TEXT: Revelation 19:7-9; Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 12:35-38
The students will be able to explain that those who went up with Christ in the Rapture will be with Him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. At this time the rewards will be given for faithful service, and Christ himself will serve those assembled.
The parable of the Marriage Feast in Matthew 22 portrays how Jesus was offered to the Jewish nation, but was refused. Verses 4-6 represent the repeated offer and its further rejection, the statement “all things are ready” hinting at the death of Christ and its salvation benefits. After Christ’s atoning death the Jewish nation had a chance to repent, but refused. The wedding garment is the righteousness of Christ. Many have the invitation to salvation extended to them, but comparatively few accept.
The Marriage Supper is preluded by the announcement that God Almighty reigns. It calls for honoring the Lamb, for this event is not said to be the marriage of the Bride, but “of the Lamb.”
Among the people of this time, long white robes were worn at public festivals, and those who appeared on such occasions with any other garment were thought worthy of punishment. The person who invited the guests prepared a garment for each, and each guest received his garment when he applied to the ruler of the feast for it. It was this which made the conduct of the one who appeared without such a garment inexcusable—he could have had the garment if he had only applied for it.
We live in the dispensation of the Holy Ghost. God has sent His Spirit into the world to seek a Bride for His Son. When the Bride has made herself ready, and when the time on God’s clock has reached the hour that He has appointed, the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, will appear in the azure above to catch away His Bride. Then the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will take place while the Great Tribulation is running its course here on the earth. No wonder that the text tells us, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
- Matthew 9:14-15 and John 3:28-29 help us understand that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is the Bridegroom at the Marriage Supper. Draw a parallel between an earthly bridegroom and Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom of those who have made themselves ready.
Response: Allow time for your students to offer the points of comparison they have come up with. Their thoughts may include: the earthly bridegroom loves his bride, and Christ loves His chosen Bride; the earthly bridegroom prepares to receive his bride, and Jesus said He went away to prepare a place for us; the bridegroom of this world expects to be loved by his bride, and Jesus expects and will receive a whole-hearted devotion and commitment from those who make up His Bride; the earthly bridegroom waits for the time when the bride will become his own, and our heavenly Bridegroom is also waiting for the time when He will receive us unto Himself.
- The Bride of Christ is made up of overcoming saints who have “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” What is the significance of the white wedding apparel of the Lamb’s wife as indicated in the following Scriptures?
2 Corinthians 11:2
2 Peter 3:14
Response: 2 Corinthians 11:2 — chastity and virginity.
Ephesians 5:27 — holy.
2 Peter 3:14 — unspotted and blameless.
Revelation 3:4-5 — being undefiled.
Revelation 19:8 — righteousness of saints.
In discussing these Scriptures, guide your students to a realization that if they are to be a part of the Bride of Christ it will be necessary to possess these attributes.
- In our Matthew text, we read a parable about a king who made a marriage for his son. Describe what happened to the guest who came without a wedding garment, and make a spiritual application.
Response: The king noticed the man who did not have on a wedding garment, and questioned him about it. The man was speechless. Then the king commanded his servants to take the man away and cast him into outer darkness. Your class should conclude that this parable indicates that one who is not fully prepared according to God’s commandments to be at the Marriage Supper will not be allowed to be there. One may think that he has an excuse for his lack of preparation, but God knows the heart.
- Luke 12:35-37 tells us that at the Supper, the Lord himself will serve those servants whose lights are burning. Describe the feelings one might have realizing they are being served by Jesus, and compare them to the feelings Peter might have had when Jesus washed his feet. See John 13:6-9.
Response: As your students discuss the feelings one might have at being served by Jesus, perhaps they will bring out that they would feel unworthy, humble, or that they should serve Jesus rather than having Him serve them. These are some of the feelings Peter apparently experienced when the Lord washed his feet. You may wish to bring out that there will also be a thrill, an excitement or jubilation that one will feel as he realizes that he is included in the Bride of Christ.
- After the Lord’s coming at the Rapture, He will reward His servants for faithful service. What are some of the rewards promised to the overcomer? See Revelation 2:7,11,17,26-28; 3:5,12,21.
Response: Searching through these Scriptures in Revelation will provide an inspiring list of rewards promised to overcomers. To supplement this list, have your class look at the parable given in Luke 19:12-19, which indicates that faithful service will also result in those servants’ receiving authority to rule with the Lord on earth.
- Two of Jesus’ parables in Matthew liken the Kingdom of Heaven to a marriage — Matthew 22:1-4 and 25:1-13. The requirements for being in the wedding party are very specific. If we fail to meet these requirements we will be left behind. Name some of these as shown in the following Scriptures:
Matthew 22:5 and Luke 14:18-20
Response: Allow time for your students to respond, guiding the consideration of each verse to bring out the following points:
Matthew 22:3 — We must be obedient to God’s call.
Matthew 22:5 and Luke 14:18-20 — We must place His call above any earthly pursuit. We must not make light of it or be indifferent to it. We can make no excuses that will be acceptable with God.
Matthew 22:11-13 — We must put on the wedding garment, the robes of righteousness.
Matthew 22:14 — We must realize that just being called is not sufficient. We must be chosen and we must be faithful. (See also Revelation 17:14.)
Matthew 25:6,13 — We must be ready at all times.
Matthew 25:7-8 — We must be sure we have oil in our vessels, God’s Spirit in our lives.
Stress the fact that though these were parables Jesus gave, the requirements are all the same for being at the Marriage Supper.
- The Apostle was instructed to write, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” In Revelation 17:14, those who are with the Lamb are “called, and chosen, and faithful.” In your own words, identify the called, the chosen, and the faithful.
Response: Encourage your class to give their definitions. Discussion of this question should bring out that everyone is called and it is their response to the call which determines whether or not they are chosen. Those who endure to the end are the faithful (Matthew 24:13). These are the ones who will be present at the Marriage Supper. Sum up your lesson by stressing what a wonderful privilege and opportunity we have, and what a wonderful reward it will be to be included at this great event.
To introduce the lesson today why not prepare the table in your Sunday school class as you would the dining room table in your own home for special dinners. For example, you can cover the table with your fine tablecloth, decorate the table with a centerpiece and candles, and if you want, you can set place mats, china and silverware for each student—don’t forget place cards. This will really surprise the students.
Create a special wedding invitation. The card should be large and the decorations on the outside may be simple, such as some clouds and a rainbow. On the inside, declare that God would honor the presence of anyone who attends the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Have your students, as a home project, make an RSVP card. You may want to make one in advance as a sample. These cards can be displayed in the classroom.
If you still have your wedding dress or tuxedo, bring it to class to show the students that at the Marriage Supper, we who are there will be arrayed with the best garments. (Pictures will do too.)
Bring a wedding guest book and use it to remind the students that only those who have made themselves ready and have their name in God’s Book will be at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Bring a wedding invitation to class. Explain that this wedding is so special that you can hardly wait to get ready for it, but first you have to reply to the RSVP. Use this as your lead into the lesson about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Explain that God is calling us today and is inviting all to come into His Kingdom. Those who have answered the invitation will attend, but they have to make themselves ready.
Have the students list on a chalkboard some of the things that must be done before a person can get married. Beside this list, have the students list some of the things that we must do to be ready for Heaven and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.