Chorus of the Bride

May 1, 2012

II Corinthians 11:2 “For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.”

I John 3:2-3 “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when we shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

Three passages which are far deeper than the casual ponderings of this post. In the first passage, the apostle Paul tells of his godly jealousy for the Corinthians. He was a man who had cast off his former reputation and riches and set his eyes steadfastly upon the Savior who miraculously entered his life on a dusty road outside of Damascus. He continuously encouraged the saints to likewise grow into the fulness of Christ. (My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.) In the second passage, Paul reminds the saints in Rome that the present tribulations, regaredles of how intense they may be, are very temporal. In II Corinthians 4:17 he goes on to explains the benefits behind such trials. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 

In the third passage, the apostle John reminds us that, while it’s currently not observable, we shall inherit a state of incorruptible perfection when we enter into the presence of Jesus. Every heartache, every disappointment,every infimity, and every season of sorrow will vanish in the face of that which shall never pass away. Revelation 21:4 reads “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and their shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

 A lifetime of ups and downs, of mountaintop rendezvous followed quickly by lengthy seasons of trying, of falling in love and having our hearts broken, of hardship and despair in wharsoever measure it may have been;all of it will seem as little more than a split-second of inconvenience.

Revelation 21:7 “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I shall be his God, and he shall be my son.”

“He that overcometh.” This post is about those who believe on Jesus to the saving of the soul and what that finished product will be like. The embodiment of saints that will make up the bride of Christ can be described in part by identifying the commonalities between the spiritual bride of Christ and a physical bride in this world. (The word itself is interesting. In the natural, the term “bride” is singular while in the spiritual, “bride” is plural.) Here are a few observations concerning a bride in the physical.

1. “Singularity of affection.” In her past, she probably entertained a number of prospects. For one reason or another, none of these captured her heart to the point that she wanted to spend the remainder of her days with them. Finally the right one came along and from that moment on, the search was over. Every ambition from that moment on became geared toward the day of the wedding; when a new name would be taken and a new life begun.

In this life, everything that we say and do; every ambition and motive, should be geared toward the everlasting. Our time here is so temporal, and yet, many saints seem consumed by cares which have no eternal significance. I have much to learn in this area as well. At the moment of salvation, our eternal destination changes from an eventual lake of fire to a city made without hands. Subsequemtly, every affection that is contrary to this inheritance should be discarded.

Hebrews 13;14 “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.”

2. “Boasting.” In the course of her converstions, the bride to be will routinely make reference to the one who has stolen her heart and the marriage that is in the works. Our conversation will always gravitate toward the embodiment of our affection. It’s relatively easy to discern what a person is all about and what their god is. Regardless of what they profess outwardly, sooner or later, their true passions will spill into their conversation.

Jesus should be the focus of our boasting. I’ve known profesing saints who are quick to say “Oh yes; Jesus is my first love….without a doubt.” And yet, when given the opportunity to direct a conversation, they tend to discuss their career, their favorite sports team, their earthly ambitions, their trappings, and what have you. This is a simple self spiritual exam that we can perfom on-the-go. “Where is my conversation going? What is so important to me that I look for any opportunity to talk about it? Is the testimony of Jesus like “burning fire shut up in my bones?” (Jeremiah 20:9) 

3. “Preparation.” A future bride will be incredibly busy; planning the wedding and preparing for the new life that awaits. Likewise, one who is born of the Spirit should be busy preparing; laying aside every weight, every besetting sin, every contrary attitude and what have you. They will be ever so careful in what they subject themselves to; lest they make provision for the flesh which still contains the old nature. They will strive against anything contrary to God and, on those occasions where they stumble, they will be quick to repent.

4. “Watching.” She is aware that, while a wedding is in the works, several things can transpire which could derail the event. She will give all diligence to minimize unnecessary complexities that could cause an unraveling of everything hoped for. She will approach complications with discression as her foremost priority will be preserving the relationship with her beloved. In like manner, those who are the inheritors of eternal life should be alert to pitfalls because they are many. Furthermore, we have a relentless adversary who continuously seeks whom he may devour. Satan never misses an open window and the moment that we let our guard down, he is quick to use it to his advantage.

5. “Increasing Familiarity.” She will seek to be with her significant one at every opportunity and become increasingly more acquainted. She will consistantly work on strengthening the relationship. If our affections are truly on the Lord Jesus, we will run to prayer time and hold his word in higher esteem than our necessary sustainance. We will consistantly seek greater understanding of  the Lord Jesus with whom we shall abide forever; world without ending. We will strive daily to become more like him and less like what we once were.

6. “Anticipation.” The former things that once consumed so much of our energy and resource will lose all appeal as our hearts cry becomes “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”  Just as a natural bride will literally “count down the days” leading up to the wedding, we should eagerly look for the moment when we are forever with Jesus. As the apostle Paul observed “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

7. “I’m Already There.” This kind of sums up the previous attributes. In short, we will conduct our affairs as though we are already in our heavenly abode. Our hearts should be there now. At the moment of salvation, we became the property of the Lord Jesus. We are no longer our own and, subsequently, our lives should be in complete submission to him. To place a natural spin on this, imagine a lady who is engaged, but continues to entertain other lovers. Even though there hasn’t been a marriage yet, this lady is unfaithful.  

The truths that are contained in the following passages, as they relate to the bride, should put a song in the heart of all who love the Lord Jesus. (Amazingly, they are all found in a book which many consider to be unnerving.)

Revelation 7:13-14 “And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
And I said unto him, Sir thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes in the blood of the lamb.

“Sir thou knowest.” I love Johns careful response to the question “Who are these?”

Revelation 19:6-8 “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Aleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.”

“His wife hath made herself ready.”Each of us should search our hearts; inquiring “am I making myself ready? Do I have oil in my lamp at this late hour?”

Revelation 21:2-3 “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

Revelation 21:9-10 “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lambs wife.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Revelation 21:27 “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lambs book of life.”

WOW!!! None of us have ever been in an environment that is completely void of sin and sorrow. None us have, as of yet, put on incorruption. None of us know what it’s like to live in a state of timelessness. Yet we know that such a place is being prepared for us. We must arrive at a place where that which is to come is more real to us than our current setting. Jesus must be our first love; far above ambitions, above the mechanics of the faith, and above everyone in our ambience. We shall be in the presence of the Lord for ever; a bride without spot and blameless.

Blessings always in Jesus name. 

Rev 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

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