Note: Thanks to The LUMO Project, The American Bible Society and Revelation Production (www.revelationillustrated.com) for their videos which are used and water-marked as such in this posting.
In the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22), the wedding hall was filled with guests. Who are "guests?" They are friends of the groom, invited or "called" by the King (see our previous video for detail), but guests may or may not have received wedding garments by the King. What does it take to be given wedding clothes by the King? Righteous imputed by faith in Christ. This video answers the questions: 1) Is the man without wedding clothes a believer in Christ. He is thrown into the outer darkness when seen without wedding garments, but 2) "How did an unbeliever get into the wedding feast in the first place?
When Jesus tells this parable, we've seen he is in the final week of His Life. He is about to be crucified. He has already pronounced curses on the nation ("Woes" of Matthew 23).
We go to John 13, where Jesus identifies the invited "guest" at His early wedding feast (Jewish weddings of the time feasted all day, but the Bride and Groom did not come until later.) In the upper room early wedding known as Jesus' last supper, Judas is identified as the one who would betray Him, but also as an unbeliever just like in the other parables referring to most of the Chief Preists, Scribes, and Pharisees. Was it possible for an unbeliever to be at the early feast? Absolutely. Not the Bride (11 disciples), but Judas, the one who had every advantage and opportunity but rejected Christ and "had no wedding garment," so went out into darkness. Did Judas later "weep, wail, and knash his teeth?" Absolutely, then he hung himself!
We next go to Revelation Chapter 19, where the Marriage of the Lamb is envisioned by the Apostle John. John, of course, has a front-row seat into the wedding feats of The Lamb, Jesus. How motivating it is to realize the servants, "both small and great (Rev 19:5) will be there! We belivers in Jesus (His person and work on the cross) are the bride! Revelation 19:7-8 says that, "His wife [we] has made herself ready" and to us it is "granted to be arrayed in fine linen" which are our "righteous acts of the saints." How much are you adding to the bride of the Lamb? Rev 19:9 shows that "those who are called" to the marriage supper of the Lamb" are not the bride, but guests.
In summary, in Matthew's parables, Jesus is distinguishing believers verses unbelievers. This can be reviewed in the follwing videos:
Matthew 8: Story of the Centurion
Matthew 21: Parable of the Vinedressers
Matthew 22: Parable of the Wedding Feast
Matthew 24: Parable of the Wise and Evil Servants (or Talents)
Matthew 25: Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
The "Outer Darkness" in Matthew 25:30 is actually explained in Matthew 25:41 as "everlasting fire" and in Matthew 25:46 as "everlasting punishment." Verse 46 also says that we believers, with imputed righteousness from our belief in Jesus, will go "into eternal life." All believers are "righteous." This is our assurance and security "in Christ." Maranatha!
The Olivet Discourse -- Jesus' Roadmap for the future, is one of the three major discourses (sermons) of Jesus. They include:
1. The Sermon on the Mount/Galilee Discourse (Matthew 5–7)
2. The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24–25; Mark 13; Luke 21
3. The Upper Room Discourse (John 13–17)
Each of these messages is aimed at a specific period of history, which we call a dispensation. They lay out God’s dispensational plan, like a road map, from the time of the crucifixion to the end of time. The Sermon on the Mount was directed to the generation in which Jesus lived and was His platform as King—if Israel would receive Him. Obviously, they rejected Him as their King. However, this will be the basis of Jesus’ administration during the 1,000-year Kingdom Age (Millennium).
Then, the Olivet Discourse was aimed at the consequences of Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Messiah, and anticipated the destruction of the nation (70 A.D.) and the final Tribulation period. Remember that the Church Age is an intercalation—meaning an insertion, like a parenthesis, into the Age of Israel. This means that with the Rapture of the Church, the Tribulation picks up where 70 A.D. leaves off. This is why the Church Age is called a “mystery” (Rom. 11:25; 16:25; Eph. 3:1–13; Col. 1:26–27), which is a graduate course to “the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10).
Finally, the Upper Room Discourse was directed toward the Church Age, which began at Pentecost and would continue to the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13–18). The uniqueness of this Age is summarized by Paul’s phrase “in Christ,” and all of the elements involved in what we call “positional truth”—our total union with Christ and the indwelling of His Spirit in us, which occurs nowhere else in history. With the removal of the Body of Christ, the Church, Israel would again become the focus of God’s working on this Earth (Romans 9–11; Revelation 6–19).