trusts alone in Christ alone as Savior, he immediately receives his spiritual gift(s). Now it is up to him as a newborn child of God, (Jn 1:12) - AND SOVEREIGNLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD - to diligently study and obey God's Word in order to learn about and utilize his gift(s) for eternal rewards in heaven.

MATTHEW 24 & 25 STUDY CONTINUED

THIS IS THE END OF THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITY STUDY:

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS OF CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITY STUDY

OR GO TO TOP OF THE PAGE:.....[CRL] [HOME]