Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Pure Bride Of Christ [Christians & The Church]

She is lovely, delicate, faithful, and chaste.  She is watching,  waiting, saving herself for her Groom.  While waiting for Him to return, she has neither compromised her high standards nor conformed to the ways of this world.  She has kept her bridal gown clean and white - free from the stains of infidelity.  She has not given away her innocence to the seductive lurings of those around her or given her heart to the tempters of wealth and fame.  Her eyes have been fixed only on the skies and to the promise of her Groom's words: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." - John 14:3 (KJV)  She is the pure bride.

The pure bride represents the true Christian and the sincere Church.  As mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, we are to keep ourselves pure in body and in heart. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." - Matthew 5:8 (KJV)  If we have accepted the gift of Salvation, we must shed our old snake skin of sin and adorn ourselves in the clean garments of a new beginning with Christ.  We are to leave the past behind us and walk the new, clear path that has been outlined for us in the Holy Scriptures of our Lord.

Our Groom (The Lord Jesus Christ) wants a pure bride.  Always remember this.  What is the difference between just an ordinary bride and a pure bride?  The pure bride does not give herself (neither in body, mind, or spirit) to unclean things/people.  She is virtuous and chaste.  What does virtuous mean?  One dictionary says: "A virtuous person behaves in a moral and correct way."  What does chaste mean?  It means "abstaining from extramarital, or from all, sexual intercourse."  According to the Bible, such a woman is of more value than fine jewels, so naturally, the honorable groom who finds such a one is blessed among men. "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." - Proverbs 31:10 (KJV)  Now you can understand why the Groom (our Lord) does not want to find His bride wearing a bridal gown stained and spotted with the shame of fornication or adultery when He comes some unexpected day.  This is not what His heart desires at all.  No.  What He really wants is to know that after his bride has accepted his proposal of marriage (His lovely free gift of Salvation) that she has kept herself clean and honorable for Him, has remained faithful to Him, has been obeying Him, has lived uprightly, has stayed committed to Him, and has not given up on Him but has rather endured with strength and determination - knowing that she would one day be rewarded by His presence and the crown of His Love forevermore.  "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." - Matthew 24:13 (KJV)  He wants a bride who is waiting for the wedding day with all eagerness and is preparing each day for that blessed event.  The Groom loves her with all of his heart and goes to great lengths to show His affection and to prepare her a future of splendor and safety - unlike anything that any other groom could ever offer her!  He has promised her a Home with Him forever - in fact a mansion - greater than anything her eyes had ever seen before.  "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." - 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV) 

A woman would be a fool to sin against such a Groom while He is away preparing her mansion!  She would be a fool to throw away such a gift of True Love and hurt Him by committing fornication with another during his absence!  Sadly, this is what so many Christians do after accepting the gift of Salvation.  They love it for a while and then they are willing to throw it all away for the temporal pleasures of sin and worldliness.  They walk away from the bridal path and cheat themselves out of the blessed assurance of eternal rest and happiness in Heaven and exchange it for the destructive path that leads them down to eternal damnation and unending torments in Hell.  The torments of forever asking themselves "Why did I do this to myself?  Why did I choose the darkness after being given the Light?  How could I have given up such a beautiful Gift of Love?"  Before allowing one more day of your life to go by, while living more for the world than for your God, pause and consider this:  "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" - Mark 8:36 (KJV)

How We (the bride) Are To Keep Our Lives Pure And Holy For The Groom (Christ) [A Bible Study For Today's Christians - The Church]:

 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." - Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

The Bible does not just give us a mere suggestion of how we are to live and conduct ourselves as Christians.  No.  In fact, the Bible gives clear and concise instructions, distinct guidelines and important commands by our Lord Jesus and His disciples.  There are rules and laws that must never be taken lightly.  They are not put in the Bible to simply fill up space or to be ignored.  Quite the contrary!  They are put in the Bible for a reason.  An important reason.  That we may live by them and abide by them - so that we can grow closer to our Lord rather than farther away from Him and so that we can make Heaven our eternal Home instead of Hell.  The Bible is our manual for life.  Without reading it and following the directions, we will stray off course and ultimately find ourselves in a place far from God.  Oftentimes, Christians prefer to avoid certain chapters of the Bible (particularly in Paul's Gospel) because the teachings disrupt their comfortable, casual, flippant, secular way of living. Oftentimes, these same so-called "Christians" will read only from the book of John, as it speaks of love and eternal life, and that feels better on the conscience than some of the other Gospels that give warnings about how Christians can fall away from the faith or even be denied access to Heaven.  If it's something that they don't like, they just choose not to read it.  That is how they try to "erase" God's Truth from their lives and make way for more worldliness.  They focus on "a God of Love" and forget that He is also a God of wrath who HATES sin and the committing of sin.

Does the Bible actually say that God hates sin?  Yes.  In fact, contrary to popular belief, God also hates workers of iniquity - all those who commit sins and live in unrighteousness.  See the following eye-opening verses. 

"The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity." - Psalm 5:5 (KJV)

"The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth." - Psalm 11:5 (KJV)

"Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." - Psalm 45:7 (KJV)
If our Creator hates sin, we should too.

"Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked." - Psalm 97:10 (KJV)

"The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate." - Proverbs 8:13 (KJV)

"Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way." - Psalm 119:104 (KJV)

When you follow Christ, you must put away worldliness and sin and you must be willing to walk the road less traveled, like Noah and Lot did. Jesus Himself was humble and lowly, He was not popular or accepted in this world. If we are to follow Him, we need to be more like Him. If our King was rejected, we are to be rejected. Otherwise, we are no different than the rest of the world. . When we are born again, it means that we are starting anew. We are born into a fresh and different way of life, a whole new direction. One that is changed. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." - 1 Peter 1:23 (KJV)

As Christians, we are to become new men and new women, completely different from how we lived prior to becoming Christians. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." - Ephesians 4:22-24 (KJV) 

Have you ever searched for the meaning of "righteousness" in a dictionary?  One online dictionary describes it as "the quality of being morally right or justifiable" and another describes it as "acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin".  Yes, our Lord expects us to live righteously - hence the meaning of being a "pure" bride for Him.  He wants us to live in true holiness, as His Word says. 

Are these guidelines just for some Christians and not for all Christians?  Some think that they are just for old fashioned, narrow-minded believers or Christians from centuries past.  They feel that these guidelines are not "realistic expectations" and they do not pertain to the modern-day Christian, as times have changed and therefore we need to upgrade for the current generation of Christians.  This belief is a complete heresy!  These guidelines are intended for EVERY person who claims the gift of Salvation and the title of Christian.  Past and present. Young and old.  New Christian and seasoned Christian alike.  Those who lived centuries ago and those who are living in the present day. Keep in mind that there is absolutely no expiry date on God's rules and guidelines for Christians.  We do not serve a changeable, unstable God.  We serve a mighty, all-knowing God who does not change nor does His Word.  "For I am the LORD, I change not." - Malachi 3:6 (KJV)  His Word is true and strong and powerful.  It does not lose its effect or meaning over the centuries, no matter how much people may try to water down, change, or update its meaning to fit the times.  "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12 (KJV) 

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."  - Ephesians 4:8 (KJV)

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" (Philippians 2:15 KJV)  The Lord wants His bride (his followers/church) to be a light in the darkness.

We are to be set apart from the rest of the world.  We live in the world but we are not of the world.  "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." - Romans 12:2 (KJV)  "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." - John 17:14-16 (KJV)

We are not keep company and have close friendships with those who live in a way that is not pleasing to God - with lives that are filled with parties, music, fornication (sex outside of marriage, which is sadly considered "normal" today), and all manner of unclean things. We need to stay away from people who actually take joy in unrighteousness.  We need to separate ourselves from the world and the things of the world.  "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." - 2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV) 

Does this mean that we should not be kind to people who are living apart from Christ?  Absolutely not.  As Christians, we are to show kindness to everyone and anyone that we meet - Christians and non-Christians alike.  We are to shine our Light and Love for all to see.  However, just because we are to be kind to them does not mean that we should show approval of their sinful lifestyles or be partakers of their wordliness.  We are to keep our distance from them in a polite and sensible way, choosing rather to please God than to please man.  Choosing rather to be lonely and make God happy than to join them and compromise our morals and values - thus giving our blessing on their sins. 

It is inevitable that we must encounter worldly people while dwelling on this earth, so if and when we are ever in the company of such individuals, we should always remember to be like Jesus when He ate with the sinners.  He did not partake of their sins in any way - neither in conversation or in deed.  Nor did He indulge in worldly pleasures while in their company just to fit in and be like the crowd.  Quite the contrary!  Read the Bible and see that the only reason that Jesus ate with the sinners was to take the opportunity to share parables that were all about recovering lost souls. The people in that house were all lost and He knew it.  He wanted only to show them the way to come to the Father and that was all.  He did not in any way partake of their lifestyles and thus remained sinless in body, mind, heart, and soul.  In fact, Matthew was surprised that Jesus would enter his home, so he acted respectfully and honorably.  Were the people acting inapropriate while Jesus was there?  Probably not, as He had captured their attention with His parables and they seemed to have been in awe of the moral lessons that He was delivering to them. 

Many people, including modern-day Christians, like to use the commonly-used "Jesus ate with sinners" line to justify putting themselves in compromising situations by hanging out with immoral people.  They forget that Jesus is the Son of God and He had parables to tell.  That is why He was there.  He also had plans for Matthew to become one of His disciples and that is also why He was there.  Let us remember that Jesus also smashed the money-changer tables at the Temple but we cannot go out and do the very same thing!  Firstly, it would be illegal for us to walk into a church that sells products and smash their tables and secondly, it is not our place to do it.  Think about it.  Some things can only be done by the Lord and in His own way and thus must be left to the Lord.  We cannot step out of His Will and do things that are immoral or go against the law and then try to say "Well if Jesus did it, I can too!" to justify it.  He is God.  We are His children.  There are no lifestyle guidelines for Him.  There ARE lifestyle guidelines for us.  Is the servant greater than his/her Master?  Is the child given authority over his/her parent?  The answer is a solid NO.  So take your place as His child and obey your Father and Lord.  Keep these Biblical words in mind before you begin spending time in the company of worldly people:  "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” - 1 Corinthians 5:11 (KJV)  Let that scripture be "food for thought" before your next get-together with family, friends, co-workers, or acquaintances.  Keep in mind:  Just because they are your family does not mean that God wants you to be in their company while they are doing worldly things - for example attending their parties of music, drinking, and sexy dance, watching modern TV shows and movies with them, swimming at the beach with them while they are wearing immodest apparel and flaunting their bodies.  God wants us to "be separate" from that immoral scene.  "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" - 2 Corinthians 6:14 (KJV)  Many Christians believe that this scripture pertains to marriage with unbelievers when in fact it pertains to any closeness with unbelievers, including friendship.  It is telling us not to have fellowship with those who shamelessly sin and live for the world.  Righteousness has no place in the midst of unrighteousness, so what is a Christian doing in a place where people are doing things that are immoral in the sight of God?  Do these Christians feel no shame?  Do they not feel the Holy Spirit is grieved inside of them while they are communing with those who walk in darkness?  Read that scripture once again and allow it to speak to your conscience until its meaning becomes clearer and clearer to you.  Knowing this, there is no excuse for any of us Christians.  We have been given rules to stay away from such people. 

Here is another scripture to ponder: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." - Psalm 1:1-2 (KJV)  There are special blessings for those who keep themselves "set apart" from the world, continuing in obedience, and keeping their minds on God's laws and thinking on those laws constantly.

As you can see, we are to keep our distance from those who proudly live in sin.  Are we to hate them?  No.  We are to hate their deeds and lifestyles, as stated in the scripture verses that we shared earlier in this article, but Jesus said: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." - John 13:34 (KJV)  So, if we are to love people does that mean that we will just smile when they brag about the sinful, worldly things that they are doing?  No.  We will show our displeasure of it.  When Jesus tells us to love all people, including those who sin, that means that we are to love their souls too and if we love their souls, we will want to help them find the Lord.  We will not partake of their lifestyles but we will rather help lead them to the Savior.  We need to love them enough to deliver the Truth to them while there is still time because we may be their only chance at coming to the Lord  - and these are the end times - so we cannot delay!  If you care about people and love them, tell them about Jesus and His Love now.  We implore you.  Also, if you know of any struggling or wayward Christians, please talk with them and try to help them find their way back.  The consequences of falling away from God are too great, so if you see a Christian living immorally, guide them back.  Do not be afraid that you might offend them by doing so.  Just remember that if they are offended, it is God who offends them, not you.  It is our duty, as Christians, to use our voices and minister to others.  If you have no other means of helping others, use your Facebook as a mini-ministry.  Post scriptures that remind believers of what God requires of Christians.  This is a powerful tool to reach people and call them back to Him.  You are not "judging" when you remind people what God expects of a Christian, it is called "correction", according to the Bible.  "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)

But.... BEFORE we try to minister to other Christians, let us make certain that we ourselves are right with God.  We need to make sure that we are living uprightly and are not currently sinning against God - doing the same things that we are preaching to others about.  "Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?" - Romans 2:21-22 (KJV)  If we tell someone not to sin, and we are committing the same sin, we are a hypocrite. 

As Christians, we are to fear God and His wrath.  Yes, He is a loving Father but, like any parent, He becomes angry at those who have known and accepted the Truth but are living in unrighteousness.  Imagine how He feels when He sees us throwing away His gift of Love in exchange for Satan's cheap thrills!  "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness" Romans 1:18 (KJV)  We should fear Him too much to ever risk making Him angry by choosing sin over Him.  We should respect Him enough to never give Him reason to become jealous over our unfaithfulness.  "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." - 2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)  We should fear Him too much to ever betray Him.  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." - Proverbs 9:10 (KJV)  If you fear the Lord, you are indeed wise and if you have knowledge about holiness, then you have understanding of the Bible.  We are to study our Bibles, not leave them to collect dust in a corner somewhere or leave it all for the Pastor to teach us on Sunday.  We need to study it and read it for ourselves. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." - Psalm 119:11 (KJV)  By reading and storing God's Word in your heart, you are less likely to choose sin over Him and more likely to build up a spiritual wall of defense against the enemy and his fiery darts of temptation.

We are to be holy in our conduct.  Not acting sexy, promiscuous, vulgar, ignorant, immodest, immoral, violent, hateful, unkind, and unclean. "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." - 1 Peter 1:16 (KJV)  Another Bible verse to consider is this one about keeping our bodies holy for the Lord.  "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." - Romans 12:1 (KJV)

Our homes and even our social media accounts (like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) should also reflect the Christian life so that when people enter, they wonder what it is that makes us different, why we have the hope, the joy, the love in our hearts and in our words and in our deeds.  Let them find the reason for all of this just by looking at us, walking into our Godly homes, visiting our social media accounts, etc.  Let them see it clearly that we live for Christ - and He is the reason.  Let it be no secret that you serve the Lord.  "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.." 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV) Do not let these people enter your home or visit your social media accounts and find immorality where morality should be.  Let them not find worldliness where Godliness should be.  Let them not find contradictions and hypocrisy mingled with the Truth.  Be a living testimony of how God changes lives.  Be a personal ministry to the world. 

And....let us now shine the spotlight on another area of holiness.  In addition to our conduct, our worship should also be holy and pure, not fleshly and worldly.  It should reflect the Lord's holiness, not reflect the sounds and actions of the world.  When we are giving Him worship, we must do it to please Him, not to please ourselves.  It is not about what makes us feel good or what gives us fleshly satisfaction and entertainment (such as the ungodly, unholy music of so-called "Christian" rock, rap, hip-hop, metal that is performed by many professed Atheists).  It should be all about God and what makes Him happy, not what makes us happy.  If worship is truly and honestly for Him, then should it not be about what He desires instead of what we desire?  Naturally.  "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." - John 4:24 (KJV)  He wants true worship.   "Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day." - Psalm 71:8 (KJV) We are to honor Him with our actions and words.  Modern "rock concerts", flailing bodies, jumping, moving and grooving, sensual singing, crashing drums, ripped jeans..... this is all of the world and it is far from Christian.  Whom are these modern-day "Christians" serving when they attend such concerts or purchase and listen to such music?  It would seem that by the unholy nature of their worship that they are serving a god in black leather, tattoos, holding a steel guitar in one hand and the hand of Satan in the other.  For they are certainly not serving the pure, dear, gentle, sinless, spotless Lamb of God - our precious Savior and King Jesus Christ!  These modern-day "Christians" are rather serving themselves and a god of their own making.  The God of the Bible wants beautiful, pure, holy worship, just as the Psalmist declared: "O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth." - Psalm 96:9 (KJV)  The next time that you plan to attend one of those so-called "Christian" concerts (featuring the popular artists of the industry) or before opening your mouth to sing along with their secular "Christian" songs, ask yourself this one question:  "Is this the kind of worship that a pure and holy God desires or is it only fleshly entertainment for my own enjoyment?"  Be honest with yourself and with God.  You know the truth and so does He.

We are to keep ourselves away from filthy, dirty things.  Pornographic websites, magazines, photos, videos are among the most common modern-day tempters - snaring even believers into a web of darkness and unthinkable fornication!  "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." - Psalm 101:3 (KJV)  In addition, unclean or hard music, sexy and immoral celebrities, TV shows with mature and sexual subject matters, TV talent shows that feature singers or sexy dance contests, movies about fornication and adultery and violence, and places like bars or dance clubs that promote improper lifestyles).  "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." - 1 John 2:16 (KJV)  The life of a Christian is to be refreshing and clean.  "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." - 2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV) 

We cannot hold hands with the world and hold hands with God at the same time.  "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." - 2 Corinthians 6:15 (KJV)

We are to think like Christians. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." - Philippians 4:8 (KJV)  Also, we are to talk like Christians. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." - Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)  We are not to think or talk about immoral things or tell dirty jokes that corrupt the mind. People are listening to what we say. Let's use our voice to share the hope and truth of the Gospel.  Let us spread a little kindness so that through our words others can see the Light that dwells within us.

We are to speak about the Bible, talk of our love for God, tell what good things He has done for us, share our testimonies and the Gospel with others.  "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." - Luke 6:45 (KJV)  Those who spend any time in our company will know that we are Christians by the way we talk and the way that we act.  If our hearts and thoughts are filled with Christ, then we will talk about Him.  If our hearts and thoughts are filled with things of the world, then we will talk about them instead.  "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." - Colossians 3:2 (KJV)  It is not hard to detect a true Christian amid false Christians.  The true Christian does not hide their faith when in the company of unbelievers.  They let their light shine.  "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 KJV)  The true Christian lets it be known who they are and what they are.  They do not keep it a secret.  Their zeal shows in their faces, is heard in their words, and it shines from within them for all to see.  They are not ashamed of Jesus or His Gospel.  "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" - Romans 1:16 (KJV)

"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness." - 2 Peter 3:11 (KJV)

A sincere Christian is happy to put away the things of the world and walk with God. We need to let our light shine brightly so that all who see us may know that we are followers of the King.  Therefore, we should not resemble the world in any way.  We are not to act or look like the people of the world.  It is easy to profess "I am a Christian" and wear that title but do people know that we are Christian by how we act or look?  Do they look at us and see someone who acts and looks different than other people or do they look at us and see just another worldly person in their midst?  We cannot act or dress inapropriately and expect to be a good example to others.  People are watching us, so we must present ourselves as a light in the darkness, wearing modest clothing, acting clean and holy in our conduct.  Because of this "sexy generation" that we are living in, we must especially adhere to these guidelines for how our young ladies should present themselves:  "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety" - 1 Timothy 2:9 (KJV) Women (both unmarried and married alike) are to act soberly, not showing off their bodies for all to see, but keeping themselves covered in decent clothing which allows the true beauty of their heart to be seen instead of their flesh.  Sexy is not how the pure bride should act or dress.  That is not what the Groom wants.  He does not see sexy as beautiful.  It is abominable in His eyes!  "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." - Proverbs 31:30 (KJV)  The Groom (our Lord) values purity and obedience (this does not just apply to women but to men also). 

We are to keep ourselves clean just as Jesus kept Himself clean.  The Bible gives distinct guidelines for us.  "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." - 1 John 3:3 (KJV)

Are we professing Christianity and still committing fornication and adultery?  Are we, who actually know God's commandments, still disobeying them?  "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." - Romans 1:32 (KJV)  As Christians, are we still living in sin?  God forbid!  "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting , which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:3-4 KJV)  We cannot expect that the spirit of the Living God can dwell in a heart that loves sin.  We cannot be "sleeping with the enemy" and expect that God's Holy Spirit is still dwelling in our soul.  He is a Holy God and cannot be in an unholy place.  Therefore, His Holy Spirit will depart from us. If Jesus were to return and find you committing fornication or adultery, would you be told "well done good and faithful servant"?  That is very unlikely!  For the Bible says "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV)  Why do you suppose that the Bible says "be not deceived" in this particular passage of scripture?  Because many Christians are deceived into believing that they can do anything and still go to Heaven.  This is one of the most deceptive doctrines out there today!  It is an untruth.  It is heresy.  A Christian cannot play the dangerous game of committing fornication/adultery and still expect to find themselves in Heaven.  Sadly, they are "Christian" in name only and they need to repent and become "one new man/woman" for the Lord.

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." - Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

There is a constant battle going on for our souls - a battle between good and evil.  The devil would love to put stumblingblocks of sin in our way and steal our souls away from God.  "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." - 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)  This is a warning to Christians, so do not let your guard down.  Temptations come when we least expect them.  So stand strong!

We must be willing to fight the good fight of faith everyday of our lives.  "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." - 1 Timothy 6:12 (KJV)  We must guard our minds from sin and be soldiers for Christ - always warring against the enemy.  "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." - Ephesians 6:11-13 (KJV)  Yes, "having done all" is a very important line to remember.  We have to strive to live for God - doing everything that we possibly can - to stand until the end.  We need to hold tightly onto God's Truth and the gift of Salvation that He has given to us with all of our strength and all of our might!  

"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."  - Revelation 3:3 (KJV)

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." - Revelation 3:11 (KJV)

Do you really love God, dear reader?  If we really love God, we will obey ALL of His Words and not just a select few. We will keep His commandments in their entirety.  "If ye love me, keep my commandments." - John 14:15 (KJV)  "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." - John 14:21 (KJV)  "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." - John 14:24 (KJV)

Christians, we need to stay close to our Lord and give Him our whole hearts - our undivided love.  We need to resist the devil and his temptations to sin.  We need to be cleansed and live purely for the Lord. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." - James 4:7-8 (KJV)  We cannot be double-minded Christians - wanting to sin and wanting to be good at the same time.  We need to either choose God or choose the devil.  We cannot have both at the same time!  The spirit of God cannot dwell in the same place as the spirit of the devil.  You must choose one or the other to dwell in your heart and soul.  Otherwise, you are double-minded and unstable!  "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." - James 1:8 (KJV)  You are either a Christian or you are not a Christian.  Being "almost Christian" will get you "almost to Heaven" but it will not get you inside the gates.  A lukewarm Christian is one that has one foot on the narrow path that leads to Heaven and one foot on the broad path that leads to Hell.  They cannot decide which path they really want to walk, so they walk on both, and try to intertwine both paths.  "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." - Matthew 6:24 (KJV)

As Christians, we must run the full race and not give up half way.  It is not the beginning of the journey that matters as much as the end of the journey.  We must stay on the right path (the narrow one) and not allow ourselves to stray onto the path that everyone is walking.  "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." - Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV)  Very few people will actually stay on that path, so make sure that you are one of the faithful who stays on it and endures to the end!  "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." - Matthew 24:13 (KJV)  The Christian walk is all about endurance.  Standing on the solid ground of Truth instead of standing on the quick sand of sin.  "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." - Revelation 3:5-6 (KJV)  This is being said to the Christians - the Church!  We must strive to keep our names from being blotted out of the Book of Life!  "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." - Revelation 3:21 (KJV) 

If you were to stand before our Lord Jesus Christ tomorrow, would He recognize you as His pure bride?  Would your gown be clean and white?  Would He know you or would He turn you away in shame?  This is a serious thing to ponder for all who profess Christianity.  "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." - Revelation 3:15-16 (KJV)  Yes, God will spit us out of his mouth - cast us away - if we appear at Heaven's gate as "almost Christian".  Keep in mind that the book of Revelation tells us that this particular message was to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans - which means that it is a strong warning for the lukewarm Church (Christians who are neither cold nor hot for God).  Do not take this warning lightly, we implore you!  "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." - Revelation 3:22 (KJV)

A true Christian is intent on reaching the finish line victoriously.  They are intent on obeying their Master.  They are determined to flee from the sins of their past or the temptation to stray off the narrow road and they put on the whole armor of faith.  Their eyes are focused on their reward of Eternity with Christ and they realize that they will only receive that reward if they endure to the end.  Therefore, they will work out their Salvation with fear and trembling and not allow themselves to fall away.  Their hearts do not belong to this world, their hearts belong to God.  These are the true Christians who will be met at Heavens Gate with the words:  "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." - Matthew 25:21 (KJV)  When we reach the end of our lives here on earth, may we hear our Groom (the Lord) lovingly say those words.  BUT... keep in mind....."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." - Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)  Will He say this to you?  Our prayer, here at Abide In The True Light, is that all Christians reading this will search their hearts and ensure that they are obeying God right now - preparing themselves for when they stand before Him on Judgement Day.  We pray that you will never hear those dreadful, heartbreaking words: "depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

"Be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." - 2 Peter 3:14 (KJV)

Brides of Christ, get ready!  The day of His return could be closer than you think.  "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." - Revelation 19:7 (KJV)

Be watching, be waiting, be preparing ..... for we do not know when the Groom will come!  "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." - Matthew 25:10-13 (KJV)

Thankfully, as of right now, we still have time to correct our lives and prepare ourselves as a pure bride for our Groom. 

"Prepare to meet thy God" - Amos 4:12 (KJV)

Copyright © Abide In The True Light
Article: "The Pure Bride Of Christ [Christians & The Church]
Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018

1 comment:

  1. If a couple marries when they are young they have a great ally in favor: time. They will be able to enjoy their company throughout their personal growth, to travel and share moments of great intimacy before making the decision to grow the family.