The Bible says scary things, but the believing, those who know the God of grace can stand confidently in his grace. Read Matthew 22:1-14 (WEB) and consider what the believing know and what the unbelieving do not know.
1) Jesus answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2) "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son, 3) and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast, but they would not come. 4) Again he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "Behold, I have prepared my dinner. My cattle and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the marriage feast!" ' 5) But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his merchandise, 6) and the rest grabbed his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7) When the king heard that, he was angry, and sent his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
8) "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited weren't worthy. 9) Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the marriage feast.' 10) Those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together as many as they found, both bad and good. The wedding was filled with guests. 11) But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who didn't have on wedding clothing, 12) and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here not wearing wedding clothing?' He was speechless. 13) Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him into the outer darkness. That is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.' 14) For many are called, but few chosen."
Believers know and unbelievers do not know...
- EVERYONE is invited to fellowship with their King, John 3:16.
- Only a FEW are dressed properly for the wedding, Matthew 22:11.
- Proper dress IS NOT being good enough, Isaiah 64:6.
- Proper dress IS trusting God's grace, Galatians 3:27.
- God's grace has forgiven the BELIEVING, 1 John 2:1-2.
- God's grace has ALSO forgiven the unbelieving, 1 John 2:1-2.
- The self-righteous are thrown OUTSIDE to endure suffering, Matthew 22:13.
- No where does this passage speak about ETERNAL punishment.
- Unbelievers are punished in HADES, Luke 16:19-31.
- This verse does NOT say unbelievers are damned to the Lake of Fire.
Conventional protestant thinking too quickly concludes that unbelieving mankind is damned to the Lake of Fire. Yet a careful reading of this Scripture and an understanding of the difference between Hades and the Lake of Fire as well as the timing of Jesus' wedding banquet show that unbelievers will not escape punishment, yet grace will be finally victorious for all God's people.
Believers take heart and unbelievers take warning.