The Kingdom of Heaven is Like… A King’s Invitation
(Message 4) Have you ever been invited to a celebration? Doesn’t it feel great? If you were invited by a king or president as an honored guest, it would be absurd to refuse. In today’s parable, Jesus addresses the absurdity of refusing salvation and the necessity of relying on God’s provision for a right standing with Him. Join us in our final message in this series, “The Kingdom of Heaven is Like… A King’s Invitation.” #GCKingdomIsLike
2 “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. 3 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come! 4 “So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ 5 But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them. 7 “The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. 8 And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. 9 Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’ 10 So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply. 13 Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Romans 2:11 (NLT)
11 For God does not show favoritism.
Isaiah 61:10 (NLT)
10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT)
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Matthew 21:12-14 (NLT)
12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply.13 Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
Have you ever invited someone to do something with you only to be constantly rejected? How did it make you feel?
Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
Read Matthew 22:1-10. How many of those invited to this special wedding banquet accepted the invitation and attended? How did the king respond?
Read Matthew 22:2-3. Who does the King represent? Who does the King’s son represent? Who do his servants represent? Who do those invited represent?
Read Matthew 22:11. Why was the king upset with the one man who was dressed differently? What kind of person does that represent? What’s the garment the King was looking for? How do you get that garment?
Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
Do you feel you should be allowed to come to God on your own terms? Are you wearing the garment God has prepared for you?
Many people reject Christ because of hypocritical individuals who claim to be Christians…Some are and some are not. How does this truth affect you? Does it make you angry, determined, sad, convicted? Why?
How should Christians bridge the gap between themselves and those without a relationship with Christ? When was the last time you shared your faith with someone? Are you currently cultivating relationships with others for the purpose of sharing Jesus with them?
Have you ever shared your testimony with another person? How did it go? How did you feel afterwards?
How do I know for sure that my service in the church and community are righteous and not just being done to please myself or others? How do the ‘me’ layers get chipped away to reveal the truth of who I am before God? God knows my heart, but how can I be more vulnerable with other believers from my small group?
Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
Commit this week to facing your spiritual reality so that you will be properly clothed for the wedding feast.
Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.
Jesus, thank you that You died for our sins and invited us to be in Your family. Help us to choose to follow you daily. Ignite a passion in our hearts to share our testimony with others so they can hear how awesome You are. – Amen