Revelation 19:6-8 & 1 Corinthians 3:10-15
“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.” (Revelation 19:6-8)
Today, let us consider our engagement time, our time on earth when we are preparing for our wedding to our Beloved by growing in His image. What will the wedding itself look like? Let’s consider 2 videos of our wedding day.
How do you see yourself in that video, how are you dressed? Is the glorious apparel that clothes you the imputed righteousness of Christ? Or is it something else? Of course you’ll be clothed in his righteousness, or you’d never get into the banquet hall at all! But that’s not the picture here. John explains that this wedding gown is your own right acts!
Consider this second video. 1 Corinthians 3:10-15: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
The specifics may not be altogether clear. The context focuses on unity/ disunity in the body. But the picture as a whole is of building the church. Not our godly or not-so-godly behavior or attitudes but what we have done in life to build his Church. We’d better be very careful for there’s coming a day when our life-investment will bring honor or dishonor to the one we profess to love. I think we could summarize the scene by concluding that those whose work was faithful, focused, and Spirit energized will “shine like the stars forever!” (Daniel 12: 2&3).
But, as we have seen, the ultimate goal of life is not power-packed ministry, exciting as that is. Nor is the Spirit’s goal merely to make us godly in character. The holy life is a means toward the ultimate goal, for only as we are like him, God-compatible, can we respond in the kind of loving intimacy he designed us for. Compatibility is the key to a happy marriage. Isn’t it so? Sad the marriage where husband and wife have no shared interests, no common values, no passionate commitment to the same goals in life. A miserable co-existence as strangers under one roof. Or divorce. “Incompatibility,” the legal documents say.
And so with God and you. He wants you to be like him, God-compatible, so you can be intimate companions. And he empowers for ministry so you can partner with him in bringing about his purposes in the world, bringing others into the family. But above all, the celebration on that Great Day will focus on the climax of a lifetime of intimate companionship, uninhibited union with your forever Lover.
So in your relationship with God, how would your Lover like you to express your affection to him? Oh, surely with a life that points people his direction and surely with Spirit-energized ministry. But it’s much more than being good and doing good. True lovers not only act out love, they say it. Often. On the run, to be sure, but planning unhurried times as well. Let me ask, what all will you say to God?