Do You Have a Passion To Be The Bride Of Christ?
The highest honor in the Eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ is reserved for His Bride.
The city of New Jerusalem will be at the center of the New Heaven and New Earth, and it belongs to the Bride. Its beauty is so breathtaking that words are impossible. Apostle Paul saw it and said it was “unlawful for him to describe.” In modern English “it was outside the possibility of human language.” The entire world will glory in visiting this city and the gates will never be closed.
New Jerusalem was created and beautified to be the eternal dwelling place of Christ’s chosen and exalted Bride. Each level of the twelve tiers will be named after the twelve apostles and identified by one of the world’s richest jewels. The top tier will be identified by the amethyst, which will adorn its walls. I would expect that John the beloved will be the foundation name of this twelfth level, fifteen hundred miles square and sitting at thirteen hundred and seventy miles height. Its crown will be fifteen hundred miles above the New Earth’s contour. I want to earn my estate and mansion on this level.
The multitudes of the saved from all generations will live in the nations of the New Earth and New Heavens and will flow in and out of this grand, twelve-tiered city. Here are John’s word’s as he received them from the Lord, “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” (Revelation 21:24-25) This city will be a temple of excellent spiritual glory and the angels of the Lord will constantly manifest their glory in every square mile. Angelic music will fill the city and blend with the singing of the redeemed. Our Heavenly Father and our Redeemer, Jesus Christ will be the light of the total universe, gleaming out from this world capital.
Only the Bride of Christ will possess and live forever in this Golden City. Wherever the Bride goes throughout the New Earth and New Heaven, she will be honored as the Chosen of the Lord. Besides the Lord Himself, the Bride will be the joy of the entire world. In a much greater degree, this Bride will be honored as the whole world glorified Princess Diana before her tragic death. There is no honor in our future and in the New Kingdom that equals the Bride of Christ.
The Holy Spirit gave King Soloman a view of this great mystery. “There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? This language leaves no doubt about this special Bride that will be the Lord Jesus Christ’s delight forever. How can a saint of God not long for this honor above all the pleasures of this World?
Listen and look at John’s vision of the priceless city: “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;” (Revelation 21: 2, 10-11) Only the Bride of the Precious Bridegroom could inherit such richness. Joseph Seiss wrote, “The oldest Christian interpretation… sees in them none but genuine believers, but of different degrees of honor and nearness to their Lord; in which case, again, not all have the Bride’s place.”
But the multitude of saints with their rewards to enjoy forever will have a beautiful New Earth and a New Heaven. No one will be sad or less than wealthy. It will be a New World full of millionaires. Yet the wealth of glorified saints will not be the unlimited beauty or the abundance of gold, silver, and jewels but the purity and righteousness that reflects the holiness of God and Christ. The world’s riches have never created one happy life. The happiness of His saints will be the unsoiled innocence of life. With no guilt to burden, there will be no gloom to sadden.
The Father will choose His Son’s Bride. Not one of us can choose these saints and not one of us can judge who will be chosen. The great Hudson Taylor made an excellent statement. He said, “If this honor cannot be lost or missed then rewards have no reason to exist.” Apostle Paul said it better. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (I Corinthians 3: 11-15)
I will list five Biblical criteria for striving toward this honor of being in the Bride. These are simple Biblical standards for being our best for Him. Prior to this modern era, God’s rewards were highly respected and sought after diligently. Paul said, “And if any man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” (II Timothy 2: 5-7) Let’s give this challenge our best and if you and I are faithful, He will not be unjust in the end.
1. Living a Crucified Life!
The Holy Spirit has chosen us for Christ and to live a life of death to self. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2: 20) The Spirit sums that up by saying through Paul, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Galatians 6: 14)
There is no real power or victory in the Christian life until we are crucified with Him. Our own will has to be totally put to death and our joys are to have fellowship and life with Him. The Lord has a perfect plan for you, a special chosen will and calling and the Spirit is here to lead us in that path. To the Roman church the Spirit said, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8: 14)
2. Dead to the Love of this World!
This world and the god of this world wants your love for these passing fancies. They are not all sin but they all want to be your master. To any pleasure or treasure that you are under control of or willing to put before His will, you will be bound.
This world is going to pass away. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (I John 2: 14-15) The Lord must be your Lord or you will be defeated. He cannot be your Savior and not be your Lord.
3. You Must Keep Your Body Under Discipline!
The flesh is a terrible enemy to the great hope of the Lord. You will deal with this enemy all of your days. Apostle Paul said far into his ministry: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (I Corinthians 9: 27)
The appetites of our flesh are expressions of human nature. Many of them are pure if we keep them pure by discipline and personal control. Some of them are dark and must be totally rejected.
4. Living in the Commandments of God!
The Ten Commandments are foundations but the great number of others is reflected in the ten. Keeping the Lord’s Day (Sunday) holy is utterly ignored today and will cost a multitude a place in the Brideship. Holy Scripture is loaded with warning signs of disobedient living. The Methodist revival under John Wesley was a great picture of sanctification and freedom from the world and disobedient living.
The Apostle John spoke of His commandments in his gospel and in his epistle: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (St. John 14:15); and “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (I John 2:4) A real saint of God loves the commandments and will obey them with joy. They are only grievous to the unconverted or the backslider.
5. Those That Seek to Conform to His Image!
I cannot conceive of the Father choosing someone that does not know His image to be part of His Bride. The book of Philippians is a wonderful place to live. The writer cries out: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Philippians 3: 8-10) Only this new nature of Christ wrought in you by the Holy Ghost can cry out with such longing.
The following two Paragraphs are from a dear Bible scholar friend that shares much study with me. “One thing came to mind about the Bride”. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:11 “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Joey Yeatts)
The word “resurrection” (that he uses in verse 11), is different from all the other usages in the New Testament. It is ex-an-as’-tas-is. The meaning “out from the dead.” According to Paul F. Beacham, “He was pressing with all earnestness and power for the reward of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. I understand the highest honor and reward to be a place in the bride of Christ.” Jesus said, “Watch, and pray always that we may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:36) In this, he states the qualifications necessary to be caught away to meet him in the air, and escape the tribulation judgments which will follow the catching away of the Bride saints. This seems to be what Paul was striving for. Only those people who share in the out-resurrection will make up the Bride.” (Joey Yeatts)
This is the life that surely is to be chosen for the Bride. When Christ is our everything and we long to know Him, we are thinking Biblically. There will not be any slackers or unfaithful souls in the great company of His Bride. He reserves this position for His first reward above all others.