Lesson 19
The bride of Christ

We have covered our protection with the armour of God and the power of God, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Then we covered the authority of the name of Jesus, and how to walk in the love of God.  There is one more thing that is of great importance and this is our personal relationship with God.  We need to take this very seriously and guard it with our lives.
  In today’s society, our relationship with God comes under the greatest attack.  We can take on too many things and become overly absorbed with things of little importance.  We can struggle to find the time to pray, simply because we do not always see instant results or because we are overtired.
  I would like to share some sobering teachings of Jesus about the wedding feast and the Kingdom of Heaven taken from the Gospel of Mathew
  I  would like to share three sobering  teachings of Jesus about wedding feasts and the Kingdom of heaven taken from the Gospel of Matthew. There may be a few different outlooks on these passages.
Some will say Jesus is speaking to unbelievers or the apostate Church or the Jews. Others may say, ‘Won’t you end up in a salvation by works rather than living in the power of the Holy Spirit?’
My answer to all these remarks is, ‘If we truly love God we will automatically fulfil all seven conditions for entering into the wedding feast.’ These passages will show us how much we really love God and which part in our lives we should work on.  Every marriage on earth will highlight parts of our lives that need working on and every person needs to work on their marriage in some way, so that our love and commitment for each other may grow and develop. It is the same with the Lord.
Matthew 7: 21-23,
'Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.'

We cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless  the Lord knows you. Yet how many of us Christians are doing great ministries and are so busy working for God, that there is no time to spend with Him.  No time to hear Him.  They are running at top speed doing God’s work in their own strength.  But the Lord says here in Matthew 7:21,

 'I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.'
But 'he that doeth the the will of my Father which is in heaven.'

  You can only do the WILL OF GOD if you have a RELATIONSHIP with Him, and can hear Him and obey Him.  This comes out of an intimate relationship and
communication with Him.  As with a bride and bridegroom, a husband and wife, 

Matthew 22:1-14,
'And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,  and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:  and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.  he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:  and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  For many are called, but few are chosen.'

 You cannot enter the wedding feast in heaven without your wedding garment of righteousness, you need to live out your faith in truth and righteousness.  You need to walk in your faith seriously every day of your life, and the Lord will grant you the robes of righteousness that will qualify you to enter into His wedding feast.
  God is not concerned whether you are a leader or a servant, rich or poor, but rather are you walking in the Christian faith.  I had a vision once where our evangelists were lowering their crowns to the feet of Jesus and some of the poorer evangelists had the bigger crowns. As they all lowered their crowns, I heard a voice say,  “these crowns represent their lives given for Me”.  It is our lives given for Jesus is that counts.  What we do for Him and not for ourselves, let us live for Jesus.

Matthew 25: 1-12,
'And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,  and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise.and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:  and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.'

You cannot come to the wedding feast unless you are filled up with the Holy Spirit and ready.  We  need to stay full of the Holy Spirit all the time. We need a refill daily in prayer or we will dry out.  Jesus is talking about Christians you and I, not unbelievers.
  We need to stay awake and not slumber.  If we look at many churches today, they are not alert to our times.  They are not ready for the coming of Jesus. 
Jesus could come at any time and we need to be ready.  This is walking as wise Christians who walk with their lamps full of the Holy Spirit.
  Are you ready for Jesus, your bridegroom?  What things would you do now to get your life right for the Lord?  Shouldn’t you  get those things sorted out now?  For none of us know the day or the hour.

  The signs of the end are near, read Matthew 24:1-14.
We need to do what the Scriptures tell us to do, in obedience.

5.   Matthew 24:13,
'But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.'
We must endure to the end.

Matthew 24:14 tells us that,
' this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.'
We need to preach the gospel to all nations.

Revelation 21:2-3,
' 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 I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.'

Revelation 22:17,
''And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.'
Be prepared and ready to come to the wedding feast.
Whether we are stepping out from time into eternity, through death or meeting Jesus in the air, the results will be the same, we must KNOW Him in prayer and He must KNOW us. 
Revelation 19: 7-9 explains how the bride must make herself ready:
'Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.'

Ester prepared herself for the King by rubbing in fine perfumes. How much more should we prepare ourselves for the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS.
  The invitation is to all, but only those of us who live according to the word of God, believe His promises and pray, will be able to attend.  There is a saying that  “the only permanent place we can gain permanently is heaven”.  Yet so many Christians do not pray sincerely or long enough and if they do not have patience, they cannot receive their blessing.  Others are selfish and are living for the world, many do not pray as they ought, and many do not tithe as they ought.  We can take  nothing with us to heaven, but we can send things to heaven in advance.  The things we can send to heaven in advance is everything that we do in caring and giving to others.  We must put God first in all things, for heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.  Are you prepared?  We all need to live in preparation for heaven now and every day of our lives. 
  Let us all endeavour to know our God in prayer, and spend time in His presence and He will prepare us for eternal life with Him.  We, “the church”, are His beloved bride and He is our beloved bridegroom for eve and ever. AMEN

 

Think:
*There are seven things we need to prepare ourselves in order to enter the wedding feast – discuss them.
*Are we living the Word of God as we ought?
*Are we praying and tithing as we ought?
*What changes do you have to change in your life in order to enter the wedding feast?

 

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(c) Suzanne's Ministries mmxviii

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