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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Where is the Bride?

We so need a move of God’s Holy Spirit.  If you are sharing the gospel with people, you know what I mean, such incredible indifference to the gospel.  So many people have such hardness to the love that God displayed for us in the Cross and a frighteningly high view of their own self righteousness and good works.  In desperation I also cry out as the psalmist, “ Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You? Psalm 85:6

      I so long for God to send another great awakening to this country, to revive His Church and send Her out into the lives of wayward sinners, to point them to that hill where our dear Savior died.  To paint for them, in full view Golgotha and the cross and the Perfect Son of Glory, the only One in whom the Father was well pleased, point for them to Jesus who has borne the iniquity of us all and after becoming our sins and paying it all in my place, this Jesus raised from the dead.  This means we are not alone in this work dear church, Christ is with us as we go…but where is the Church?
           The Church of Jesus Christ, His spotless and chaste virgin, where is she?  This Bride that has been created from a people who were not a people was created to be His eternal companion and prize.  She is spotless and blameless before Him.  He cannot and will not take His blazing eyes off of her; He esteems her as perfectly precious and beautiful.  Made up of every tongue and tribe and people and nation, she is seated with Him in the Heavenlies and worshipping before the throne as His wonderful trophy of His amazing grace.  I believe we can safely say from the scriptures that the Church is the most dazzling and fantastic of all the institutions that God has created, clothed in His righteousness and as pure as the driven snow.  But where is she?  She was not created by Him to be cloistered away, not yet anyway, that time will come.  But this blood bought beauty was created In Him to be more than a thing to be adored and loved by the God who birthed her; she has been given a commission.  We were, in our own flesh and self, so unsavory, so unworthy, so unattractive, yet for His glory He came down, He paid the price, He shed His blood, He reached down into the mire, He dug deep, past the vileness, the bile the excrement that was my life, and He reached down and found me.  Now He has made me part of this Bride and for this time here on earth He has given us the great commission.
           I write this because of what I see in the news; this world is so very evil.  I rarely take the paper but when I do I am appalled by what I read, this world is so heartless and selfish, and doing such evil, it must just break the heart of our God.  I also write this because of what I see when I go and talk with everyday people on the street.  There are just so many winds of doctrine, so many schisms and isms, so much deceit and so many lies that the enemy has crafted to deceive a person from the truth.  Not only that but the hurt, the anger the pain that people have in them from this world and much of it from some form of religion that takes people for what it can get and spits them out when they have no more time or money to give to their “church” to earn their way to “heaven”.  There is so much hurt and pain and deception.  But here sits the perfect bride of Christ….didn’t He purchase us that we may proclaim the praises of Him who brought us out of darkness and into His marvelous light?  Aren’t we to persuade people and to plead with people to be reconciled to Him?  Take a moment and read second Corinthians 5, verses 10-21 and listen to the tone that Paul cries out in this passage of scripture.
    You see, in one place, Heaven, sits the Bride and in another place sits all of the illness that plagues all of humanity, this world.  What if this Bride were to see that this white gown she wears cannot be tarnished by the mire or the corruption that used to spot and defile her, what if she realized that the Love of Jesus is upon her and in her and that she, the very Bride of Christ,  has the cure for all of the world’s woes and she is called to dive deep into the heart of it and find those who are gasping for life?  The men of the world have tried all of their cures and tactics, all of their politics, potions and plans, but the world will be fuller tomorrow than it is today with sorrows and sinners who are still in need of the cure. Social justice will just re distribute the wealth but there will still be sad, hurting needy people going to bed tonight without hope, without love, without salvation, without Jesus.  Yet the Bride has the cure.  We have the cure!  Christian, let me ask you, when was the last time you wanted to do harm to another?  How about letting money rule your life?  Has Jesus tamed that cruel task master for you?  How many young girls have you solicited?  None!  That is because you are now the Bride of Christ; He has abolished not only sin and death but the vile passions of this world that destroy people.  Abolished, gone, done away with are the wicked passions of the flesh, oh they may still haunt you but to act out on them is a thing of a past life, you have been made free in Jesus.  What about the drug dealer or the pimp?  How about the violent dad who drinks a bit too much and beats his kids?  Oh sure he hates it but still, he does it.  Do you think that the gospel might change their lives?  Well who is gonna tell them?  It will have to be the Bride, you see we have the cure.  What would you think of a pharmaceutical company who had a cure that with just one taste of the serum, millions could be healed but “big pharma” kept it back from those who are ill?  We have the cure, we must begin to live as Christ did, not religious but living a life of dying.  We are the Bride, we are the administers of God’s cure for this world.
But first, I believe we must all be personally revived.  Brought to a place in humility that the only words that can describe why we want to do this are, “the love of Christ constrains me”.  We need to be filled with love and with power to go to the lepers of this world so that Christ might make them clean, to forsake our own comforts, to turn away from our pharisaical tendencies and gladly be the least.  How badly do we want this?  How badly does God want it?  Are we willing to change how we live?  Are we willing to change how we look at people groups, like gays or gangs, like republicans or democrats or any other group out there that has the breath of life in them that needs to know Jesus? The enemy has encamped around us, he has encircled the walls, he has set up his barricades, deep trenches are dug and that serpent of old stands at the door of so many with a battering ram ready to smash their every hope and joy and make them think they are too bad to be saved, and we have the cure.
     Pray of a move of God, humble yourselves, wait on the Lord, purify your heart and your minds, abide in Jesus and you will bear much fruit.  Go, for Jesus sake, go.

Be expended to His glory

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