Friday, December 28, 2012

Preparing for the Marriage

One Year Bible
New Testament passage for Friday, December 28, 2012:  Revelation 19:1-21

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.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  Revelation 19:7-8 (NASB)

Human history began with a marriage and will end with a marriage. In Eden, God formed man and woman and joined them together as husband and wife. Now, at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Jesus, the great bridegroom, will be joined forever with His bride, the church.

This is the great purpose of God around which He causes all things to work together for good (Rom. 8:28).  The Father determined before the foundation of the world that He would gather a Bride for His Son. All of human history rotates around this central theme.  A love relationship lies at the core of the created universe. Our God is BY NATURE, a lover, a redeemer, seeker of that which is lost.

Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to this sad, sorry old world - and we crucified Him. He and His Bride will be all that will survive the destruction of this world. But, the Father will create a new heavens and a new earth. This is our destiny if we belong to Jesus!

It is interesting to note that verse 7 says "the bride has made herself ready."  This means that the church has gotten herself ready for the Lord. Just to be clear, this does not mean JUSTIFICATION. this refers instead to SANCTIFICATION. Justification is how God makes us righteous and is purely an action of His grace apart from our works. Sanctification, however, is theories whereby God remakes us inside our so that we look like and act like Jesus. Sanctification requires our daily cooperation.

Ths bride has MADE HERSELF READY. I have over the past four decades performed countless weddings. The preparation for the wedding is always a big deal. The bride-to-be is continually busy preparing every detail looking to the day of her marriage. We ought to be the same with respect to the day we all are joined with Christ at the Marriage.

So, what is the focus of your life. Are we tied up in the trivialities of a fading world, or are we joyfully fulfilling every task with view toward our eternal destiny?  Joy lies ahead!  Purpose surrounds us now!  Like a bride in beautiful clothing, so is the church as we await our heavenly Bridegroom.

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