How to be properly dressed for heaven
God calls us to His fellowship, but we may not come in our natural state. We must be dressed properly. But when we are we may enjoy Him forever.
I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God. Exodus 29:45-46
But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?” And he was speechless. Matthew 22:11-12
God seeks true worshipers to enjoy His fellowship (John 4:23). The problem is humankind is sinful and cannot come to God in that natural, fallen state. This is clear in both of today’s readings.
God gave Israel the priesthood as an essential means for them to recognize their ongoing need for forgiveness of sin in order to be acceptable before Him. He wanted them to be acceptable because He purposed to live among them and to be their God. The ordination of priests in Israel was foundational to the orderly administration of the sacrificial system.
In Jesus’ parable, a king invites people to the marriage of his son. Many completely ignore his gracious invitation, so the king invites any who will come. Yet one who comes doesn’t dress properly for this occasion. The king finds and expels him for being so haughty as to show up without a wedding garment. Jesus wants all to grasp the inadequacy of approaching God in our own natural state, without the proper clothing of His righteousness.
In the gospel, we learn that Jesus Christ is our great High Priest. He has fulfilled all righteousness (Matthew 3:15) and He commands us to seek God’s righteousness (Matthew 6:33). He credits His righteousness to the account of those who come to Him in faith (I Corinthians 1:30). As the old hymn, “The Solid Rock” by Edward Mote says so poignantly:
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
Think about it
God calls us to His fellowship, but we may not come in our natural state. We must be clothed properly. But when we are we may enjoy Him forever. Will you be there dressed in Christ’s righteousness?