Sunday, 24 July 2016

The bride has made herself ready

The body of Christ is the fiance of Jesus Christ and we must be ready for when He returns. We must not play around with the idols of this world.

I know of four people who recently died suddenly and as far as I am aware only one of them had a personal relationship with Jesus. The ages of these people ranged from 18 to 43 years. The fact that all four of them died unexpectedly raises two concerns for me; my first concern is that as a body of Christ, will we be ready when Jesus returns for his spotless Bride? My second concern is the responsibility that we have as a body of Christ to share the gospel around the world so that no one will perish. The bible tells us in John 14:1-7 that ‘Jesus has gone to prepare a room for us’ and in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 and Revelation 16:15 that He will be ‘returning like a thief in the night’. The bible also tells us in Ephesians 5:27 that Jesus is returning for His spotless Bride, the Church, both Jew and Gentile alike (Ephesians 2:14-18). Amen.

My Niece is getting married later this year (August 2016) for which she has been preparing for the wedding for two whole years. My brother, my niece’s dad, has lost a few hairs with the never-ending financial outlay. The level of stress and preparation for this single day that I have observed is staggering. As I watch this real life event play out it brings many of the scriptures to life. I am confident that when the wedding day finally arrives my Niece will be a very beautiful bride for her husband and God bless my brother, he can start to try and plug the huge hole in his bank account, although I’m not convinced that his hair will ever grow back!

My Niece’s wedding encourages me to think of the bride of Jesus Christ whom He is returning to claim.  It tells us in Revelation 19:7 that the bride has made herself ready: ‘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’ and in Revelation 21:2 that she is a bride ‘beautifully dressed for her husband’. It is my belief that unlike my Niece who has been preparing for two years for her wedding, we (the Church), in wisdom, should be preparing for the wedding of the lamb for all of our earthly life. It also tells us in Revelation 16:15 ‘Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed’. The last part of this scripture makes me very nervous about the thought of Jesus returning for me as his Bride and I have no clothes ready, the shame-fullness of nudity before my Lord. My question to us all is this; ‘if this was our final hour on planet earth then are we right with God’? What I mean is that I know we are all sinners saved by God’s amazing grace however will we be found in deliberate disobedient sin? Are our hearts sold out for God? God is a jealous God and He will not accept anything coming before Him (Exodus 20:5, Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 4: 23-24 and 2 Corinthians 11:2). Will we be like the five wise virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 with the oil in their lamp or will we be foolish like the other five virgins who let the oil run out?

In the Gospel of Matthew 24:40-41 it tells us about the second coming of Christ and that ‘Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left’. In Matthew 24:42 it then goes onto to tell us to be watchful and vigilant: ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come’. The message is clear to me. The body of Christ is the fiance of Jesus Christ and we must be ready for when He returns. We must not play foolishly around with the idols of this world. In the Old Testament we read how God’s chosen people constantly put other idols/gods before Him. The books of the Old Testament have some very strong language especially the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The Bible also teaches us throughout the New Testament that we are a new creation and that we have died to the flesh and that we must put away our sinful behavior Colossians 3:1-11, Galatians 5:19-24 and 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.

Just like any relationship our intimate relationship with Jesus takes time and commitment in order to grow and mature. It tells us in Song of Songs that ‘the young woman matured over a period of time from immaturity (selfishness)’. Song of Songs 2:16, ‘my lover is mine’, shows us where she is selfish and just taking, and then in Song of Songs 6:3, she says ‘I am my lover’s’. Now she is starting to give of herself instead of taking and then finally in Song of Songs 7:10 ‘I am my lover’s and he claims me as his own’; now she is confident that her lover loves her.

The Bible helps us to prepare for the return of Christ and for the wedding. In James 4:4 it advises us not to be part of this world. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are told ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ There are many examples of characters in the bible whose life was set apart for God and for me an exemplary character is John the Baptist. He was set apart for one task and one task only and that was to be a voice for Christ. Everything about John centered on this purpose, his dress, his diet, his actions and his demands. It is the Holy Spirit alone who guides us in living faith and fellowship with Christ Jesus as the flesh is kept in the place of crucifixion.

What about those who have not yet claimed Jesus as their Lord and Savior, does our walk with Christ Jesus represent the person of who He is? Does our life have evidence of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22.23). How many people have we shared the Good News with? Help us dear Father God to receive the unconditional Agape love that you have poured out for us and for us to share it with those around us. There is no mistake as to where we have been stationed in our daily walk. What an awesome honour and a privilege it is to be an ambassador for your Son Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Dear God our Father, individually and collectively we are your body. Our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell (1 Corinthians 6:19). I ask myself does the Holy Spirit feel comfortable in my body?  Father God as your Church please help us to always represent the person of your Son Jesus Christ in everything that we do, let nothing be hidden, let us be a transparent holy spotless bride Amen.

Author: Christina O’Neill

May God bless and enrich your life

Please feel free to share this article and other articles on this site with friends, family and others


  1. A wonderful message which reminds us that we should be watchful at all times in our relationship with God as we do not know the time when He will return for us. Thank you for sharing and God bless

  2. in these days with terrible things happening in this world . We who are followers of Jesus Christ must be ready at all times to share the glorious truths of the Gospel. We are just passing through this world . Our hope is in Christ and for the world to come . This blog reminds us of these truths? we must let God change us from within and prepare us for an eternity with him forever? we must be ready? well done Sister x

  3. Much needed message that makes us look at our own walk with God and question am I ready?! Thank you. God bless x

  4. Thanks for the precious words today pray that the Holy spirit will set our hearts ready for that great and wonderful day of wedding of the bride Lord Jesus Christ of which we are invited God bless Herbie and Inie

  5. A great blog which reminds us of the need to keep a short account with God and each other. It also should make us look at why we do what we do. In other words is our heart sold out for God? are we a bride who wants always to please the bridegroom? This reminds me that God looks less at our actions and more at our hearts. Thank you for writing this it's very encouraging.Let's make sure we're ready.