4/01/17 Preparing for Marriage
“Do you see how ready you are to shoot your wounded rather than stand with them? Do you see how you judge one another, malign the name of a fellow believer, and condemn him before the world without even a hint of regret? Do you see the jealousy, strife, gossip, and misuse of My Word that prevails within My house?
"I place an anointing on someone’s life and you grit your teeth against him. You have jealousy toward those who walk closely with Me and hate them for that relationship, rather than doing what it takes to come closer yourselves. When one of your brothers or sisters is accused in front of you, you run and hide behind your religious mask, instead of standing up for him and with him against the accuser. You are willing to believe the worst in your spiritual family rather than finding the truth, so that you stand as a united front against the sin of the world. Instead, you harbor the same sin, and greater sin because you know better; but choose to remain where you are.
"You lie to one another, hold grudges, and are willing to take each other to court rather than be wronged and bear it for the sake of My Word. I am about to spit you out of My mouth if you do not repent of your foul sin and start acting as Jesus would act towards one another. You are fools and are making a laughingstock of yourselves while the world watches and goads you on, watching you play one against another and harm each other. You carry the stench of the world on your garments. You hold the unholy in your heart. Instead of preparing for a marriage celebration with Jesus, pressing your garments and making sure that they are prepared for the day you will need them - that soon coming day - you gleefully soil them in My presence and think that I don’t notice.
"Understand this: if you are not prepared for marriage when it is time to be married, you will not be able to eat at the marriage table with those who have been making preparations all along. You will remain outside the chamber. No amount of pounding on the door will open it at that time. You have chosen to dwell with the vile and unholy. I will then use them to cleanse your garments. They will display the same mercy toward you that you are showing at this moment. Repent now, and honor My Name and your family as you once said that you would.”
Matt. 25:1-12 NIV
1) “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
2) Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
3) The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.
4) The wise, however, took oil in their jars along with their lamps.
5) The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6) At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet Him!’
7) Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.
8) The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9) ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10) But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11) Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’
12) But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’”
Eph. 4:29 AMP
Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.
Before you put on your spiritual boxing gloves and pick up your “doctrinal defense” arsenal, listen to the heart of what is being said. Don’t miss the intent and heart of the message because you believe a certain way about the tribulation, or where the coming of the Lord fits into the timeline of the church. Granted, those are mighty important issues, which have had the attention and caused differences of opinion among scholars for thousands of years. Those differences of opinion, however, would almost not even be worth discussing if every heart was in constant readiness, waiting only for the return of Jesus, no matter when He comes back.
Father God is purifying His church. He is calling each of us to an account of our actions and our true heart motives for all that we do. How we act toward one another clearly indicates how pure our hearts are and who we are actually following.
In the study of the churches in the book of Revelation, there is a mixture of right and wrong in most of them. It shows a people doing some things right in the Lord’s eyes; and at the same time, they are out of line with His heart in other areas. Strong expressions and pretty harsh measures are indicated for those who did not choose to line up with what He considers important. Whether we agree as to who those people are and how those churches fit into the sequence of the life of the church is secondary to the concern each of us should have for the concerns that the Lord has about the purity and holiness of His people.
There is no question that we are living in times very much resembling the times described at the Lord’s return. How ready are we if these are those times? How close do we resemble a waiting bride? How much are our hearts in line with every aspect of the heart of Jesus? Why would we even think that we are close to Him, if we grow closer to the ways of the world each day? We, as a church, need to turn from the path we are on, and head back in the direction of the heart of our Lord.
Turn my heart around, Lord,