"And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen."
Jesus ends with the statement, "For many are called, but few are chosen." Many within the visible manifestation of the Kingdom will not be wearing a wedding garment due to lack of preparation (see also the story of the ten virgins in Matt. 25) and hence are not of the chosen. The "wedding garment" symbolizes a condition of readiness - present possession of true faith in Christ and continued obedience made possible through the grace of Christ.
Paul gives further insight into how we are to prepare. 2 Cor. 7:1, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." We must make a clean break with every form of ungodly compromise and continually resist the desire of the flesh. We must put to death the sinful deeds of the body, hate them and run away from them.
Titus 2: 11-14 is another wonderful passage: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
The Apostle John, speaking of Jesus' return writes, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure." (1 John 3:3)
Time is short and the return of the Lord is nigh at hand. Let us examine ourselves to see where we stand in His sight, and become actively involved in preparing for His coming. Let us watch, pray and take heed lest that day come upon us unawares! (Luke 21:34-36)