“It is the last hour” 1 John 2:18 – Everyone should know it is the last hour.
There is chaos worldwide. We need to recognize the spirit of the Antichrist who has more intensely made his debut.
We need to be aware of spiritual deception reigning paramount in our days – “…false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the elect” – abandoning steadfast discipleship; absence of sound doctrine. (Mark 13:22-23)
The Bible is full of allusions to God’s people being his bride. In the Old Testament, the prophets often portray God’s people as the beloved but often unfaithful bride.
God is seen as a faithful husband whose steadfast love is strong and lasting, pursuing and winning back his bride repeatedly. Hosea 3; Jeremiah 2
We need to get prepared as the Bride of Christ for the return of our glorious bridegroom King Jesus. While we are doing this we ought to be aware of our enemy, his tactics and his strategy. There shall be widespread deception in our days that if it were possible even to deceive the elect. Matthew 24:24
How shall we present ourselves to our Lord as we await His appearing?
Let us focus on the characteristics of the Bride 0f Christ as we ready ourselves for our beloved Bridegroom Jesus Christ.
The Bride of Christ should be wise like her Bridegroom (Proverbs 9:1).
Be an overcomer like her husband (Revelation 3:21); She builds her house on seven pillars (James 3:17) –
2. Peaceful / Righteous – not quarrelsome
4. Willing to Yield – willing to receive correction
5. Fullness of Mercy
6. Faithful and loyal
7. Devoid of hypocrisy.
Although she is still far from perfect, she is pressing on and growing towards perfection.
The Church is the ‘Beloved of God.’ – Just like a bridegroom loves his bride so does God Almighty, who professes His love not merely in words, but in sacrificial actions Romans 5:8.
He leaves his palace, his throne, everything, to rescue the one He loves. His actions towards the Church are always full of love. Ephesians 5:25-32.
The Church should be radiantly beautiful. When God sees His Church, His family, He sees her made whole and holy, gloriously and graciously freed from the stains of sin and shining in the light of His love.
And just as He demonstrated in the Old Testament through the prophets who portrayed God’s people as a straying wife with an ever-faithful husband, we can rejoice that God delights to cleanse his bride in an ongoing way when she stumbles: Though the Church is made up of sinful people, they are redeemed by the Blood of Jesus. And redemption is a powerful restorative force that also looks forward to glory when everything wrong will be made right.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9.
As with so many sides of the Christian life, there is a lot already done here on earth but a heavenly reality or element not yet done, is the Church’s identity as the Bride of Christ. This is wedding supper celebrating the eternal union of God with His people yet to come. We as believers, are told to prepare ourselves as we await this feast with anticipation and great joy – the glorious future yet to come.
Revelation 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
Revelation 21:2 is suggestive of the glorious moment in a wedding ceremony when the bride appears. “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband”.
This is what we are preparing for: The Church as the bride of Christ. We will enjoy a blissful celebration as the bride of Christ in God’s eternal kingdom.”
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