Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Marriage of the Lamb

I recently saw a video of a man proposing to his girl. I'll tell you, there are few things that strike me as deep as proposals. There was one image that made a lasting impression. After the "yes," they were embracing, and she was still in shock of what had just happened. The man was standing with a serene, calm, and loving face, but she was engulfed in him, in complete shock. Her whole face and body was wrapped around her man. She was just holding on, and now was ready to save herself, and wait for marriage.

In the middle of Revelation, amiss war, famine, Satan, Armageddon, The Beast, the Bottomless Pit, and doom, there is a great passage.
Revelation 19:7
"Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
Christ is the groom, the church is His bride. In the future, Christ will be joined to his bride.

Perhaps one of the more popular subjects of modern Christianity is marriage/romance. Many share slight animosity toward such a commonly discussed topic. However, it's important to understand marriage because the Gospel is likened to marriage. 

In biblical times, marriages had three stages:

1: The betrothal. This was the legal binding between two individuals. When a believer is saved, he is justified and is legally binded to Christ. "You were bought with a price."

2: The coming of the Bridegroom. When the bridegroom comes for the bride. This is the rapture.

3: The marriage. When the two are made one. The is the marriage of the lamb.

Christ has done it all. He chose us, purchased us, cleansed us, and will come for us. We can take no credit in the selection, for in reality, we had nothing to do with it. It was all a doing of Christ.
Revelation 19:8-9
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
The bride of Christ is to be adorned in the righteous acts of the saints. Christ knows that his Bride is far from perfect, but he chooses to see her in her most glorious self. He knows that the Churches imperfections are irrelevant. Even the Church's present sins are overlooked. What grace!

However, we aren't at that day, yet. What do we do in the meantime?

First of all, we wait.

The groom earned the right to have the bride, and yet He waits. The good bride saves herself for her groom. She knows not when He will come, but she waits patiently, having faith that He will surely arrive.

I'm reminded of a friend that recently married. She downloaded an app that counted down the days to her marriage. Really? Brides look up to that day in ways that I do not understand. As part of the bride of Christ, we should be eager for the day when Christ will be ours.

Secondly, we save ourselves.

In revelation, the Bride of Christ (the Church) is contrasted with the "Harlot." 
Revelation 17:1-2 - Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
The harlot is the apostate church, or the false religious system.  The 'church' that has an appearance of the Bride of Christ, and yet fundamentally has rejected Christ. Subsequently, she was not chosen. And oh, how she hates the Bride of Christ. The 'harlot' has mixed and fornicated with the world. The 'harlot' was not chosen, and as a result, her actions reflect it. She doesn't belong to Christ, and so does whatever she desires. 

Not the Church. We belong to Christ. He is the one we are reserved for, and even though we have not yet been made one with Him, we save ourselves. Just like the girl who is engaged behaves like she is married, even though she isn't married yet. How beautiful is a pure church. 

To "save ourselves" is to sanctify ourselves, which is a recurring order for believers (Eph 1:3-14 and Eph 5:25-27).

Sanctify yourself for Christ.

Christ has selected us, and we belong to Him. Our selection is then reflected in our actions. As Christians, we should be keeping ourselves for Christ, and not mixing with the world. 
1 Corinthians 6:15 - Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!

We save ourselves, and we wait.

Like that scene that is stuck in my head, we can take refuge in Christ. After the "yes," Christ stands with a serene, calm and loving face, and we are engulfed in Him. We should then eagerly wait, and zealously save ourselves for the day when we will know Him in His fullness.


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