Text: Matthew 22:1-14

Introduction: RSVP in Heaven? Revelation 21:27, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Context: Religious leaders, people, and everyone (from ESV Global Study Bible)

  • 21:43 The leaders have failed to carry out their obligations to God both in their personal lives and in leading the nation of Israel. Therefore their privileged role is being taken away and given to a people producing its fruits. The church will be a new “people” consisting of both Jews and Gentiles.
  • 22:1–14 The parable of the wedding feast describes the judgment of irresponsible religious leaders.

Main Idea: Explain the parable.

  • Grace No. 1 – chosen to be invited (v. 3); not coming is already a direct insult and a challenge to his authority.
    • Humanity’s response: not attending
  • Grace No. 2 – get an invitation again (v. 4); rejected and killed his servants (vv. 5-6); deserving a punishment (v. 7)
    • Humanity’s response: rebellious, corrupted, and violent
  • Grace No. 3 – invited everyone (vv. 9-10); many came and filled the wedding feast
    • Humanity’s response: entitlement, pride, ignorance, and indifference
  • Grace No. 4 – called him a friend (v. 12); proper clothing was given to the guests; punishment (v. 13)
    • Galatians 3:26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
    • Joseph’s family (Gen. 45:22); Mordecai (Esther 6:8–9); and future wedding in Rev. 19:6-9


  • Invitation to God’s kingdom of heaven signifies the reward of partaking in the wedding feast. (Rev. 19:6-9)
  • Punishment is death (v. 7) and sentenced to the outer darkness with there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (v. 13)
  • King = God
  • Son = Jesus
  • Servants = Prophets of God/ his messengers/ further, the disciples
  • Invited guests = Israelites, Jewish people, and the religious leaders
  • Extended invitation = Gentiles, the church, and Christians


Verse 14, the elect = invited ones. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Ephesians 1; Romans 8)

  • Matthew 11:27, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
  • How do we know? Those who believe (Ephesians 1)

Grace comes to them in the form of a feast. They rejected it. Likewise, grace always comes to us—we hear sermons on grace nearly every Sunday and yet the rest of the week we try to earn God’s favor. God’s grace comes to us free of charge, no strings attached, on the house.

“You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace.” – Gordon MacDonald


Have you responded to the invite?

  • Not yet? Accept God’s grace and be saved.
    • Mark 16:16, Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
  • Yes, but not sure.
    • 2 Corinthians 13:5, Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
  • Yes, 100%.
    • Obey verse 9 in our sermon’s passage.
      • Matthew 22:9, Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’


Pastor John Paul Arceno

UCBC New Jersey | September 3, 2023





Text: 1 Peter 1:18-19

Short Background: there was economic inflation and a financial crisis during the writing of this epistle due to Emperor Nero’s blasphemous persecution. This context explains why Peter compared the payment of salvation from gold and silver with the blood shed by Christ. Indeed, gold and silver have limited and volatile value, while Christ’s gracious act was infinite and eternal.


Buying something with a credit card. Needs payment. Or else you will end up having a bad credit score, broke, too much debt, or, worst case, be in jail (in some countries). What do we do now? It’s either we pay for it. Or someone else’s pay for us. If someone is paying for it, do we deserve it?

Biblical survey: Throughout time, humanity has been offending and building a lot of bad credit scores with God. Yet, despite the stubbornness of men, God still pays for their debt/ credit. However, it just keeps on repeating. (Illustration: 5-6 loan interest; you try to pay more so you can ask for more credit). But it does not help you get off from your status. Likewise, we would ask God for forgiveness, but then we do it again or maybe something worse. (Indulgences, “Lord, here’s my tithe or donation,” then you plan to do something wrong in the near future.

Main Idea:

1. But the Bad news is our debts to God cannot be paid by mere good works or replenishing our spiritual credit scores. No! The payment is death (Romans 6:23). No one can pay for their own, the interest is too high, and none can pay for themselves.

2. God’s solution: but praise God! There’s Good news. He saw the shortcomings of the people. They cannot do it independently (Roms 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”). They need God’s self-giving love (Eph 2:8-9). It is not by works but only through God’s gift of payment.

What is the payment? If it requires death? Then death should also be the payment. 1 John 2:1-2 “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

The Christmas story is about a beloved payment, that is, Christ (John 3:16-17). God in heaven was thinking about paying all our debts once and for all by sending His Son, Jesus Christ (perfect, holy, pure, and eternal). That is the meaning of Christmas. God gave His Son. That’s why we cannot outgive God.

3. More Good News: we become co-heirs or co-sharers of God’s riches once we become part of his family. Romans 8: 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings so that we may also share in his glory.”

How do we access these riches? Through prayers, obedience, and reading His Word. Understanding the eternal riches of God gives us more joy in living in this world.


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
December 25, 2022




Text: 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

All-Sufficient Grace of Christ (Full Sermon Manuscript)



Paul wrote this letter in a more apologetic, argumentative, or lawyer-like tone addressing the false accusations against him by fake Christian leaders.

Thorn in the flesh: (1) Paul’s inner psychological struggles; (2) Paul’s opponents, who continued to persecute him; (3) some kind of physical affliction; or (4) some kind of demonic harassment.

Main Idea:

The thorn is a messenger from Satan designed to torment Paul. But God has a purpose for the thorn. What Satan intended for evil; God turned for good. *Like Joseph the Dreamer, in Genesis 50:19-21:

“But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

Jesus did not take away the thorn; Jesus gave Paul more of himself (v 9). Jesus said, “what you need is more of me”. Al Mohler commented, “God’s solution to earthly suffering is not to take away the trials to make earth a paradise. His answer to suffering is to give us more of himself and his all-sufficient grace so that we have enough to endure the trials.”


  1. Growing through Trials
  2. Grasping the all-sufficient Grace of Christ
  3. Glorifying God’s Power in Our Lives


We need extraordinary measures in extraordinary times. We do not want a stagnant kind of life—no progress and is bound to fail. We ought to mitigate this situation both in our personal lives and communal life by depending on the grace of God by growing through trials, grasping Christ more, and glorifying God in all circumstances.


Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
May 1, 2022


This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.