Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like a roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns
Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints)
Then the angel said to me,
“Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'”
And he added,
“These are the true words of God.”
How Important Are Relationships of the “bride-to-be” and the “Husband-to-be” Before Marriage?
In this passage of Scripture, Revelation 16:6-9, we can picture the RELATIONSHIP of JESUS with His Church, the Bride.
The Bride and Groom…
There is the theme/idea repeated in several places in the Bible, particularly in the N. Testament with Jesus portrayed as the coming groom, and the church as His expectant bride [Ref: Matthew 25:1-13].
In the Old Testament, the relationship between the shepherd/king and the Shulamite maiden in Song of Solomon as an allegory; portrays the love relationship between God and Israel.
THE BANQUETING HOUSE – (See Footnotes [i])
He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love [Song 2:4].
In this story of the Shulamite girl whose heart was won by a shepherd who later came as King Solomon to claim her and who took her back to the palace in Jerusalem. Now he takes her to the “banqueting house.”
In this there is a beautiful picture of the church which will be the bride of Christ. It also reveals the personal relationship which is possible between the Lord Jesus Christ and each individual believer.
One day in an event described as the “RAPTURE”…the taking up of the church, Jesus Christ (the Bridegroom) will return for the church (His bride).
In that given moment, according to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “…the dead in Christ shall rise first and then we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
THE GREAT EVENT!!!
The “CATCHING UP,” or the “RAPTURE” will be followed at some point, with the event we just look at together in Revelation 19, called “The Wedding Supper of the Lamb.”
It’s an “Invitation Only” Event…
…but you’ve all received an INVITATION! “Blessed are those who are invited”
Unfortunately, many who have been invited, received the WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENT, will not be in attendance. That’s right, the WEDDING is quickly approaching, the arrangements have been made, the guest list is almost finalized, and the Bridegroom is coming soon!
Many people who consider themselves part of the “BRIDE OF CHRIST” are not ready for JESUS the Bridegroom to come.
A QUESTIONING SENTENCE:
How do I know that a lot of people are going to miss out on God’s great “WEDDING RECEPTION” in heaven?
Allow me, if I may, to now serve as your “Wedding Coordinator.” I have briefly prepared a “CHECKLIST” to help the prospective bride prepare for her wedding day.
I know, “Why is a guy preparing a “checklist” for the ‘big day’?”
I was BLESSED with two daughters who went through all the wedding day preparations. But to refresh my memory, I decided to ask some general questions to the ladies on my Facebook account about WEDDING PREPARATIONS:
THE QUESTION: “How does a BRIDE prepare herself before the wedding? How did you prepare personally for your wedding day, or, did you even prepare?”
I’d like to SHARE some comments:
“Pre-marriage counseling with our pastor”
“Spent time together as a couple discussing the vows, decorations, guest list…relaxed and took a bath.”
“We knew each other for only 1 month, 2 days. Didn’t have much time to prepare for anything. And then after 14 days of marriage together, the Lord took him home.”
“Sent out R.S.V.P. cards so we knew how much food we needed and the table settings.”
THREE ESSENTIAL ITEMS you must pay attention to if you are going to be prepared:
These THREE THINGS will keep you out of God’s Eternal Wedding Party in Heaven– So please, for your sake, don’t be unprepared!
#1. TURNING DOWN THE PROPOSAL…THE INVITATION.
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” ~ Revelation 22:17 NIV
A Public Proposal…
I love it when a guy makes one of those bold public marriage proposals on YouTube; in the middle of a crowded restaurant, at half-time of a big game.
One guy took his girl up in a hot air balloon to see what he had written on the field below: “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” It was all caught on camera. I would hope a guy is pretty sure of himself before taking that kind of risk (Can you imagine getting turned down on national TV? – “Nah! Not interested” or “Could I have some time to think about it?”).
JESUS’ PROPOSAL TO YOU AND ME WAS A PUBLIC SPECTACLE–
He fell to his knees several different times…on the way to the place where He proposed.
He nailed His LOVE for you and me to the CROSS, signing His intentions with His own blood, spread His arms out wide and said,
“I want you for my own.
I want you all!
Whosoever will may come.”
This official PROPOSAL reads like this,
“For God so greatly LOVED and dearly prized the world
that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son,
so that whoever believes in
(trusts in, clings to, relies on)
Him shall not perish
(come to destruction, be lost)
but have eternal (everlasting) life.”
You can trust me on this: YOU’LL NOT RECEIVE A BETTER OFFER!
The world will try to sell you the idea that something better will come along; “You can reject God’s offer and still get into heaven your own way.”
That you can SUBMIT YOU OWN PROPOSAL:
…based on good deeds,
…by giving to charities…etc.
BUT…you can’t BUY your way into heaven! JESUS already paid the price. The PROPOSAL is on the table. He’s already “popped the question!”
WHAT THEN IS YOUR ANSWER TO HIS PROPOSAL?
“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” [John 3:35-36 NIV].
#2. THE SECOND THING THAT WILL KEEP YOU OUT OF GOD’S ETERNAL WEDDING PARTY IS…
Being TARDY for the CEREMONY–
You hear all kinds of crazy stories of people who were late at their own wedding (usually the groom). They got lost trying to find the church; they overslept; they missed their flight, etc.
READ Matthew 25:1-13: “THEN THE kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom” (verse 1).
“FIVE WERE FOOLISH…FIVE WERE WISE…”
THE “FOOLISH” — “…when the foolish took their lamps (nighttime wedding), they did not take any [extra] oil with them” [verse 3]; “While the bridegroom lingered and was slow in coming, they ALL began nodding their heads, and they fell asleep” [verse 5].
THE “WISE” — “…took flasks of oil along with them [also] with their lamps” [verse 4].
The girls we read about, the “foolish” girls, missed the “ultimate” WEDDING BANQUET because the procrastinated. They were like so many people in the world who think there is “plenty of time” to get things right with God when they’re ready.
So, they keep putting off their INVITATION, keep asking for an EXTENDED R.S.V.P. DATE.
THERE’S ONE LAST THING…
There is one last thing that will keep you out of god’s ETERNAL WEDDING PARTY:
#3. Two-timing the “GROOM” (II Corinthians 11:2).
For I am zealous for you with godly eagerness and
a divine jealousy, for I have betrothed you
to one Husband, to present you as
a chaste virgin t Christ.
Here’s a thought that just might scare some to death:
JESUS CHRIST, the Savior of your eternal soul. THE ONE who suffered and bled and died for you. THE ONE you pledged your life to serve. THE HOLY SON of the living GOD…could come for His Bride at any moment…and many of you are off living on “Temptation Island.”
You once made the commitment to Him and said, “no other gods”, and “you’re the only one Jesus!”, and yet, you’ve been caught on camera with other lovers.
The WEDDING DATE is closer than you think and you’re out “two-timing” Jesus.
SIN might get you a “first date” with JESUS, but once you accepted His proposal, you agreed to keep yourself pure until the wedding. You’ve been FLIRTING with lust; FOOLING AROUND with compromise; COURTING OTHER LOVERS behind His back.
The only way you and I can stand SPOTLESS before the Bridegroom…
Is being washed in the sinless blood of the Lamb and dressed in His righteousness.
“SCOTCHGARD” won’t work.
Some Christians act like their wedding clothes were treated. They say they love JESUS but… keep rolling around on the couch (or chair) with sin pretending like they’re protected from any stain on them.
The STAIN of sin was removed at a great cost! So don’t try to sew yourself up in a holy “cover up.”
JESUS is coming for a HOLY BRIDE. If the WEDDING were held at 1:00 PM, or at Midnight, would you be ready? You HOPE so or you KNOW so!
I HOPE it’s the latter!
Footnotes and References:
[i] “Banqueting House” – Thru the Bible Commentary Series; Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, pg. 137, by J. Vernon McGee.
Amplified Bible; New International Version.
“Scotch-garding” – Getting Prepared @ http://www.travelblog.org/
Invitation Photo by Photo Pin.