Episode 14 The Bridegroom
Last time we saw those having been snatched up to meet Jesus in the air go with Him to Heaven to receive their rewards.
They receive their new bodies which are without blemish or anything that might give them pain.
We have previously seen that the Church, called to be Jesus’ bride, does not know the time of His coming and therefore must always be ready.
John, the immerser, is recorded in John 3:28-30 as saying.
“You yourselves bear witness of me, that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah’, but ‘I have been sent before Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom.
But the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Clearly the Messiah and the Bridegroom are the same person. But who is the Bride?
In Romans 7:4 the apostle Paul says, “you also have died to the law through the body of Messiah, so that you may be married to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead.”
Again he says in 2 Corinthians 11:2 “I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
In the passage so loved at weddings, Ephesians 5, we read.
25"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
28So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
30For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 32This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church”.
In the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 we get a glimpse of the culture. A young man might leave his own city to seek a bride.
He would return home to prepare a place for her to live. It would be the father’s responsibility to decide when that place was ready.
Hence Jesus declared only the Father knows the day and hour when these events will take place.
In Genesis 24 we read of Abraham sending his servant to find a bride for Isaac. The servant is a type of the Holy Spirit who goes ahead of us. But that is for another message.
The servant goes well prepared with ten camels laden with provisions and gifts. When he arrives at the city of Nahor he looks to God to guide him in the choice of a bride for Isaac.
Having found the one he believes is God’s choice, he gives gifts to the family to purchase the right to propose to the maiden.
Having earned the right to propose, the virgin is then asked if she agrees. And the servant carries Rebecca off to marry Isaac.
A personal testimony, if you will indulge me.
Having experienced the peace and joy of my guilt and shame taken away by Jesus at the age of twenty two I read Genesis 24.
I decided I wasn’t going to ‘court’, ‘woo’, or ‘go out with’ a girl until God showed me it was the right one.
Five years later God brought a girl from Germany to England to learn English. She had decided she would never marry.
However, after we met at church, we both decided God had brought us together for a purpose, and two years later married.
We’ve probably had the problems most married couples face, but we prayed and read scripture morning and night.
We also had a rule, not to turn the light off if we had any anger. I’ve never regretted waiting that five years without a ‘girl friend’.
In the story of the Servant and Isaac we can see parallels with Jesus. He left Heaven to seek a bride. He paid the price, His crucifixion, to earn the right to propose.
We have to make a decision. Only those who accept Him will be snatched up to join Him in His heavenly home.
Returning to the ten virgins, we see that neither the bride or her attendants knew when the bridegroom would come.
You will notice that when the bridegroom came for his bride he didn’t enter the city, but cried out from outside.
Likewise Jesus will come for His bride, calling us to meet him in the air, before physically returning to this earth.
Some wrongly think the Christians snatched up will immediately return with Jesus to this earth and begin the millennium age.
We have already looked at some passages that suggest there will be an interval of time between Jesus coming for His bride and coming physically in fierce judgement to the earth.
In a parable about watchfulness, Luke 12:36 refers to “waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet.” Where will the wedding banquet take place? I suggest in heaven.
Revelation 19:7 & 8 says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and given Him the 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.”
This chapter clearly shows the wedding takes place in heaven, though some think the Feast will take place later on earth.
Jesus told several parables where He likened, the Kingdom of Heaven to a marriage. One such is found in Matthew 22.
In this parable He tells of a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son. His servants went out to invite the guests, but they would not come.
He extended his invitation a second time, but they ‘laughed’ and ignored the invitation.
The king became angry at that and sent out his army to burn up their city.
According to the book of Revelation, while the wedding of Jesus is taking place in heaven, those on earth are being invited to repent.
A multitude actually do, and many literally lose their heads as a result. (Revelation 7 & 20:4).
But many more blaspheme God’s name whilst the world is being destroyed by fire and disease.
In the parable we read, Jesus taught that the King saw a guest not wearing appropriate wedding clothes, and had him cast out.
The appropriate clothes had to be those supplied by the King. In this case garments washed in the blood of His Son.
Next time we will look at what is taking place on earth while the Church is having a great time in heaven.