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Christ's Love For The Church
Ephesians 5: 25-27,
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.
Colossians 1: 18,
And He [Christ] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have preeminence.
As I reflect on the Love of God for all mankind, I am brought into remembrance of the great love that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has for the church. We are told that Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it. That through Him, the church would be sanctified and cleansed, with the washing of water by the word. We are reminded that Christ is the head of the body, the church, which he will present to himself, having neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor blemish.
This hub could easily be consumed with the many other scriptures supporting and showing forth the love of Christ for His bride, the church. But allow me to move on to further seriousness concerning this matter.
We've Been Warned
Jesus Is Coming Again.
It is no surprise to the Body of Christ to hear that Jesus is coming again, we've heard it all before. But as I stated earlier, he is coming to receive unto himself a bride [church] without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. Many within the Body of Christ eagerly await His coming, to be relieved from this present world of sin and wickedness, and to live in our prepared homes on high.
Jesus said in John, chapter 14, verses 2&3, " In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. 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."
The thing that alarms me is that we hear the warnings of Christ to be Sanctified and Holy at His coming, we hear the warnings to adorn ourselves as His bride, yet we cast our condemning and judgmental eyes on those outside of the walls of the church, and stand in our self-righteousness as though it's not us that the word is spoken, and as though we've got it all together. After all, we have learned scripture and gained limitless understanding in our Theological and Seminary settings from some of the brightest minds in the Christian community at large. We have degrees hanging on our walls, we have lofty titles proceeding our names, and many of the letters of the alphabet preceding. I speak not to offend the head, but rather to stir the heart.
Now, when I say that we've been warned, I didn't expect anyone to grasp the seriousness of that warning in the aforementioned scriptures. The warnings I allude to that must be heeded are things Jesus did, to add depth to, and solidify what He said.
Here's what I mean:
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, during what the bible calls " The Triumphal Entry," the people lined the streets in a parade style, shouting praises and glorifying Him, and throwing their coats, cloaks, and palm branches along the way, yet, the first thing Jesus did when He dismounted from His beast was to go to the church.
1st Warning..... Jesus went into the church and threw out the money-changers, overturned tables, and cast out those who had used the temple of God in vain, and for their own betterment and gain. Jesus knew even on that day, that He was headed to Calvary's Cross to die for the sins of the world, and yet, before he submitted himself to the mean Roman soldiers to be beaten, and before the crown of thorns was forced down upon his head, and before the spikes were driven into his hands and feet, Jesus went to set the church in order. Before he would submit himself to die, and ascend to his rightful place in glory, Jesus set the church in order. " My house is a house of Prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves."
2nd Warning......On the appointed day after His death, burial, and resurrection Jesus ascended into the heavens, and sat at the right hand of the Father in glory. But before Jesus relaxed Himself, and before Jesus called for His slippers and robe, Jesus called for an old Apostle exiled on Mt. Patmos. Jesus called for John, the Revelator. Jesus told John to come on up, and bring a pad and pen, because he needed to write letters to the Seven Churches. Imagine if you will, Jesus couldn't even rest in His finished work, because He was so concerned with the churches being ready and in order on that day when He would come again.
" I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea."
Final Warning.......1st Peter 4: 17-18,
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
The Hour Is At Hand
How many of us have given careful thought to the greater parts of the New Testament being written to teach Christians how to hold on to what we have received? Written to admonish us on living Holy and Sanctified lives with scriptures like, You are in the world, but not of the world.
Yet, we take our salvation lightly, and use the grace of God in vain.
How soon it was after being forgiven, that we allowed the reminder saying, " He who endures to the end, will be saved " to escape our remembrance.
Jesus said, " Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter 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 [preached] in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: Depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Judgment will begin in the house of God. Every Saint of God will have to appear before the judgment seat of God, and give an account of himself. And on that day, how many will be able to say that, " The life I've lived, will speak for me?"
None but the righteous shall see God !! Get right church, and let's go home !!