There are many things that we have to prepare in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. One of them is “wedding clothes.” The Bible says that wedding clothes stand for the righteous acts of the saints (Rev 19:8).
We may wear sports clothes or short pants at home. But if we are invited to the official residence such as Cheongwadae (the Blue House: the presidential residence of the Republic of Korea) or the White House, can we go there in such informal clothes? The person who has no suit will immediately prepare one.
In the same way, those who will go to the kingdom of God must not wear the clothes that only belong to worldly people. God’s people should live a more holy, godly and righteous life than any other people in the world. As those who are invited to the kingdom of heaven, from now on we should prepare the appropriate clothing to get into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus Christ has explained what kind of people can enter the kingdom of heaven, using the parable of the wedding banquet. In the parable we can see the scene where only those who have been invited and chosen by God are allowed to enter the heavenly wedding banquet. Those who have been invited but not chosen are the ones who do not wear wedding clothes.
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come . . . But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Mt 22:1–14
We must not only attend the heavenly wedding banquet without fail but also deliver God’s invitation to many people so that they can also participate in this joyful banquet. Inviting people to come to the heavenly wedding banquet is preaching the good news.
Marriage is a very important and joyous event enough to be called “a major life event.” Those who are invited to such a great wedding event should attend it in proper attire. It wouldn’t be proper to go to the wedding in a black mourning dress or sportswear drenched in sweat.
Can anyone enter the kingdom of God in dirty rags? Whoever has been invited to the wedding banquet must prepare for it properly. The person who is not wearing wedding clothes will be thrown out of the wedding banquet.
We must not be those who will fail to enter the kingdom of heaven and be thrown outside into the darkness as a result of not wearing wedding clothes. In regard to wedding clothes which we must wear to attend the heavenly wedding banquet, the Bible says as follows:
for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Gal 3:27
Those who will go to the kingdom of heaven must wear wedding clothes. Wearing wedding clothes means being clothed with Christ. Then, what does it mean to be clothed with Christ? The book of Galatians describes baptism as being clothed with Christ.
Baptism is a covenant made between God and us. It contains our promise to God as well as God’s promise to us—the forgiveness of sins and salvation. This is our promise to God: From now on we will follow the path that Christ walked, with the mind of Christ, even though we have lived according to the selfish desires of the flesh with a worldly mind until now. According to this covenant or promise, we are to follow the life of Christ, having Christ’s mind and putting His teachings into practice. This is the way to be clothed with Christ.
Being clothed with Christ, we should lower and humble ourselves all the more. Since we are sinners who committed sins in heaven, we have nothing to boast about ourselves. Since the Apostle Paul realized this, he regarded his learning or lineage as nothing and devoted his life to the gospel according to Christ’s example, saying that he had nothing to boast about except Christ who was sacrificed on the cross (Gal 6:14; Php 3:5–9).
. . . But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Pe 2:19–21
Unless we follow in the life of Christ who sacrificed Himself to save us, we are no different from those who do not know Christ at all. God has let us follow in Christ’s steps and have the mind of Christ, and has also let us run towards our goal of faith—to enter the eternal kingdom of God where Christ dwells.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Php 2:5–11
When we are clothed with Christ, we can share in His heavenly glory. God has been carrying out His work of redemption over three separate periods of time—the age of the Father, the age of the Son, and the age of the Holy Spirit. This shows that God’s people should be clothed with Jehovah in the age of the Father and with Jesus Christ in the age of the Son.
In the age of the Holy Spirit, we have to be clothed with the Spirit and the Bride. In this age, Christ has appeared as the Spirit and the Bride, and They say to human beings who are hoping for salvation and heaven, “Come!” (Rev 22:17). In order to receive the water of life and enter the eternal kingdom of heaven, we need to be clothed with the Spirit and the Bride.
For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 2 Co 5:4
Without being clothed with God, there is no way for us, who are mortal, to receive eternal life. God is the only Being who possesses eternal life; God is the source of life.
What we must do in order to be clothed with God the Father and God the Mother is to have the mind of Father and Mother as well as to learn the path of the gospel which They have walked. By following the example of Father and Mother fully, let us all be clothed with Christ so that we can go back to the eternal kingdom of heaven.
In order to clothe ourselves with Christ, we first need to learn the true nature of Father and Mother. The Bible says that God is love.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 Jn 4:7–11
Since God is love, loving one another is the way to clothe ourselves with Christ. As God’s children, when we love our brothers and sisters just as Father and Mother have loved us and follow Their way of sacrifice, we can be clothed with Father and Mother who are love.
Those who do not love are the ones who do not know God, and that is why they act as they please. If we have not yet prepared our wedding clothes to enter the kingdom of heaven because of our impatient and hot-tempered personality, let us clothe ourselves with love from now on. Smoothing out our rough edges, let us try to change ourselves so that we can be filled with God’s love. In this world, we can achieve nothing without effort. It is the same spiritually; we need to put forth considerable effort and devotion to wear wedding clothes which are required to enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Bible says, “Forcefully advance the kingdom of heaven,” and, “Be faithful, even to the point of death.” Without forgetting these words, we have to make every effort to follow the path God leads us on. Since we cannot do anything on our own, we need God’s help. So we must make efforts and ask God for help with all our heart. Seeing our efforts, our Father and Mother will provide us with wedding clothes to wear.
Let us all prepare our wedding clothes with the mind of love. As the saying goes, “The benevolent has no enemy,” the person whose heart is overflowing with love and mercy has no enemy. Each of us should become such a person.
Bearing fruit is important, but it is more important to help that fruit grow to be the fruit of love. Though we bear fruit, if we do not have love, the fruit does not mature but just ends up being chaff. Since God is love, when we bear fruit with love, it can be the fruit that has something to do with God.
The Bible says that the earthly things are a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. In this world, a mother’s love is the greatest love of all.
Scientists say that mitochondria, which are essential for life, are passed only from a mother to her children. Not only life but also love is passed down through the mother. There was an experiment conducted in a science laboratory: When some newborn mice were placed beside a female mouse that had never given birth, she did not take care of the young at all even though they squeaked continuously. However, when the blood of a mother mouse that had just given birth was injected into the non-parous female mouse, an amazing thing occurred. From then on, she began to have interest in the young mice and put so much care into them, always staying beside them.
As for us, we need to have the mind of God. We must have the heart of God the Mother as well as the heart of God the Father. Let us all prepare our spiritual clothing. In the parable of the wedding banquet, the man who was not wearing wedding clothes was thrown outside. This shows that the person who is not clothed with Christ, the one who is not clothed with God the Father and God the Mother, will be thrown out into the darkness. We are the heavenly children who have inherited the blood of God the Father and God the Mother who are love.
The female mouse’s behavior changed 180 degrees as she received blood from the mother mouse. We all have the blood of Father and Mother flowing through us. So we, too, must change ourselves completely so that we can be filled with love. Let us lead each and every soul around us to the way of blessing and give them God’s love, so that we can all go to the kingdom of heaven together.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Co 13:1–7
Love is the most important and essential garment we must prepare. The words without love are empty and meaningless. Without love, everything is nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind, and love does not envy. But this does not mean that love tolerates all things blindly. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love is not proud or rude, and love is not easily angered.
Let us practice this kind of love. If we do not put love into action, we are no different than those who do not know what love is. Let us always examine ourselves to see if we are living the life of faith according to the teachings of God. If there is something that we fail to put into action, let us try to do it from now on.
Even people in the world say that the happiest moment for them is when they give love to others and receive it from them. Our life of faith is the same. We should have a will to prepare wedding clothes and also make an effort. Let us try to get closer to our brothers and sisters and communicate better with them. Let us be patient and considerate of one another, so that we will not regret getting hurt or hurting each other because of our communication problems.
Father and Mother are love. Nevertheless, if we are still clothed with hatred, envy, jealousy and anger, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. A mother’s blood contains the material that enables her to tolerate and embrace all things with love. Since we have also received the blood and heart of our Mother, let us all manifest Her love to our brothers and sisters and to our neighbors.
Always examining ourselves to see if we are clothed with Christ—if we are following in the life of Christ, let us carry out the work of saving souls with love and earnestness in our hearts. If all of us have Mother’s heart and are clothed with Mother, the whole world will be overflowing with love and the pleasing will of God is going to be quickly fulfilled on this earth as well. All our brothers and sisters in Zion, let us all be clothed with love and enter the eternal kingdom of heaven together.