There’s going to be a wedding! Who’s getting married?
Revelation 21:9-10, 22-27 – In verse 9, “Then one of the seven angels . . .came and spoke with me saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” In verse 10, the bride is like Jerusalem — the Lord is in her. It’s the church! The Bridegroom is the Lamb — Jesus Christ! And looks at how gorgeous she is! Verses 11-27 “Having the glory of God, costly jasper, high walls (protected), gold so pure it is like glass, sapphire, emerald, topaz, amethyst . . . the glory of God illuminating her, the lamp is the Lamb, no night, nothing unclean.”
That’s one beautiful bride? Was she born that way?
Ephesians 5:25-27 Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her so that He could sanctify her (cleanse, purify) by the Word of God, so that she would be the church glorious (original Greek, the idea being she’s filled with His glory per Psalm 45), having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing — so she would be holy and blameless.
Christ is the one who makes her beautiful! She wasn’t born that way, but He makes her clean and pure and holy and blameless, filled with His glory!
How does Jesus go about making her beautiful?
Ephesians 5:26 – By the washing of water with the word. He washes her clean and makes her pure and holy by the Word of God.
Ephesians 4:11-13 – He also gave the bride apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to help her understand the truth and become one in nature with Jesus Christ, full of Him.
2 Corinthians 11:2 – Paul is an apostle. And so he says to the sinning Corinthians, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy, for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” But they are listening to those who preach another Jesus that he has not preached, they have received a different spirit, they have received a different gospel. Beware!
Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
IF THE CORINTHIANS (AND WE) DO NOT HEED THE WORD OF GOD FROM PAUL’S PEN, THEY (AND WE) WILL NOT BE PURE VIRGINS WHEN JESUS COMES.
JESUS SAYS THIS IS WHAT THE CHURCH WILL LOOK LIKE, WHEN HE RETURNS (MATTHEW 25:1-13):
Verses 1-2 Some in the church (virgins = engaged to be married) will be wise (understanding, having keen discernment), but some will be foolish (scorned as being stupid not just in mind, but in heart and character)!
Verses 3-4 Some bring vessels filled with oil (the Spirit) so they are ready when the Bridegroom comes. Some do not have oil — they’ve lived by the light given to them by others, but have no source with them for the light needed when going to meet the Bridegroom (Christ).
Verse 5 Both the wise and the foolish fall asleep because the Bridegroom delays His coming. Midnight comes.
Verse 6 There’s a shout (1 Thessalonians 4:16)! The Bridegroom is coming! Everyone wakes up! They all prepare their lamps to go and meet Him!
Verse 7-9 The foolish suddenly realize their lamps are going out and they have no oil for them, so they ask the wise for some oil. But the wise tell them to go and buy some (Isaiah 55:1). Those with oil can’t share their oil — each virgin must buy her own oil!
Verse 10 But it’s too late, when the Bridegroom has come, He brings the virgins who are ready into the wedding feast, and shuts the door.
Verse 11-12 The foolish virgins return and ask Him to let them in, saying, “Lord, Lord,” but He says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I do not know you (I have never seen you before).” He says in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ but you do not do what I say?”
You became saved when you entered into belief in Jesus Christ. But He commands us to obey Him, to do what He says. The one who is obeying Him is the one whose sin nature has been taken away and replaced with Christ’s nature, the one who his filled with the Spirit, the one who is ready when He comes!
Therefore, be ready (Matthew 25:13)! Become a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4)! Be a wise virgin! Have oil in your vessel! Be filled with the Spirit!
NOTE: Some interpret the foolish virgins as churchgoers who have never received Jesus as Lord and Savior. I want to be careful here, because when we are saved, Jesus knows us. But in John 15, Jesus speaks of branches that are attached to the Vine, but do not bear fruit. They are attached at first, but then they are cut off because they are not abiding (remaining) in Him. Interpret that as you wish, but I believe it is possible to lose my salvation. Therefore, continue to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). It’s altogether lovely to agree with God as He continues to mold and shape you into the image of His Son. O my Potter! Continue to spin me on Your wheel, for Your glory!