“And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, ‘See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.’’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. ‘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.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.’”
Let us look at today’s Scripture passage. In the Scripture passage we read today, there appears a king. In chapter 22, verse 2, it says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son.” To be invited by a king is a wonderful thing. If you received an invitation to a luncheon from a king, what and how would you prepare? If your president invited you two months in advance and said, “Let us dine together at the presidential house”, what would you do to get ready for this special occasion? First, you will probably prepare some formal attire. To attend a presidential banquet, you will probably have to buy a suit or tuxedo appropriate for the banquet, even if you put yourself in debt. You will buy a nice necktie, and shine you shoes. You would probably do all these things in advance and then wait for that day to arrive.
Today’s Scripture passage speaks precisely of that. Our God, who is the King and Master of Heaven, is preparing Heaven and is sending His servants to invite people to the Heavenly feast .The King prepares the wedding for His Son and invites people. All people have to do is come wearing a wedding garment. Nothing else. All the necessities, such as the banquet seats, banquet food, music, and so on, have all been prepared. All that the invited guests have to do is to come wearing a wedding garment. If they do this, they can enter the wedding feast.
This wedding feast isn’t something that ends in just one day. The wedding feast implies Heaven. The wedding feast the King has prepared was a wedding feast where the bride gets to live in eternal happiness with the Groom forever. All that the invited people had to do, regardless of who they were, was to come wearing a wedding garment. The wedding feast, which the King has invited us to, is different from the wedding feasts people of this world commonly have. Since the wedding feast which the King has invited us to has all been prepared, all that the guests have to do is to come wearing a wedding garment.
But, there are those who are foolish. Even though the king was sending invitations to the wedding, there were those who did not accept the invitation. Even though the king had sent out his servants to tell people to come to the wedding, people did not want to come. So, the king sent out the servants once more. This time, as the servants were inviting people, they said, “Just come to the luncheon. All things are ready. It has all been prepared with the killing of oxen and fatted cattle. Would you please attend this wedding?” God invites people to the feast in Heaven. God invites people to the Kingdom of Heaven after having prepared all things there. Because of this, the invitation is something very precious.
Even though God was invited people after preparing Heaven, there were those who did not accept the invitation. Why didn’t they accept it? If we look at the Scripture passage, we see that people did not accept the invitation by making excuses and saying, “I have to go buy an ox,” “I have to go do business,” “I have to wed my groom,” or “I have to wed my bride.”
Dear fellow believers, this invitation isn’t something you can refuse. It isn’t some invitation to a bargain sale. You would feel good just to receive an invitation to some small party, but this is an invitation from the King of Heaven, and was delivered directly to you. It isn’t asking you to visit King’s House just for a short while. It is an invitation for you to live there eternally and feast every day. This is something that should make you feel wonderful. The invitation has been to everyone living on this earth. No person left out. The invitation is open to everyone. If people accept the invitation, they receive an everlasting blessing.
Dear fellow believers, what good is it to have a luxurious villa here on earth? When you go to Heaven, you will be living in a house built of gold and jewels for all eternity. Furthermore, it is a place where you can eat all the fruits you want without having to work hard, because trees are bearing fruits all year round along the riverbank of the river of the water of life. As we think about living forever enjoying peace, it feels so good just imagining it. Just by accepting the King’s invitation, you will be living in a Kingdom shining with pure gold. A place of eternal happiness and joy, without darkness, without evil beings, and with all the animals that do not bite, and angels that have dazzling white wide feathers. God has invited you there, and all you have to do is to accept it to receive the blessings. But because people do not know that invitation is from Jesus Christ, they decline it.
When invited to a formal party, most people have to at dress in formal wear to participate. At the very least, you have to be in a suit, tie, and your hair groomed. Those are the minimum qualifications to attend the party.
We feel good just by receiving an invitation to a party, yet how good will we feel if we were to receive an invitation from God to a feast in the Kingdom of Heaven? If people had known what that invitation was, they would have been at a loss as to what to do. However, the people were very ignorant, and they refused the invitation.
Dear fellow believers, what is so important about a business? Is farming a field so important? What I mean is what was so great about earning a few more pennies and what was so great about building a good house on this earth that caused people to refuse the invitation? How about you? Do you think you would have been able to refuse? Dear fellow believers, what is so important about working in a field that you refuse the invitation of a king? If you do not weed a field, weeds will sprout. If you weren’t able to farm a field, all you have to do is buy food to eat from someone who has grain. If a farmer doesn’t farm for several days, a year’s crop could get ruined. But it is very evident that if the farmer doesn’t accept the Lord’s invitation, he or she would lose the opportunity to have everlasting life.
That invitation is no different than the ticket to Heaven. If one does not have the ticket, he or she cannot enter Heaven. However, if one does have that ticket, he or she can enter Heaven. It is tremendously precious. Yet people have refused it, going off to fields and going off to make business deals. Can you see how foolish these people are?
There are so many things that we can obtain on this earth without any effort. In the same way, we refer to a gift from God that we have received without having to pay any price as “grace.” By the grace of God, the first thing we have to receive before all else is the remission of sins. God has blotted out our sins and has given us Heaven. God guarantees our happiness. Even though God has sent us the invitation, there are those who do not accept it. Those that are truly foolish people, who show no interest in Jesus’ invitation while living on this earth, and those who do not accept the invitation even though they are holding it in their hands. Your king has sent you an invitation. How will you refuse it?
We have received an invitation to the palace where the king lives, when will we ever be able to enter the palace, other than by this invitation? Will your cleverness help you to enter the palace? Only when the king opens the door and invites you in can people say, “Yes,” and enter that place. What an honor that is. But the fact that people refused the king’s invitation is what that is sad, ignorant and wrongful.
However, disrespectful people, lied to by Satan, captured the servants of God who were giving out invitations and killed them. If they beat the servants of God, by whom will they get beaten later on? It’s enough to refuse the invitation, yet why beat the servants of God? These people will receive the wrath of God and to go to hell because their hearts are completely evil and wicked and they show hostility toward the servants of God.
Because people seemed sorry, the king invited them once more. The King had wanted to live together with his people, and not alone. The King’s wish was to bring all the people living on earth to Heaven and to live together with them. But the people weren’t coming. Not only did they not come, they captured God’s servants and beat them. They beat them so bad that they killed them.
Still, the king’s heart felt enough pity that he had sent out servants once again. “Hear me. Go once more. Perhaps there might be those that will accept. Go.” The servants went once again. They spoke once more, but people once again captured and killed them. Still, the master invited again saying, “No, I cannot live here alone.” Despite repeated invitations, the people did not come. Finally, the king said, “Go out to the streets. Go into the highways, and invite everyone, whether good or evil. Make the announcement and just bring them here. As many as you find, invite them to the wedding feast and bring them.”
We Koreans were like that in the past. If a certain neighborhood were to hold a wedding feast, even those passing by the neighborhood celebrated together and enjoyed the feast. When there is a neighborhood in the wedding feast, people do not have to buy lunch. All they have to do is to do is go to the feast. If people were to go there and say, “Greetings to you, and congratulations,” they would have been served enough food to bend the table legs.
The servants of God went into the streets and invited people, and many people came. But, there was still a problem. Until then, only those receiving an invitation could come to the feast. However, it is written, “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.’ For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:11-14).
Do you believe that you have been chosen? God had invited all people to the feast. God had chosen everyone on the face of the earth. It doesn’t matter whether you are evil or good. God has left none behind. God has invited everyone to be a guest at His Son’s wedding. God had chosen all people in Jesus Christ.
When the king came in to see the guests at the feast, there was one who came not wearing a wedding garment. Then, God rebuked the person for not wearing a wedding garment. Shouldn’t we at least have the simple of wearing a wedding garment when invited to the wedding? Truly, Jesus Christ is the King. When we are invited by the King, we should keep the very least of courtesy. Jesus, the King of all kings, has invited you and me, so isn’t it only proper for those who have received the invitation to go there wearing a wedding garment? It is only natural to go to that feast wearing a wedding garment.
This Scripture passage asks you whether you are prepared to enter the wedding feast held by the King wearing a wedding garment. It is telling us that those who do not have the wedding garment will be cast out. But those who are wearing the proper attire will enjoy the wedding feast together with the King forever. All people, if they believe in Jesus Christ, get invited. If people receive and accept the invitation, they may attend the feast. But they must come wearing a wedding garment. If one comes without a wedding garment, he or she will be cast away.
What is a wedding garment? It is said that someone came to the wedding feast without wearing a wedding garment. It means that even though the person wore clothes, he or she did not wear the appropriate attire for the wedding feast. The garment refers to the heart that has no sin, having received the remission of sins. Having accepted Jesus’ invitation, one cannot go with sins still in his or her heart. Without having received the remission of sins is precisely what having gone without wearing the wedding garment means. Having received the invitation, if one were to go and sit in the Kingdom of Heaven with sins still in one’s heart, the person would be thrown out by God. That is because the person has attended the feast wearing clothes unacceptable before God, and not the wedding garment.
A person’s heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). When a person commits a sin, that sin gets engraved on the tablet of their heart (Jeremiah 17:1). For people to go before the King, they must at least have no scruples of heart. Can a person go before the King with sins still in his or her heart, not having received the remission of all sins? All the sins and trespasses the person has done are written in the person’s heart. In this type of state, people cannot even stand before God. How can they eat with the King and sit at the same table? People should accept the invitation from God with at least having received the remission of sins in their hearts in order to dine together at ease with the King. People can enter the Kingdom only after having received the remission of sins in their hearts. People must come to the wedding feast wearing the wedding garment.
Whether people are wearing the garment of sin or the garment of the righteousness of Jesus Christ in their hearts is something very important. The true garment that people should wear when invited by the King is the garment of the heart that is without sin. The garment that the King honors is the garment of God’s righteousness. Whoever wears clothes of righteousness, having received the remission of sins in one’s heart, can come to the Lord’s wedding feast.
People did believe in Jesus after having received His invitation. Yet, they still have sins in their hearts. What will happen to a person like that? Didn’t God say He would cast them out? Would that person be ashamed? They sit around at the feast, having received the invitation to the wedding feast held by the King, but as the Master takes a look around, He fixes His gaze on this person. The person might think, “He’s showing interest in me because I have come wearing something new. Everyone else is wearing white linen, but He must be taking interest in me because I have come wearing a completely modern fashion by Andre Kim.” He makes his way to eat some food, as if not having seen the King.
But the King shows up and asks him, “Why did you come here without a wedding garment?” “This? This was made by Andre Kim, worth 5,000 dollars. This is a popular fashion this year. It is famous all over the world. My dear King, would You like me to get one for You?” The King then says, “Someone take this person, bind him hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness.”
If you were to go to the King’s feast with sin still in your heart, you will be cast out. You must believe in Jesus and be born again to enjoy the feast, and to have the privilege of eating and having fellowship with the King. Do you have the firm conviction that you will enter the Kingdom of God by being born again only by truly believing in Jesus Christ? If you have not been born again, are you thinking, “I am going to the Kingdom of Heaven Because I believe in Jesus Christ”? Have you truly been born again? Are you wearing the clothes of God’s righteousness in your heart?
If you still haven’t put on the clothes of righteousness in your heart, then you have to be born again. Do you think that if you believe in Jesus Christ and believe in God, you will receive salvation, even though you have sin in your heart? Despite having received an invitation from Jesus, and having believed in Him, if you have sin in your heart, not having been born again, you will not be able to go to Heaven. People such as this may be firmly convinced that they are going to go to Heaven. But they will be cast out. That is what today’s Scripture passage is speaking to us about.
The Lord tells us to prepare the garment in advance, and you certainly must do this. If we truly are invited to the wedding feast, we must prepare the garment. If you received an invitation to the house of a truly great nobleman, would you not wear suitable clothing for that nobleman’s house well in advance? Only when you come wearing proper attire, are you permitted to be at the feast. Even though you received the invitation, if you were to try to enter, saying, “I have an invitation, so I would like to come in,” if you haven’t prepared, the gatekeeper will stop you, saying, “Hold on. Please sit here for a moment. We must examine you first.”
These people did believe in Jesus Christ, yet they had sins in their hearts. They were not born again. So, even though God has given us the opportunity to prepare, if we do not prepare, and we to try to enter just by holding an invitation saying, “Even though I have sin in my heart, I believe in Jesus” that person will never be able to pass through the gate. The Lord has sent His Son down to you and me so that we may have our sins blotted out. God has given most of us some 70 or 80 years or so to receive the remission of sins while we live on this earth. God has given us the Word of the remission of sins, and He has given each of us the opportunity to receive the remission of sins by letting us know of His plan of salvation. However, there are those who only enjoy looking at the invitation that they have received, instead of preparing for it.
After receiving the invitation, there are many people who are satisfied by saying, “I believe in Jesus,” as they go to church with a Bible and a hymnal in their hands. These people go on living, being satisfied with boasting before others, and saying, “I have received the invitation. I believe in Jesus. I kept my faith in Jesus even through many difficulties. I have been invited by God. I believe this.” There are many people who still have sin in their hearts despite having received the invitation. These are the ones who just have the invitation without having received the remission of sins.
Even in this day and age, they continue to go to church, wearing their best clothes, with the invitation in their top pocket so that it can be seen by others even though they have not been cleansed from their sins. “I am invited. I am going to the Kingdom of Heaven. Do you believe in Jesus? I do. Jesus is the Son of God. Did you know that? The One who created this universe invited me. He told me that He would take me to Heaven. Do you understand? He said He saved me. So, I am saved. Do you know what church I go to? I go to a church that is rich in tradition. I go to a famous church. Do you know the church?” They change their clothes every day without trying to change their hearts.
What must we do in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Along with the invitation, we must have the proper garment. We can’t have sin in our hearts. Even though people carry the invitation well, they sin in their hearts. Without having any interest at all in blotting out sins in their hearts, they come and try to enter when Jesus says, “Enter all those who have the invitation.” There is also a second barrier to pass. Even in this world, there is a judging process to become an actor or an actress. There is also a judging process in becoming a beauty queen. Why wouldn’t there also be a judging process in entering Heaven? There always has been a judging process to enter Heaven.
“Come to this gate. Do not go toward that gate, do you understand?” “Yes.” Those who have received the invitation are still well-mannered, so they do not go where they are told not to enter. “Is everyone seated?” “Yes.” The King looks at all the people and says, “This is very good. So many people have come in response to my invitation.” Those who have the invitation placed inside the chest pocket can be barely seen.
People try to show off their invitation, but those not wearing the wedding garment can easily be seen. Then the Lord goes to a man who isn’t wearing a wedding garment and asks, “How did you come here?” The man answers by saying that he came because he had received the invitation. “I am a Christian by birth and have believed in Jesus ever since being born.” Another man says, “I am a person who had led a life of faith in a renowned denomination. It is a denomination of tradition.” The King then asks, “Do you have sin in your heart?” “There are sins.”
Dear believers, among those who possess the invitation, the King’s eyes are on those who truly do not have sin in their hearts. God looks at and waits for, not those who pretend to believe outward, but for those who had waited for the Lord, saying “O Lord, Jesus, please come.” These genuine believers are without sin in their hearts, while thanking God for having truly saved them even though they are not perfect.
The King calls and gathers all those who have come to the feast without a wedding garment. “You My servants, hear Me! Bind all these people together.” Then the sinful Christians respond, “Oh, why are you doing this? Isn’t this how we get to Heaven? Oh Lord, my King, do you bind us up because we were wrong?” Then the King says, “Silence! Don’t move! Hear me. Open the back gate. Cast them into the dark a place.” Among those who have King’s invitation, those wearing a wedding garment are permitted to enter the feast of Heaven, but those not wearing a wedding garment get thrown out.
Dear fellow believers, every one must believe in Jesus Christ and be born again. That is why Jesus said in the Gospel of John chapter 3 that unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he can neither see nor enter the kingdom of God. People must be born again. They must have their sins blotted out. They must believe in Jesus and have no sin in their heart in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The King had invited people, and He had cast out those who weren’t wearing a wedding garment. This tells us, “Only those wearing a wedding garment were allowed in.” Having your sin blotted out from your heart means that you have been born again.
Have you been born again through the baptism of Jesus Christ, truly? Being born again is so very easy. God has given us the invitation card; and on the bottom of the invitation card He has written down all we have do in order to prepare. If we look at the things which we must prepare on the invitation card, it is written, “Jesus Christ, My Son, has taken on all your sins when He had received the baptism. Therefore, come, having confirmed that fact and having received the remission of sin inside your heart.” God has written it all on that list of things to prepare. Being born again is very easy. Some people preach the gospel with such difficulty. But as I preach the gospel, there seems to be nothing easier than spreading of the gospel. When Jesus Christ received the baptism, He took on all our sins. He paid for the price for all sins by carrying the sin of the world, dying vicariously for us on the Cross, and suffering the judgment vicariously for us.
Our heart is fundamentally more corrupt than all things (Jeremiah 17:9). We must tell this truth to people. As a human being living on this earth, you cannot avoid committing sins. Inside your heart, sinful desires such as murderous thoughts, lascivious feelings, envious thoughts, and adulterous feelings are warring within you. Our Lord writes words just like that on the invitation card, and asks, “Do you admit it?” If the person has an honest mind, he or she would say, “That is correct. I am that kind of person.”
Even though all of it has been written on the invitation card, are you going to deny it? God says to us: “You commit such and such sins. But, I have sent down My Son, and He has taken on all your sins. I had Him receive the baptism at the Jordan River. That’s how I have delivered you from all your sins. Therefore, whoever believes in Me, after having received the invitation, will become My child and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Do you understand this?”
Spreading the gospel is extremely easy. However, some people do it with great difficulty when they preach the gospel. They are trying to preach something while not knowing the Truth themselves. No wonder they have difficulty preaching it. Whenever I hear what they are preaching, my head aches.
You and I possess an extremely accurate gospel. It means that, in the entire world, we are the ones possessing the accurate gospel. People who possess a clear gospel of the water and Spirit are rare. People like David of the Old Testament possess the same gospel as ours. Just as all the year’s worth of sins of the people of Israel were sent over to the scapegoat through the laying of hands (Leviticus 16:20-21), the people of the Old Testament were aware of the fact that Jesus Christ will be coming and take on all the sins of mankind at once. They were aware that Jesus would be their Savior by giving them the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And that is why David had said, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1). David knew that even though he had many transgressions and sins, our Lord would take them away those sins all at once. That is why David sang that he has no sin for the Lord would come to this earth and take away the sin of the world once and for all. Those who believe this are the ones who possess faith like David.
Nevertheless, those who have this type of faith are very rare in our day and time. This gospel of the water and the Spirit that we possess is truly accurate. If you were to meet someone who possesses this, and yet not received the remission of sins, that person is a truly pitiful individual. Yesterday, I took some time out and preached the gospel to the landlady who lives below our house. I went to the hospital and told her the gospel just once. She was able to receive the remission of sins in a single stroke.
“Then, dear sister, is it true that a person who has passed sins completely over to Jesus by having faith in the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross, has no sin in his or her heart?”
“The person has no sin.”
“To say that I am without sin is said to be heresy. Do you mind being called a heretic?”
“Why is that heresy? I am without sin, yet how can that be heresy? Whether or not people say it is heresy, I am saying to you that, although I did have sins in my heart, after having heard this gospel, it has disappeared. The problem of sin inside my heart has been solved. It doesn’t matter if others call me a heretic or not.”
That sister spoke so bravely. She spoke in a very clear manner when she said that those who have sins are the ones who believe falsely. Prior to having heard this gospel, the sister did believe in Jesus having been resurrected, having healed lepers, and having walked on water. She confessed that even though she had believed in every miracle, including the one that His disciples had carried out, saying, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6), she had gone through hard times until then because she had sin in her heart.
She thought, “Why did God make human beings so full of sins? God is omniscient and omnipotent. Why had He made me a human being that commits sins instead of making me perfect?” The sister had come down with an illness of the heart because of that. She said she was never able to understand it. The sister said that she couldn’t understand why God had made sin to remain in her heart, despite the fact that if God is omniscient and omnipotent, there is nothing that He can’t do. She said that when she looked at herself, even though the Bible said that God is wise in heart and mighty in strength, she was thinking, “What is omniscient and omnipotent? If God was perfect, He should have made me perfect. How am I perfect? I am not perfect.” She was wondering, “If Jesus had blotted away all sins, why are there sins still inside her heart?” That was what the sister could not understand.
God Created Us Humans to Make Us His Children Eventually
I told her a bit more in detail: “In order to bestow blessings on people, God made human beings a little lower than the angels. The larva of a large brown cicada, most common in Korea, lives underground for about 6 years, and then comes up from the ground to go through transformation. A fully grown larva of a brown cicada climbs up a tree, sheds completely, spreads out its wings, and then become a cicada flying in air. Becoming a cicada like that is the goal of all maggots. Humans are like that. The purpose for which all human beings are born is to become righteous by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and to become a child of God.”
The sister said that now she could understand everything. She gave a testimony of faith saying that her heart felt so happy and good. She said that now she believes in her heart that God is the God of Love; that He has blotted out all her sins; that He is truly all knowing and powerful, that He is perfect, and that He is the God of the Truth.
It is true that in order to make us nobler, He had us locked up under sin for a short while. Insects aren’t the only ones that transform. The plan of God is to have our body changed, at a moment set by God, into a spiritual body completely different from what it is now. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51- 52).
The mind of a person who isn’t able to receive the remission of sins, despite having met people who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is not comparable anything. If a person wasn’t born again by having faith in Jesus, despite having received the invitation card, the person is a complete blockhead. This person is a complete fool, a dunce, and a good-for-nothing. One who is truly omniscient and omnipotent, the One who is the Truth, came and took care of all the sins of mankind. “You don’t have to do anything. I will take care of all your sins and solve them for you.”
Jesus came as the Savior, and took on all the sins of mankind by receiving the baptism at the Jordan River. At the Cross, He said, “I am vicariously receiving the judgment for all of you. Do you understand? Look here. I have finished it all,” and then three days after having suffered death, He arose from the grave. After being resurrected, Jesus took His seat at the right hand of the throne of God. And now, He says to us, “Whoever that believes in Me shall receive salvation.” Dear fellow believer, how clear and precise is this gospel?
For a person to be born again of the water and the Spirit is easy. It is difficult to understand why people fall into hell with sins still inside them. It’s so easy to believe in this true gospel. People were cast out from the wedding feast because they weren’t wearing a wedding garment. Dear fellow believers, you just can’t imagine how easy it is to believe in Jesus. I once read a book written by the Evangelicals on the subject of being born again. But they talk about it with much difficulty. I read the entire book. But because there was no point in it, all I felt was a headache. It was just a waste of time.
Believing in Jesus is very simple. From the womb of the mother, people are born with sin. Those sins are evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness (Mark 7:21-22). Do you or do you not have a heart that is lewd inside you? Do you or do you not have a heart that envies? Do you or do you not have a heart that leads to murder? Everyone has them. Everyone from birth comes out with sins such as these. Are your thoughts evil, or are they not evil? If beneficial, we sweet talk a person saying, “O, my dear friend so-and-so.” But with some trivial matter, we scowl saying, “What are you talking about, you no good so and so?” We are all this way. Human beings are born with sins such as these inside the heart. No matter how much a person pledges not to do it again, things like that keep coming out from the inside. That is why people cannot help but commit sins.
We human beings are all sinners. The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Then, what are all things? They are all the plants, minerals, and animals. For example, let’s say that we ate delicious foods, such as a vegetable and meat dish with noodles, pan-fried flat cakes, and many others, using various ingredients.
Let’s say we have put all the leftovers along with the used dishwater and food dregs into a large jar for 2-3 days. All the dregs will sink down and the contents of the jar may not seem all that bad at first glance. But, let’s say you start stirring them with a wooden stick. As you stir, all sorts of filthy food dregs will rise. Swollen Chinese noodles will come up along with fish heads and rice grains that have swollen completely to size of a bean. Imagine how awful would the smell would be? The stench and filth will come up all entangled together. Stale things will rise up in a mess.
A person’s heart is more corrupt than all these things. The human heart is filthier than things that are inside a garbage can. People may seem fine on the outside, but when we see into their hearts and gouge at them so the things inside would fall out you can see how filthy and rotten their hearts really are. Just try stabbing at a person’s vulnerable point, or try inflicting a wound in his or her heart so as to hurt the person’s pride. At once, foul words will come out, “What? Hey you so and so. Hey you low life. Are you begging to die?” An image that is in such contrast to the holy image that the person had will come out.
There are many sisters in this place, and I used to think that sisters were all angels. Up until I was about 15 years old, and seeing female students going about well dressed and looking neat and tidy was in stark contrast to my being dirty. I thought that those female students were angels. I thought that because I was such a filthy human being, I couldn’t go near those female students. However, I found out that those female students were no different me, if not worse. All those female students spoke about things and did things exactly the same as me. I had thought that women were different. But I found out that human hearts were all the same. When you shake the inside of a person’s heart, you can’t imagine how much evil falls out.
There are so many people in this world that commit evil deeds. We get to meet people like this every day in the newspapers. People like that are no different than you and I. There are no exceptions to this. Isn’t that true? I am saying that the human heart is a corrupted thing, and that committing sin is human nature. Human beings are all sinners, and all human beings must go to hell unless someone pays the price for their sin.
Jesus came to this earth and received the baptism at the Jordan River. He had completely taken on each and every sin of all mankind, whether it is a sin inside human heart or a sin of trespass. Believing that all the sins of mankind were passed on to Jesus Christ is exactly what being born again is; receiving the remission of sins. Although people are originally born as sinners, they are born again as the righteous without sin, because they have passed all the sins to Jesus Christ by believing in the true gospel. Jesus came to earth and took on all our sins by His baptism at the Jordan River, all the sins inside our hearts disappeared. Because of this, even though we are human beings, we are born again as those that do not have sin.
Dear fellow believers, the gospel is something so very simple. In the word, “baptism,” the exact meaning is, “to pass to.” Baptism has meanings like, “to cleanse,” “to bury,” “to pass to,” and “to pass over.” People sometimes ask where is the meaning, “to pass to”? But “to pass over” means “to send something from here to there and then to possess.” In the word “baptism,” the clear meaning is “to pass to.” Baptism refers to the laying on of both hands, and “to pass to” is included in it is the meaning. It is said in the Old Testament that with the laying of one’s both hands on the head of a sacrificial animal, it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him (Leviticus 1:4, 16:21). To be atoned for means that there are no more sins. And because sins were passed from here to there with the laying of both hands on the head of an animal by people, there is no more sin on this side; hence, people’s sins are atoned for.
Jesus Christ came to this earth and received the baptism by John the Baptist at the Jordan River. The word, ‘baptism’ means “to inhume or to place in a grave, to bury, to cleanse, and to pass over.” The Greek word “baptizo” means “to immerse or submerge under water,” but what happens to a person who gets submerged under water? If a person gets submerged under water, he or she will die. This is why the word, baptism, includes the meaning, “to inhume.” All the filth gets washed away by being submerged under water. It means that with the water of Jesus Christ who has taken on all our sins, we are cleansed from our sins. We become without sin only when our sins are passed onto Jesus. So, in the word, baptism, there also is the meaning, “to pass to.”
When Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist, all the sins of the world were passed over to Him. We had so much sin in our hearts, but all of them were all passed over to Jesus Christ. With the sins passed to Him, Jesus was submerged under water, in accordance with the Law of God that says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). His submersion implies His substitutive death on the Cross. And the Bible says, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3) We have inhumed, or buried our old selves when we believed in His baptism. In doing this, our sins were passed onto Jesus, and our thick, dark sins were washed all clean. Sin inside our hearts were cleansed as white as snow.
When the theologians of this world interpret the Bible, they say this and that by making reference to the original language of the Bible. They say that the word, baptism, in its original language has the meaning, “to inhume, to cleanse, and to pass to.” Then, why is it that they are unable to believe that our sins were passed onto Jesus when He received the baptism? They have no sure conviction on that part? In order for Jesus to come to this earth and to blot out all our sins, what was it that He had to do? In order to blot out all the sins of people, who keeps on committing so much sins like so, Jesus had to take all our sins onto His flesh by receiving the baptism. If Jesus hadn’t taken away all our sins, how would we be able to receive the remission of sins? If He hadn’t taken away all our sins, we would not have received the remission of sins, no matter how much faith we had in Jesus. Too many people do not believe in the baptism of Jesus. Whenever I think of those people, I feel frustrated and heavy at my heart.
Clearly, in today’s Scripture passage, the man who did not have on a wedding garment was cast out. The man was speechless. The word speechless means that a person has no words to say despite having a mouth. This man who did not have on a wedding garment did not know that Jesus Christ had taken on his sins when He received the baptism. Although the man did believe in Jesus, he did not know how his sins were passed onto Him. What good is it to say that you believe in Jesus if you still have sin in your heart? If one still has sins in his or her heart despite having faith in Jesus, the person will be cast out for not having worn the wedding garment, even though the person was able to sit at the wedding feast for a short while.
You and I who have been born again must clothe people with the wedding garment. What exactly is this garment? It is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Basically, we are lumps of sin. Because people do not know their fundamental nature, it God gave them the Law through Moses. This Law makes people realize their sins and makes them recognize that human beings are sinners. If one fails to recognize his or her sins through the Law, then they must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The baptism of Jesus Christ means that Jesus took on all the sins of all human beings. His death on the Cross is Jesus, dying for us because of our sins by receiving the judgment. Jesus’ resurrection is you and I being born again. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus Christ’s baptism, death on the Cross, and resurrection are the ministries of His love which tells us that God has saved us from all our sins because He loved us. They constitute salvation, which means that He has allowed us to live once again by making us righteous.
Dear fellow believers, I cannot understand why people do not believe in the fact that God the Father, who is omniscient and omnipotent, has given us the garment by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth and having Him blot out all our sins and made us righteous. Even though people can memorize the Apostles’ Creed, they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Apostles believed.
When Jesus Christ came to this earth and received the baptism at the Jordan River, He had made us the garment of righteousness. We were basically lumps of sin. Our heart and our flesh were filled with sin. That is because we had been wearing clothes covered with filth. Because our hearts were full of filth, we weren’t able to enter the holy Kingdom of God. That is why Jesus Christ came to earth and cleansed us of all our sins. Just like a vacuum cleaner, Jesus Christ blotted out all our sins by placing them on His head through His baptism.
If Jesus Christ was a vacuum cleaner, the arm of John the Baptist, who had performed the baptism on Jesus, was carrying out the role of the long tube on the vacuum cleaner. Just as all the dust are sucked into the vacuum cleaner, with nothing left behind, when a person holds on to the tube of the vacuum cleaner and places its opening on the floor, the fact of the matter is that when Jesus Christ had received the baptism, all our sins were passed onto Jesus. Jesus went to the Cross carrying all of our many sins.
Jesus Christ has made us the garment. Are you wearing the wedding garment? We are wearing the garment. If we look at today’s Scripture passage, it says that Jesus invites many people. Even though Jesus invited them, many turned downed the invitation. It also said that even among those who were invited, those who were not wearing the garment were cast out from the wedding feast. If people believe in Jesus, they must prepare the garment. I hope you realize that the garment is none other than the baptism of Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross. I hope you realize that Jesus Christ has taken on all our sins by His baptism and bloodshed. Jesus took on not only the original sin but also every sin. He even took those sins of the past, the present, and the future.
We must clearly understand that it has been approximately 2,000 years since Jesus Christ received His baptism at the Jordan River, His death on the Cross, His resurrection, and then rising up to Heaven. In other words, it has been about 2,000 years since Jesus Christ came to earth and blotted out our sins. We are currently in the Christian era. This is a calendar system that uses the year when Jesus Christ came to this earth as the starting year.
The faith that leads us to the remission of sins is having faith that Jesus Christ, knowing that you and I will later be born as sinners onto this earth from the wombs of our mothers and will die having sinned, came to this earth and took on all our sins. Jesus completely took on not only our sins, but also all the sins of our children, as well as that of all the people beginning from the days of Adam until the end of the world.
The Truth is that Jesus came about 2,000 years ago and blotted out all the sins of mankind. This is what the wedding garment is. It isn’t that Jesus allows us to receive the remission of sins now, by blotting out our sins just at this moment as we profess our faith. By having already blotted out the sins long ago, He has allowed us to receive the remission of sins when we believe in that fact. We get to receive the remission of sins by knowing and believing the work that Jesus had completed approximately 2,000 years ago. The Lord has clothed us with the wedding garment in this manner.
I hope you will clothe your family members with this wedding garment also. We live on this earth only for a short while. If we receive the remission of sins and put on the wedding garment during that time, we will get to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If we wear the wedding garment, we become children of God. When children of God pray, God will answer, and they will receive God’s help. This brings peace and joy to our hearts. When we read the Bible, we understand the Word. We understand in our hearts what this Bible is talking about, and there arises the heart of righteousness that enables us to do righteous deeds.
You must wear the wedding garment. Have you all worn the wedding garment? Those wearing the wedding garment have become the righteous. They are no longer sinners. By faith, you have taken off all the clothes of sin, and have passed them to Jesus Christ. Now we have on the garment of God; the new garment of the Kingdom of Heaven.
When a person receives the remission of sins, the Holy Spirit resides in that person’s heart. The Holy Spirit comes inside the sinless heart and turns us into a new creation that is without any sin. God has disposed of all the sins so they will never be able to enter our hearts, even if we were to commit wrongdoings out of weakness.
People wearing the wedding garment are the righteous. They are not sinners. If the heart of a person still has a sin, then that person is not yet a righteous person. That person isn’t someone who has on the wedding garment. Those who truly have on the wedding garment are surely the righteous. You must never become someone who gets cast out despite having faith in Jesus Christ.
There is nothing more difficult than to believe in Jesus without having been born again. People trying to enter the Kingdom of Heaven without having on the wedding garment are exactly the same as someone trying to reach the moon by walking. Can a person reach the moon by walking? No, it’s impossible. There is no human being that can jump across Niagara Falls, much less walk to the moon.
You must have on a wedding garment. Without wearing a wedding garment, you can never go into the wedding feast of Heaven. Is there any among you who still hasn’t worn the wedding garment? If there is, please speak out quickly. I will clothe you with the wedding garment. As soon as you wear the garment, you will become beautiful even without having to put on make up because flowers will be blossoming inside your heart. How do flowers blossom? A flower bud will come up from the branch, and it will spread out its petals in full.
When sins of the heart disappear, the heart becomes beautiful. When the heart becomes beautiful, the eyes will become beautiful. When the heart feels serene, the skin becomes so very resilient. Not only will the heart become better, you can’t imagine how good the flesh becomes. In spite of all this, people go around with a wry look because they haven’t worn the wedding garment. Also, by committing a small sin, they accuse themselves and fall into a feeling of guilt, saying, “Oh no, how ashamed I am. I thought my heart was clean.”
Dear fellow believers, there was a man at the wedding feast who did not have on the wedding garment. The man sat at the feast held by Jesus, but he was soon cast out, On the other hand, there were those wearing the wedding garment. They went into the Kingdom of Heaven. To which side do you belong? Are you wearing the wedding garment? Do you truly believe that Jesus Christ is your Savior? Do you believe that Jesus Christ took on all your sins when He received the baptism?
In this world in which we live, there are just too many people who are not even aware of this fact. When I see people believing in Jesus without having been born again, I feel as though I am being choked. People go on believing in Jesus by forming their own groups such as Catholicism, Protestantism, Mormonism, Adventism, Jehovah’s Witness, and many others. But because they all haven’t been born again, they continue to believe in Jesus without having put on the wedding garment. I am so frustrated by those who confess to believing in Jesus as their Savior, but 99.9% of them do not know about the baptism of Jesus.
Do you know how ignorant they are? When asked, “Why did Jesus receive the baptism,” they answer, “He received the baptism because He was humble.” Is Jesus our teacher of morals? During the Chosun Dynasty of Korea (1392~1910 A.D.), there were public schools called, “hyangkyo.” There was a schoolmaster in every hyangkyo. Through the sacred books of Confucianism, he taught rules of etiquette to the students. When I was doing ministry work in Chang-won City, there was a hyangkyo next to our church.
Even then, elders of good age were wearing traditional hats like that of a teacher at a village schoolhouse long ago. They were making loud harrumphs with a long smoking pipe in their mouth. I saw a person visiting the hyangkyo. He signaled inside that he had arrived by making a harrumph sound, and the schoolmaster inside the room responded with a harrumph. Then, the schoolmaster opened the door and came out. They greeted each other ceremoniously and then entered the room. It can be said that the schoolmasters at hyangkyo were teachers of morals.
Dear fellow believers, is Jesus like that schoolmaster at hyangkyo? Not at all. Who is Jesus? Jesus is the Savior of all sinners. He is the Son of God and the High Priest of Heaven. However, many people are ignorant of this truth. Those wearing the wedding garment went into the wedding feast in Heaven. Those not wearing the wedding garment were cast out. The wedding garment is the baptism that John the Baptist had performed on Jesus. I pray that you know and believe that Jesus Christ has blotted out all our sins by receiving the baptism, and has become the garment of righteousness for us.
When I say this, those who do not believe oppose me by saying “How did the sins get passed on to Jesus when He was receiving the baptism?” I then make an argument against them with the Word, saying, “Now, instead of rattling on with our own thoughts, let us sort out the truth using the Bible. The Bible in the original language and the translated Bible are both good. The Word of God is saying one thing, yet are you saying another. You still cannot believe that the baptism of Jesus has taken on all our sins?” Whether they believe it or not, even if I speak out millions of times, I cannot but say, “The wedding garment that we must have on is the gospel of the water and the Spirit.”
Dearly beloved fellow saints, I give thanks to God because the Lord has allowed us to be born again. By clothing us with the wedding garment, the Lord has allowed us to enter the Kingdom. When I think of the Lord personally making for us the true garment, and then clothing us with it, I become thankful. In this upcoming discipleship training camp, I will preach to you on various subjects, but I believe I must speak of this subject for all eternity.
I hope for you to lead your family members and friends to salvation, and have them put on the true garment. Those wearing this garment can surely enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I hope that you and I, who have already been born again of water and the Spirit, will put all our efforts into the work of clothing other souls with the garment so that there will be no one who does not get to enter Heaven.