Heavenly righteousness is the way that the Lord wants us to live our lives here on earth instead of in the corrupt and evil ways of the devil in this world that most people live in.
By living in Godís heavenly righteousness, we are the Lordís witness to the world around us of the way He desires us to live; a way that gets us into heaven.
We have talked about this many times: about how we are to repent of the worldly ways around us, and about the fact that we should be peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will, and do everything we can to help free creation from its present corruption.
And everyone who truly believes should be naturally living this way, and they are the ones who definitely get into heaven.
Letís think about these things and living in heavenly righteousness as we look at Matthew 22:1-22Ö
1. And Jesus answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying,
A parable is a simple fictitious story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, which in this case is about getting into heaven, and as we read on, we need to remember that Jesus is speaking to the people of this world, then and now, which included both believers and non-believers, including clergy.
2. "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king, who gave a wedding feast for his son.
Jesus is going to tell this parable in worldly terms, for that is the way that most people were living.
3. "And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.
Remember also that there are no slaves in heaven.
And, we think about the invited guests as being people who claim to be believers, but are drawn to the corrupt ways of the world.
4. "Again he sent out other slaves saying, 'Tell those who have been invited, "Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast." '
This is definitely not the way of heaven, for there is no death in heaven, but the invited guests were still eating the slaughtered remains of animals who wanted to live just as much as we do.
5. "But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business,
6. and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.
This is the evil way of this world, and donít forget that it was the so-called believers who turned Jesus over to the Romans to be killed.
7. "But the king was enraged and sent his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and set their city on fire.
This sure sounds like those people were being sent to hell.
8. "Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
If we look around the world today, most people who claim to be Christians or Jews are still living in the evil ways of the world and refuse to live in the heavenly will of God.
9. 'Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.'
We see this as inviting the people of the world who do not claim to be believers.
10. "And those slaves went out into the streets, and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.
11. "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes,
We see the wedding clothes as being a symbol of heavenly righteousness for once they saw the kingdom and the truth, they repented of their former worldly ways.
12. and he said to him,' Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And he was speechless.
This man had refused to repent, even though he knew the truth, and based upon the way the world is today, we suspect that there would be a lot more like him.
13. "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
This is another example of hell.
14. "For many are called, but few are chosen."
This is the reason that we believe that there would be lot more people who are not worthy of being in the kingdom of heaven.
15. Then the Pharisees went and counseled together how they might trap Him in what He said.
These religious leaders knew the truth, and understood that Jesus was talking about them as not being worthy of being in the kingdom of heaven, but instead of repenting and seeking Godís forgiveness, they were seeking to destroy Jesus.
16. And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.
This is proof that they knew the truth.
17. "Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?"
18. But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, "Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites?
When we focus our minds upon the heavenly will of God, we can easily see the hypocrisy in those who just pretend to be believers.
19. "Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax." And they brought Him a denarius.
20. And He said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?"
21. They said to Him, "Caesar's." Then He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."
Jesus turned their evilness back upon them, and showed them the clear pathways to heaven and hell for them to choose.
22. And hearing this, they marveled, and leaving Him, they went away.
This is why they marveled, but did any of them repent?
We donít know because we are not told, but based upon the way people are living today we doubt that many of them repented.
Itís a shame that there is so little true heavenly righteousness in the world today.
Letís now turn to Psalm 106:1-23, and see how much heavenly righteousness we perceive.
1. Praise the LORD!
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
With heavenly righteousness, we know in our hearts and souls that these things or true, and we live them before the Lord and no longer just mouth these words.
2. Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the LORD,
Or can show forth all His praise?
We suppose that just about anyone could speak of the mighty deeds of the Lord, for people donít even need to believe, and they can even be unrighteous to speak about something, but to truly show forth His praise, we need to both believe and live in His heavenly righteousness.
3. How blessed are those who keep justice,
Who practice righteousness at all times!
These are the true born again believers who live in the heavenly will of God, and yes, such people are blessed.
4. Remember me, O LORD, in Thy favor toward Thy people;
Visit me with Thy salvation,
The Lord remembers everyone, but only those who live in His heavenly righteousness receive His favor and salvation.
5. That I may see the prosperity of Thy chosen ones,
That I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation,
That I may glory with Thine inheritance.
Again, these are the ones living in Godís heavenly righteousness, and anyone who cares to truly look can see it in their lives.
6. We have sinned like our fathers,
We have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly.
When we recognize this in ourselves, it is the time to repent and seek the Lordís forgiveness and guidance in living in His heavenly will.
7. Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Thy wonders;
They did not remember Thine abundant kindnesses,
But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
This is the way of most of the world today, and why there is so much violence in the world.
8. Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name,
That He might make His power known.
God saved them from destruction, but unless Iím missing something, I donít see Him saving the people of the world today; He seems to be allowing us to stew in the corruption of our own making.
9. Thus He rebuked the Red Sea and it dried up;
And He led them through the deeps, as through the wilderness.
The Lord doesnít seem to be moving in these ways today.
10. So He saved them from the hand of the one who hated them,
And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
This kind of wholesale redemption isnít happening today; God is only doing this with individuals who are living in His heavenly righteousness, and then it is sometimes after their physical death.
11. And the waters covered their adversaries;
Not one of them was left.
12. Then they believed His words;
They sang His praise.
Yes, they sang His praise, but from what we know, most of them really didnít believe, much like it is today.
13. They quickly forgot His works;
They did not wait for His counsel,
To us, this is proof that they really didnít believe and trust in the Lord their God.
14. But craved intensely in the wilderness,
And tempted God in the desert.
God had given them bread from heaven that contained no pain or suffering or death, as it is in heaven, but they craved meat which is the product of pain, suffering, and death.
15. So He gave them their request,
But sent a wasting disease among them.
And a lot of those wasting diseases and chronic illnesses are still with us today, because most people are eating animals.
16. When they became envious of Moses in the camp,
And of Aaron, the holy one of the LORD,
17. The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
And engulfed the company of Abiram.
18. And a fire blazed up in their company;
The flame consumed the wicked.
We may not be seeing these kinds of retributions from God today, but if we care to look, we can see that we have brought many similar things upon ourselves, such as the so-called natural disasters or climate change brought on by global warming, and diseases like Covid-19.
19. They made a calf in Horeb,
And worshiped a molten image.
20. Thus they exchanged their glory
For the image of an ox that eats grass.
Among Jews and Christians, we are not seeing anyone making molten images, like the ox they made in the wilderness, but when we see that the people of this world are causing more than 100 billion animals to suffer and die every year, it is proof that they are making idols of their flesh and byproducts.
21. They forgot God their Savior,
Who had done great things in Egypt,
And for the most part, we are still forgetting God our Savior and not living in His heavenly righteousness.
22. Wonders in the land of Ham,
And awesome things by the Red Sea.
Even if we are not thinking about these things today, we should all be thinking about what Paul wrote in Romans 1:20Ö
20. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
And, for the most part, we really are still without any excuse, for while people say they believe, they are still living in the corrupt and violent ways of this world instead of in Godís heavenly righteousness.
23. Therefore He said that He would destroy them,
Had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him,
To turn away His wrath from destroying them.
Well, Moses is no longer with us, and unless more of us join the ranks of the remnant that is speaking out about living in the heavenly will of God, and encouraging others to do the same, the Lord will continue to let us destroy ourselves.
Itís time we all live in His heavenly righteousness.
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