Sermon audio

Sermon Info:

Responsive Reading: Matthew 22:1-14
Key Verse: Matthew 22:12-13
Background Scripture: Matthew 24:36-44


My dad used to sing “It’s a Dressing Up Room, Down Here” more than anybody I ever knew.  You got to go to heaven from down here!” is the main gist of the song that focuses on this field – the world – being a place of preparation for those that desire to go to heaven.  If you desire to go to heaven, you want to make you look right in your soul to go there, but sadly, this is a thought that is being lost more and more in our world today.

Place of Preparation

As we have seen these last two months, the kingdom of heaven condition of our world is very poor.  As we see in the responsive reading for today, “many are called, but few are chosen (Matt. 22:14).”  The Lord has called out to the world repeatedly but only a few listened to and received His call, others swiped to ignore and reject God’s call.  

As we have seen Jesus say in recent weeks, the kingdom of heaven is like a man that sowed seed in his field, but his seed was only able to take root in less than a fourth of the field.  Satan has sown his seed all over the place and it has taken root everywhere with many people living by its doctrine.  Those that choose to live by the doctrine of Satan are choosing to live an incredibly dangerous life, spiritually, with a harsh end result.

Throughout scripture, we are repeatedly warned that the kingdom of God is at hand — God is drawing closer as He is coming to judge the harvest.  When speaking of His own coming, Jesus likened it to being like a thief that would show up unannounced.  He said, “if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect (Matt. 24:43-44).”

Jesus shared this message to let us know that now is not the time to be spiritually complacent, now is the time to get ready!  We must be fruitful, and at the same time, this world is a dressing up room – a place of preparation; we must make sure we are dressing ourselves appropriately for the kingdom of God.  Are you getting yourself dressed and ready for the kingdom of God?

Ignoring God’s Invitation

Sadly, as we have seen in recent weeks, many of us are doing anything but getting ourselves ready for the kingdom of God.  In our scripture for today’s message, we see where Jesus speaks about how God has sent out an invitation, but few of us are taking His invite seriously.

In our scripture for today, Jesus, again, speaks about the kingdom of heaven in a manner that questions whether or not our souls are ready for the Lord.  Jesus stated that the kingdom of heaven is like a “certain king” that arranged a marriage for his son (Matt. 22:1-2).  The certain king is, of course, representative of the God the Father, and the son in this parable represents the only begotten Son of the Father, Jesus Christ.

Now, what about this marriage that the Father has arranged for the Son – who is the Son set to be married to?  Marriage, we should certainly understand, is a union where two join together to become one.  Marriage should be full of devotion, commitment, and trust.  The two should live in total submission to each other in complete faith.  With that in mind, we should understand that the Father is not going to allow His only begotten Son to marry anyone that does not meet those standards.

The invite to the children of Israel

So, in our scripture today, we see where Jesus tells us that the Father sought to find a bride for His Son.  How did the Father go about doing this?  In the parable, Jesus explains that the king had sent out invitations, and afterwards, he sent out his servants to call for those that were invited (Matt. 22:3).  This speaks to God making a covenant with the children of Israel and then giving them the law through Moses.

How did the people respond to the invitation?  Jesus tells us in that same verse that the people were not willing to come to the wedding.  The children of Israel promised to keep God’s covenant, but they broke the covenant by immediately disobeying Him and worshiping the calf of gold before Mount Sinai; they were not ready to be married.

With them not being willing, Jesus tells us that the king, again, sent out his servants to call for the same people to come to the wedding.  Yet, Jesus tells us that the people made light of the invite and went their way (Matt. 22:4-5).  Some, Jesus explained, even seized the king’s servants and killed them (Matt. 22:6).  

This, we should understand, speaks to the wickedness of Israel as they rejected the Lord; they rejected prophets like Isaiah and Elijah while other prophets were killed.  Fast forward to the day of Jesus, and we have to remember that the people eventually killed John the Baptist and Jesus as well.  The Father was trying to find a bride for His Son, but the bride He desired to marry His Son desired to be nothing but wicked.

So, I feel we are left with asking the question, why?  Why did the people refuse the Father’s invite?  Jesus gives us an answer as He tells us that other pressing matters took priority in their life; one went to his field and the other had business to tend to (Matt. 22:5).  God’s invite was ignored because it – He – did not come first in their life; they were choosing to live in submission to the world rather than to the Lord!

The invite to the world

In the parable, Jesus tells us that the king was furious when he had heard what the people had done to his servants (Matt. 22:6).  The king, Jesus tells us, sent his armies and destroyed the wicked and burned down their city (Matt. 22:7).  This, we should easily recognize, speaks of the conquering of the northern kingdom (Israel) and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.  The Lord was not pleased with the chosen bride’s choice of living wickedly and moved against her.

Could you imagine turning down an invite to being married to the Lord?  Well, many people do it today, don’t they?  Jesus actually speaks of today’s world in this parable.

After the first chosen bride rejected the wedding invite, the king said to his servants, the wedding is ready, and he sent them out into the highways rather than to the same people that made light of the invitation (Matt. 22:8-9).  This, we should understand, is a time shift to the age of the church – our present age; it began after the resurrection of Christ when the apostles went out into the highways with the good news of salvation.

As we have seen in recent weeks, the Word of God has been sown throughout the world.  The reason for the sowing of the Word is so that mankind will repent, become holy and righteous, and bear good fruit.  Yet, at the same time, the invite – the Word of God – is filled with instructions to prepare a holy and righteous bride for Christ.  The Church is set to be the bride of Christ!

The Father has sent his servants into the highway to share the good news of the wedding to His Son so that we, all people, can get ourselves ready to be married to Him!  The world is a dressing up room for us to get ready to be married to Christ!  Are you getting yourselves dressed appropriately for Christ?  Are you ready for the Lord?

God, I want you to understand, greatly desires for His only begotten Son to be married!  We know this because after the sins of Israel and Judah, the Lord did not give up on the dream of His Son being married.  God, as we know, still loves the world and sent out this great invitation, first through Christ, then through His apostles, and now through us that minister the Word today.

The question now is this:  how has God’s invitation been received by the world today in comparison to those of the Old Testament times?  Is it being taken lightly or well received?

Jesus tells us in the parable that the day of the wedding came and there were many, both good and bad, at the wedding (Matt. 22:10).  The king, after sending out so many invites, went out and saw the crowd and while he was happy, there was one particular man that caught his eye.  Now, notice why the man caught the king’s eye.

12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 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.’


In my key verse, Jesus tells us that the king spoke to the man and asked him a question about his wedding attire – his attire caught the king’s eye.  The king asked, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?”  You see, the invitation to the wedding included the appropriate attire for the wedding.  What we can conclude is that the man did fully go over the invitation — oops!  Are you thoroughly going over God’s invitation to the wedding or making light of it?

Let’s be very clear that the future day of the Lord is being spoken of here.  There is going to be a day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess; everyone will be judged by God.  If you’re not dressed appropriately, God is going to ask why you aren’t dressed appropriately before Him.  It’s not a good sign to go before the Lord and not be dressed in the appropriate attire!  

Appropriate dress for the wedding

Now, I want you to notice that the man was left speechless – he had no words – after the king’s question.  Because the man was not dressed appropriately for the wedding, we are told that the king had the man removed from the wedding and cast out.  If you’re not clothed in the appropriate attire, you will not be married to Christ!  Jesus stated that the man was cast out into “outer darkness”.  To be cast out into outer darkness is to be eternally cast away from the Lord.

Clothed in righteousness

So, you may now be wondering to yourself, what is the appropriate attire? Before I answer the question, I would ask, did you not read your wedding invite from the Lord?

Now, some of us may wonder, when did God invite me to a wedding?  He invited you through His only begotten Son who said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28).”  The Lord invited you when Jesus said, “if anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink (John 7:37).”  God invited you when Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you … If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you (John 15:4,7).”

In the invitation, the Lord calls for one to turn away from sin – to repent – and turn to Him.  When we turn away from sin and to the Lord, we will be washed clean of our sins and will become holy and righteous.  In Isaiah 61:10, we are told that those who turn to the Lord in total submission, will put on the garments of salvation; we will be covered with a robe of righteousness!  

The garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness is the attire that Father calls for us to put on in order to marry His Son!  The Father wants the same as any parent would want for their child; He wants His Son to be  married to a good one.  The Father is not going to present His only begotten Son a bride that is not holy and righteous as He is; He’s not going to let His Son marry just anybody!

As Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians, the Son will one day present a glorious church that will be without spot or wrinkle; she will be holy and without blemish (Eph. 5:27).  If you desire to be clothed in righteousness, then as we have seen recently, you should happily receive the word of God.

It’s a Dressing Up Room Down Here 

It’s a dressing up room down here!  Are you getting dressed and ready for the Lord?  Now is the time for you to change your clothes and put on the appropriate attire; the Word of God tells us when our clothes don’t fit or don’t look right!  In this dressing up room, the word of God is a seamstress and will have us looking sharp and fine for the Lord.

Get ready today

Are you getting your soul ready for the Lord in this dressing up room?  Sadly, we live in a world where many of us frown at the clothing that the Lord has picked out for His bride; we have our own taste for fashion and rather go with that instead.  Sadly, just like in the Old Testament days, many have turned down the proposal of being married to Christ.  Like Israel and Judah, many desire to tend to their own business rather than accept God’s invitation to marriage.  

When Jesus spoke to the religious leaders about the great supper in heaven, He said some will miss it because they wanted to tend to some land they had just purchased (Luke 14:18).  Others will miss the great supper because they’ll want to tend to the cattle they had just bought.  More will mise the great supper in heaven because they married another and are loyal to them (Luke 14:19).

Again, many live in submission to the world today.  The wicked are in love with the world and they can’t let it go; it has won their heart (soul).  The world is the dressing up room, but many don’t look at it that way.  In fact, many would tell you that there’s nothing wrong with them; there’s nothing wrong with what they are wearing.  The whole time they are saying this, they fail to realize that in God’s eyes, they are actually a filthy rag; they are like a shriveled up leaf that is swept away by the wind (Is. 64:6).

If you desire to go to heaven, your soul must be right with the Lord in order to enter and you must also be willing to marry His only begotten Son.  You cannot enter into the kingdom of God while being clothed in wickedness nor can you marry His Son while you’re clothed in sin.  

There are many that believe that the Lord will let them enter into His kingdom while wearing whatever they want to wear; they better think again!  Some, I tell you, live in the world today ignoring God’s servants with the belief that they will plead their case before the Lord and still enter heaven.  However, they will all end up like the man that was not wearing the proper wedding attire; they will stand speechless before the Lord when He asks why they have come before Him clothed in sin.

It’s a dressing up room down here!  Put on the appropriate clothes today because if you wait to stand before the Lord, you will have waited until it was too late!  Jesus has shared invitation after invitation through the sowing of His seed in our.  The onus is not on the Lord for us to be clothed in righteousness, but on all of us to get ourselves ready in this dressing up room.  When we are clothed in righteousness, the Lord will let us into His house, marry us off to His Son to where we will live with Him eternally while enjoying the fruits of our labor.


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