His Bride Has Prepared Herself!
“Let us be glad and rejoice and honor him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She is permitted to wear the finest white linen.” (Fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God.)“ – Revelation 19:7-8 NLT
As the book of Revelation begins to come to a close, it chronicles the coming to a close of the end times. And one significant event will be the marriage supper of the Lamb. As His bride, the Church has belonged to Christ all along, but He will consummate His marriage to the church with a great celebratory feast. And the Church, the body of believers, will come to that feast arrayed in fine linen, the righteous acts of the saints. “Righteous acts flow from a righteous character, which is entirely of the grace of God” (Charles Ryrie, Revelation). But the righteous acts don’t do themselves. Each of us must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). We are given the garments to wear, but we must still put them on. God has given each of us the capacity or ability, through His indwelling Holy Spirit and as a result of His grace, to perform righteous acts. He is creating in us a righteous character from which should flow righteous behavior. It is that behavior that clothes us and makes us ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb. We are each preparing for that day. That should be our focus. That should be our highest priority. But notice that it is a corporate endeavor. It is the Church that is being presented, not individual believers. Together, we are the bride, not individually. So it is the righteous acts of the Church globally that clothe her and prepare her for her final presentation to Christ. It makes you wonder just how righteous our acts really are as a corporate body. If the “fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God,” just how fine will that linen be? The thought of appearing at the wedding feast dressed in shabby clothes should petrify all of us. But do we even think about it?
All we will bring to the wedding feast will be what we have on. And that will consist entirely of any righteous acts we do while we are here on earth. Our entire lives should be spent in preparation for this one event. It should be our primary focus and motivation for our actions and activities here. The whole marriage metaphor has to do with purity, devotion, fidelity, and faithfulness. As the Church, we are betrothed to Christ. We belong to Him. We are apart from Him right now. But He is returning to claim His bride. We are to be preparing for that day. We are to remain pure and faithful to Him. We are to be getting ready for the marriage feast that will conclude the marriage ceremony. And it is our behavior while here on earth that will clothe us for that day. Yes, we have the righteousness of Christ. And yes, the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to do righteous deeds, but we must STILL do them. We must remain faithful and true. We must live our lives for Him in anticipation of that day.
Father, I want to live in anticipation of that day. But honestly, I don’t think about it enough. And I don’t think about the importance of my actions. My deeds, done in the power of the Spirit, and made possible by the cross of Christ, are what will play a part in clothing the bride of Christ for that great event. Help me to stay focused on that reality. I want the Church to be clothed in purity, and it will be. Because Jesus Christ has made it possible. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men