Dear Bride of Christ,

"His Bride Has Made Herself Ready"

The Scriptures paint a very different portrait of her: "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.)" (Rev. 19:6-8)

A woman who truly loves her fiancÚ will think more about him than herself. Her focus will be to make herself ready to please him and to make that wedding day special for him. That is to be your heart, dear Bride! And since your Groom has lavished His love on you, giving His very blood to purchase you, how much more should the focus of your existence be "making yourself ready" by putting on the "fine linen" He has provided for you to wear!

That very preparation--the Bride putting on her wedding dress of righteous acts--is just the sign of Jesus' coming that I'm not seeing as I scan the horizon. Oh, Bride, you are certainly very busy doing acts. Surely you spend much time and effort in clothing yourself. But is your adornment "fine linen," or the latest fad? "Praise and worship" services. Decentralizing from big meetings to small groups. "Holy laughter." Giant rallies for men. Racial reconciliation dialogs. All of these garments are in your closet, and often on your body. I do not mock you for being concerned with these topics. A few (I'm afraid not all) of these garments look rather nice on you. But none of them are in themselves your wedding clothes.

By God's own Word, your preparation has to do with righteousness. And I am not plucking a text out of Revelation to prove a point. All of the God-breathed Writings agree!

Simon Peter, the Rock, urged you in his last letter: "The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him." (2 Peter 3:9-14)

Dear Bride, when your wedding day finally arrives, your Groom will destroy and lay bare your old home and give you a new one--the home of righteousness. He's preparing a place for you; are you preparing yourself for that place? If you are truly looking forward to the day he returns for you, you will emphasize--not only in position, but in practical life--righteousness. There is a divinely appointed way provided for you to speed the coming of that day: "You ought to live holy and godly lives." There is a genuine way to show you long for Jesus to return: "Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him."

I can point to many assemblies who are "making every effort"--heroic efforts at times--for various goals. To grow larger. To build buildings. To address urban concerns. To rescue the unborn. To shore up the family. To experience the latest outpouring of spiritual phenomena. But where is there to be found a people who together are making every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God?

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