Recently I coerced my wife into watching the Bourne series with me. Those are my favorite action movies and I naturally wanted to share in the excitement of watching them with her.
There is a part in the movie where Jason Bourne is speaking to a woman who had helped him escape from the authorities. What he says is so simple yet very profound:
“I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs 200 pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside. And at this altitude, I can run flat-out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?”
Sometimes we see new folks in different churches that are serving in ministry, teaching, preaching, and involved in so many things but are caught in sin in their personal lives or family lives and have no desire to change. They may know about the Bible and what it says, but they don’t truly know the Lord as their Savior. Of course it is not our place to determine that, but it is our responsibility to know our identity in Christ and how our salvation is secured.
Do you know your standing in relation to God?
Are you His child and a part of His family?
How can you be sure?
Let’s take a look at Matthew 22, where Christ shares a parable with the people about the importance of differentiating God’s elect:
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. “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. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” | Matthew 22:1-14
In this parable, Christ shares a little bit of history with the people. He details how God had initially called the Israelites using the judges and prophets, but they were not receptive to His message. Instead, as we see in the Old Testament, they rejected His message and did not desire to follow Him. They even went so far as killing the prophets who delivered His word.
God then widens His scope and reaches out to everyone, Jews and Gentiles, bad and good, giving them all the same opportunity for salvation. Even then, one comes to the wedding feast without the wedding garments.
Who does this represent and why is he cast out into outer darkness?
That individual represents all self-professed Christians, maybe even those who are part of a church, who show acts of service but in their heart have not truly believed in the saving work of Jesus Christ.
So what makes us different?
Don’t we as Christians still struggle with sin?
How do we know that we are part of the chosen and that our salvation is secure?
In the next post we will look at our standing, state, and signs of our relationship with God.