The words which I have selected as a foundation for a few remarks you will find in the 22nd chapter of Matthew, beginning at the first verse. [Verses 1–10, quoted.]
The portion of Scripture presented before us, which I have referred to and have presented before your minds, is of intense meaning—much more than I am able to explain. It is of great interest to us, and we should consider it, and let it have due weight upon our minds. We find by perusing God’s sacred Word of inspiration that when the promised Messiah, the Son of God, came into the world His own people, even His own nation—the Jews—would not and did not receive Him. As we are told in the first chapter of St. John, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11).
The provision was made, but they would not receive it. The Father Himself provided a ransom, even a sacrifice. His own dear Son submitted Himself to His Father’s requirements, came into this sinful world, became a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. He went about doing good, speaking in tones of tenderness, saying in the deepest and most fervent and sweetest accents ever uttered, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” [Matthew 11:28, 29]; and He assures us we shall find rest to our souls.
[Matthew 22:4, 5 quoted.] The great King Himself hath made a marriage for His Son. He hath sent forth His servants for many hundreds of years, saying, “Come, for all things are ready.” But how little do the [people of the] world heed the invitation! They make light of it and go their ways to their worldly pursuits and worldly pleasures, the same as they have done for centuries. But the King sendeth forth His armies and destroys those murders and burns up their city, and we are told in the ninth chapter of Daniel, the 26th verse, that “the people of the Prince that shall come shall destroy the city . . .; and the end thereof shall be with a flood.” [Matthew 22:8, 9 quoted.]
In the 14th chapter of Luke, verse 16, we find that there was made a great supper and many were bidden. Servants were sent forth to say to those that were bidden, “Come; for all things are now ready” [verse 17]. But they made excuses.
The King of the kingdom hath made a marriage supper for His Son. He hath sent forth His servants to say to those which are bidden, “Come to the marriage.” The Lord is sending His servants, saying unto all who will hear, “Come, make ready for the great marriage supper of the Lamb; He is soon coming to receive all the faithful to the mansions prepared by Him, to partake of the feast which He hath prepared.” He is sending, and hath been sending His servants . . . .
All must be clothed with the wedding garment in order to be accepted, lest we be found speechless.
Is it not of the greatest importance that we be found having on the robe of righteousness, that we be ready when the Bridegroom cometh to enter in to the marriage supper? May we heed the invitation given and make ourselves ready that we may have admittance into the Master’s house, that He say not unto us that none which were bidden shall taste of His supper. In the parable, those who were bidden heeded not its invitation, but continued excusing themselves, feasting upon the pleasures of this world as the masses do at the present time.
The servants of God are inviting and entreating them to come away from the alluring scenes of this vain and fleeting world, to make ready for the marriage supper, but they will not come. We hear them saying, There’s no danger; tomorrow shall be as this day and much more abundant; no need of being disturbed. We must needs attend to farms and merchandise and the things of this life, lest we lose worldly interests, and become poor and suffer want. They forget that He who careth for the little sparrows and clotheth the lilies of the field, careth for the humble, trusting soul, and will guide and direct all those who are ready to do His will, and bestow upon His dear children such things as they need. To all who through patience and perseverance overcome, He hath promised to give a crown of never fading glory, a robe of righteousness, and an entrance into the beautiful city of our God.
This same King is sending forth His servants today. He is inviting His guests, saying, “Come, for all things are now ready.” The Lord of the marriage is soon coming: behold, He is at the door. Delay not to open the door, lest He turn away from receiving you and you enter not into the marriage feast. Open the door and receive the Master, that you may enter into the mansions of everlasting rest and never fading glory prepared for all those that love Him. Who will make ready for the coming of Him who hath said, “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 22:12.]
If we neglect our spiritual interests, neglect to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable duty, we become entangled with the trifling cares of this life. If we even once omit our daily duty of calling upon God for His divine aid, His care and protection, we lose one day’s enjoyment. We have not the sweet, melting influence of God’s Holy Spirit attending us through the day, but we feel cast down and easily discouraged. The enemy of souls is ready to take advantage [of us] and often does, bringing us into captivity and sin. . . .
How many times the things of this vain, deceitful world come between us and our eternal interests! Temporal things spring up within our hearts and choke those things which are spiritual. We permit the enemy of righteousness to persuade us that we should attend to the things of this life. We now and then neglect greater duties lest we suffer want. If we faithfully entreat God to give us strength and to perform temporal duties, and at the same time to give us grace and wisdom to overcome evil; if we have our hopes centered above and our conversation in heaven, whence we look for the Son of man who has bidden to the marriage all who will come: who has gone up on high to prepare mansions for all those who love and keep His sayings, and has told us He is coming to receive us, we may enter in to the wedding feast with Him, that where He is there we may be also. If we turn away from those calls and invitations, what will be the consequence?
In the 13th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, 46th verse, we find that if we put God’s work from us, and judge ourselves unworthy of everlasting life, we have no reason to expect an entrance into the kingdom. The 24th verse of the 14th chapter of Luke informs us that “none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”
The great eternal Father has prepared a marriage feast for His Son. Will we give heed to His servants who have been and are being sent forth to proclaim unto us the solemn invitation? Or shall we make light of it? Oh, why refuse to make ready for the marriage of the Son of God? There is room for all who will accept the invitation. None can say [that] those things were not duly represented. Remember, when the good man returns, those who are ready will go in to the feast and the door will be shut, and there will be no further entrance, for we read that when “the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door” (Luke 13:25), then those who would find admittance will hear the answer, “I know you not . . . ; depart from Me.”
May we heed well the solemn warning and make ready to enter into the wedding, that His house may be filled. God’s Word informs us, “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). May we be found faithful, and give diligence to our calling, and possess the promised reward of the faithful, is my prayer.—Ms 8, 1874. Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 4–8.
Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.