Cast Out of the Wedding Feast
The fact that we are
believers in Christ does
not guarantee that
we will be included in
the wedding feast
“You wicked and lazy servant!”….“Cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness! There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
— Matthew 25:26,30
As I mentioned at the end of my previous Note, I expected in this Note to consider the question, “Just what is the Outer Darkness, mentioned in the verse above?” However, once again as I got into this matter I realized that there was still more to cover before doing that. But hopefully, soon….
Specifically, I was looking at the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22, which also speaks of the “Outer Darkness.” In this case, it is in relation to a guest who was at the feast, but who did not have a wedding garment:
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
— Matthew 22:11-13
So here, even one who somehow entered into the wedding feast was cast into the Outer Darkness! This parable as a whole is quite a difficult one to understand properly, but clearly, this one who entered into the feast for a time does signify a saved person.
We know this because, not only was he already in the feast, but also, his being cast out had nothing to do with sin. Rather, it was because he had no wedding garment.
The Bible tells us very specifically what that garment signifies, and it is not Christ as our objective righteousness, which is indeed something every believer already has. Rather, the wedding garment signifies the righteous deeds of the saints (Rev. 19:8), which we may or may not have as a believer in Christ.
So, this guest signifies one who was saved, but who was cast into the Outer Darkness because he failed to produce the righteous deeds that would qualify him to participate in the wedding feast. That is, he is not cast out because of his improper standing before God, which is the basis upon which the unbelievers will be judged (Rev. 20:15), but because of his improper works, which is the basis upon which the believers in Christ will be judged (2 Cor. 5:10; cf. James 2:20-26).
This becomes even more clear when we note what had already happened in this parable before he was cast out. That is, the king had already sent his troops and destroyed the murderers who had killed his servants, and he had also destroyed their city (v. 7); clearly, that refers to God’s dealing with the unbelievers. And since the unbelievers have already been dealt with in this parable, then the guest without a wedding garment must refer to a saved person.
Once again, we need to stress that the judgment of being cast into the Outer Darkness here is not final; it is only temporary, lasting at most for the 1,000 years of the millennial kingdom. After that, all the believers will enter into a state of eternal blessing with the Lord. Still, it is beyond question something quite serious. So, again, we need to see that the Lord is warning us in this parable that if we are not faithful to follow Him in this age, we may suffer a very serious, even though temporary, discipline when He returns.
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— 12 April 2023 —