ESV - 13 Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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The term outer darkness means outside of the light. The word OUTER mean outside not extreme...like outer space. The parable is primarily Jewish in its context therefore the Kingdom is in view. Many say that the wedding feast represents heaven but if the man that does not have the wedding garment represents an unsaved person then how does he get into heaven. It will also mean that one can enter into heaven and then be cast into hell. Outer darkness then refers to life outside of the joys the kingdom age. Out side of the light and joy etc of the Kingdom. The weeping and gnashing of teeth is descriptive of the deep anguish of those who though accepted the invitation to attend the wedding feast refuse to wear the wedding Garment. Representing people who accepts the invitation but think that because they are Jews they dont have to live a righteous life as the sermon on the mount tells them how to live. You will see that in that sermon it speaks of those who are greatest in the kingdom, those who are least in the kingdom and then those who are CAST OUT OF the Kingdom. Matt 5:19,20. See similarly in the parable of the talents in Matt. 25 where the servants of the Lord are given talents to use while He not there and then on His return they give an account of how they used the talents. Again the one talent servant is a servant just like the other two. He enters the same judgment as them. So unless one believes in a general judgment then one must conclude this man is a believer. In addition this is a parable of service nit salvation. For if it is salvation then one must conclude salvation is by works. Since salvation cannot be lost then this has to refer to the Kingdom not heaven. This is a great warning to all Believers to live a holy life so when we stand at the Bema seat we will hear the LORD say to us "well done thou good and faithful servant thou has been faithful over a few things I will make you ruler of many things enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Many believers during the Millennium Kingdom will not enjoy the light joy and peace etc of the Millennium Kingdom after which eternity comes into being and all things are made new with no more crying etc. I know this is not the normal view of outer darkness but many others like Earl Radmacher, G.H. Lang, A..B. Bruce, I.M. Halderman. G. Campbell Morgan. Herbert Lockyer. John Philips. Charles Stanley. Warren Wiersbe et al. God bless you.
Nave's Topical Bible says of Darkness that it is called outer darkness in Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30. I.e. the figurative use of the word, "darkness," is referred to in Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30. Jesus uses the word DARKNESS to illustrate existence apart from the light of God's presence. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge author, R. A. Torrey, wrote concerning the words "outer darkness": Matthew 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 2 Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; Michael J. Wilkins mentions concerning the future "Final Darkness. The Old Testament and New Testament describe the future of the ungodly in terms of eschatological darkness, symbolizing perdition (1 Sam 2:9; Matt 22:13; Jude 1:12-13). "Hell" and "pits of darkness" describe the fate of angels who sinned (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). But for believers darkness will be dispelled by the presence of the light of the glory of God (Rev 21:23-24; 22:5). It is only through the light of God in Jesus Christ that darkness can be dispelled." But the final fate of infidels (those who haven't believed in Jesus) will once again be darkness "which may be felt," in my opinion.
The phrase “outer darkness” is only found in Matthew 8:12, 22:13, and 25:30, all words of Jesus. Many believe the phrase refers to hell, but it does not, as will be shown. The people in each of these passages are at some feast. There is the celebration feast, when people sit down, literally recline as at a table, with the patriarchs, Matthew 8:10-12. The second reference is a parable with the setting of a wedding feast, Matthew 22:1-14. The third reference is also a parable, a kind of awards banquet, Matthew 25:14-30. In each of the passages, the people, even those who fall short or fail in some way, were there properly as guests. They are all believers and are called “sons of the kingdom,” Matthew 8:12, “friend of God,” Matthew 22:13, and “servant” Matthew 24:51, all appropriate terms for believers. In Matthew 13:38 when Jesus explains the parable of the tares, He states that “the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom,” proving they are believers. Those who fall short, or fail are cast into outer darkness. This is not hell. This mistaken thinking supposes these people are false professors, not having received Christ, or were believers who had lost their salvation. But they who have believed in Jesus will never suffer eternal punishment, John 3:16, 5:24, 6:47, 11:26. But these believers are expelled from the lighted halls of the banquet out into the night where it was dark, as feasts lasted long into the night. They were cast from this occasion of light, joy and celebration, not because they were not in the faith, but because of their level of faith. In each of these passages, there is also the mention of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” which is normally thought of as torment of hell. This expression is found seven times, Matthew 8:12, 13:42, 13:50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, Luke 13:28, and in some of the places it does mean the suffering in hell. But in these passages that speak of outer darkness, the “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” is instead the suffering of bitterest disappointment, sorrowful regret of displeasing the Master. The remorseful weeping was illustrated by Peter who went out and wept bitterly after denying the Lord, Matthew 26:75. The phrase “many are called, few are chosen,” Matthew 22:14, is about many who are invited or called, but fewer are the “choice ones,” which is the better translation. They are favored for their obedience. The concept of this phrase is that some believers fail to live up to their calling. It is not that they lose their salvation or were never saved, but they lose rewards, greatly disappointing their Lord and Master. Whenever the phrase “outer darkness” is found in the New Testament, it is always in a passage about believers. It is not referring to hell, but the darkness outside of where believers are assembled at a feast. The casting into “outer darkness” symbolizes the exclusion from privileges of those not honoring Christ.
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