The church is waiting for her bridegroom to come, but is she truly waiting?
Make no mistake, she will become the bride of Christ. She will be pure and holy, spotless and unblemished before her Husband, the Lord.
Beloved, imagine a bride who has forgotten about her engagement and betrothal. What does it say about her love for her bridegroom? What does it say about the bridegroom that he could be forgotten?
Think about what it means for a bride to have forgotten her betrothal. Her engagement has been so overshadowed that she has forgotten her identity.
We are engaged to be wed to the Son of the Most High God. Have we forgotten our first love? How, then, should we remember our first love of the Savior?
After all, a bride in love with her future husband will tell those around her. She does not hide her engagement or her love. She parades around in joy and basks in the love she has found. The church should live like this, but alas, she does not.
Where is the joy of the Lord? Where is the remembrance of what He spoke? We have forgotten that the reason He spoke was for our joy.
The bride must remember her future husband and fall in love with him again. Too many things have distracted us from longing for Him and His presence.
Remember the Lord's letter to Ephesus in Revelation 2...
"'I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. — Revelation 2:2-4
The modern, Western church must remember and repent, or the lampstand will be taken away. There is much to be commended about by the Lord for the works that we have accomplished in His name, but we have forgotten the love for the Bridegroom.
The great commission will be completed only by remembering our first love and repenting. We have fallen in love with other lovers. We have even become idolatrous for results over compassion for the lost. Many churches glory in the number of baptisms but will not have compassion for those who will never come in the doors.
The desire for order and cleanliness has, in many ways, prevented churches from going to those the Lord loves as his own. We have forgotten the parable of the wedding feast where the Master of the house commanded his servants to go into the highways and the byways and the gutters and the sidestreets to gather those for the wedding. We forgot that we were once on these same streets.
Imagine if the servant of the Master refused to go invite those in the streets to fill the wedding banquet. How would the Master respond? Wouldn't the servant be removed? Would his invitation be revoked?
What is the reason for the invitation?
Why does the Master command his servant to go and fill the banquet hall? Yes, those who were invited declined, but the true reason is that his son is getting married, and he desires more than anything that his son be honored.
God the Father desires that Jesus Christ be honored above all. He has therefore sent us out so Jesus will be honored at his wedding. We have been both invited and sent out to find more to fill the banquet hall.
We, who had no standing, no reputation, no birthright, no inheritance, have been invited to the coming feast and have now been sent out to invite others that they may come and be fed.
Having met the Bridegroom, we now have an even greater reason to find others to attend. We can testify to His greatness and, having become servants, have made Him our Lord. We now, like the Father, should desire for our Lord to be honored above all, lest we be found as having not been made servants.
Remember what the others said to the bride in Song of Solomon.
What is your beloved more than another beloved, O most beautiful among women? What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you thus adjure us?
– Song of Solomon 5:9
Why is Jesus greater than another beloved? Why is He more beautiful? If we, as the bride, have no answer to these questions, who will tell of His greatness? Who will tell of his beauty?
The bride alone knows of His glory. She has labored and spent time in the secret places to learn about Him.
We see this in Song of Solomon 5:10-16. The "most beautiful among women" has an answer. She says...
My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand. His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven. His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a full pool. His cheeks are like beds of spices, mounds of sweet-smelling herbs. His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh. His arms are rods of gold, set with jewels. His body is polished ivory, bedecked with sapphires. His legs are alabaster columns, set on bases of gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. — Song of Solomon 5:10-16
The church must be the bride who always has an answer as to why her beloved is more than another beloved.
The entire world is asking this question to the church: Why is your beloved more than another?
The average churchgoer in the West seems to have no answer to this question. There's no intimacy between individuals in the church and their beloved. Where is the passion and fire and zeal when they speak of the Lord? How many professing believers speak as a bride to the Most High's Son?
Or, where is the passion and fire and zeal when someone else speaks ill of the Lord? It is as if we collectively don't even know Him...
Where is the zeal for the church's beloved? If a bride is truly in love, she will speak of him to everyone.
A bride in love will long for her wedding day. She will make preparations for the day. She will even be found making preparations if he comes in the middle of the night. Where is the urgency of the church to make preparations for the wedding day?
It seems as though going to the nations has been relegated to the few and not the many. It has been elevated to a special position within the body of Christ. We have forgotten that all are called to make disciples. All servants are sent to find more to invite to the wedding feast.
We can either go and make disciples, or we can stay and make disciples. If we do neither, we are disobedient. These are the only choices we have.
If we, as the bride, desire the Lord to return, the nations must be reached... We even have a conditional promise from the Lord himself on what is required for Him to return...
And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.
– Matthew 24:14
When the Bride of Christ moves into the joy she has in her beloved, she will look at this verse as the promise that it is and begin moving in ways that will bring about the Bridegroom's return. Thereby, she will ultimately fulfill the Great Commission of her Lord and Husband out of love for Him and a desire to see Him face to face.
After all, our blessed hope is in His revealing. If we say our hope is His revealing but make no effort to bring it about, how can we say we have any faith in the promise? Remember what the writer of Hebrews said about faith.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
– Hebrews 11:1
The Greek word, (ἔλεγχος, elegchos, Strong's G1650), which is translated as "conviction" (or "evidence" in other translations), means "the proof by which a thing is tested." To say one has faith, it must be accompanied by works in the flesh which prove the assurance in which one hopes.
If we say our blessed hope is in His return but are not working towards the very condition that will bring about his return, then how can we say we have faith in His return?
Where is the conviction in the church today? Where is the evidence of the bride who is waiting? A bride who does not prepare for her beloved is not convinced she is getting married.
The church has become distracted. Is she still convinced of her engagement and the coming judgment?
Jesus says in Luke 17:26-30 that in the days of His revealing, it will be like the days of Noah.
Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. — Luke 17:26-30
Notice how Jesus does not mention the people's sin during the days of Noah, that they thought evil continually. Instead, he mentions that they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage without any thought to the supernatural or impending judgment.
Are we, as the body of Christ, doing the same as in the days of Noah? Have we become so distracted by the things of this world that we make no mention of, or take no thought to, the impending destruction of our neighbors, friends, or families?
These questions must be wrestled with as we move into the last few minutes of this age. Will He find us at work when He comes? Or will he find us eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage?
We must ask ourselves, "will He find us at work when He comes?"
Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions.
– Matthew 24:46-47
Are you, as a member of His church and His bride, preparing for the wedding feast? Are you inviting everyone to the reception?
We must go back to the Word of God and renew our admiration of the Bridegroom. Have we spent time alone with Him? Do we know Him as His bride?
We must prepare ourselves as a bride ready to meet her bridegroom and ask the Father for more revelation of His Beloved Son.
If we remain as we are and do not prepare, then we are a bride who has forgotten her wedding day and, worst of all, has forgotten about her Bridegroom.
Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus!
: Revelation 19:7
: Revelation 2:4
: John 15:11
: Revelation 2:5
: Matthew 22
: Philippians 2:9-11
: Matthew 11:28
: Matthew 6:6
: 1 Peter 3:15
: Matthew 25:10
: Titus 2:13
: Genesis 6:5
: Matthew 6:6
: Revelation 19:7