How Beautiful Will the Bride Be?

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One day, perhaps very soon, we will hear these words,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. (Rev 19:6b)

Don’t you long for that day? … when the reign of Christ is complete. When “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev 11:15) … that day when God will judge his enemies, and save and reward his people.

To help us grasp the glory and significance and reality of this coming day, John compares it to a wedding,

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. (Rev 19:7)

The apostle John is enticing us with a picture of perhaps the most joyous and celebrated event in our human experience, a wedding. A heavenly wedding, where Christ is the bridegroom and the Church, the bride. Notice what the Bride is doing…. “making herself ready.” John unpacks that a bit by saying, “it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.”

Think about a typical wedding day and how the bride makes herself ready. She selects an elegant dress, a dress that she will only wear this one time. Great attention is given to her hair and her make-up. She might have even gotten a deep tan…one way or another! The shoes, the veil, the flowers… all part of the careful preparation.

Then after the wedding, there’s the wedding banquet. John says, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The wedding feast of Christ and the Church will be unparalleled…far more glorious than the $75,000 extravaganzas sometimes held here in the States.

Do you remember a time when you received an invitation and felt a sense of gratitude and perhaps even surprise that you were invited? Afterwards, you had a sense of anticipation…you couldn’t wait! How much more to be invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb!

Leadership Resources’ passion is to prepare the Bride for her wedding day. Look again at Revelation 19:7-8.

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.

Look at that last phrase. The Bride of Christ will have a gorgeous wedding dress…she’ll be adorned with the righteous deeds of the saints. Of course, she will be clothed in the righteousness in Christ. But this text tells us she will also be clothed with her own righteous deeds.

So how beautiful will the Bride be on that day?

We don’t know yet.

It depends…on how believers live out their faith…. on how many acts of love they perform. It depends on how faithfully God’s people proclaim the gospel. It depends on the purity and health and vitality of millions of churches around the world.

How beautiful will the Bride of Christ be?

It depends, to a large degree, on pastors. Pastors are critical to the process of beautifying the Bride. As they shepherd and lead and teach, as they encourage and comfort, as they correct and rebuke and train in righteousness. You could define a pastor’s job this way: he is a bridal attendant whose job is to ensure that the Bride is ravishingly beautiful on her wedding day.

That’s why we invest in pastors. So the Bride of Christ might be even more ravishing on that Day.

God is using the gifts of you, our partners, to equip and encourage pastors like George, Francis, Noah, and Rolando. These pastor-trainers are equipping other faithful men in their areas so that the believers there might walk in the good works that God has prepared for them, so their lives might be filled with righteous deeds.

At any wedding, all eyes are on the beautiful Bride. As we live and serve and give, we can help prepare the Bride of Christ for her great Bridegroom! Of course, we all agree: Christ is worthy to have the most stunningly beautiful bride.

What an honor and privilege it is for all of us to be a part of that process. You can play an active role today in helping make the worldwide Bride of Christ even more beautiful. Let that sink in. It’s true! We will use your gift this month to help equip bridal attendants (pastors) to prepare the Bride for that Great Day!

craig-parroWith gratitude in Christ,

Craig Parro

PS: Your gift, given in love, will be yet another “righteous deed of the saints.” Your very act of giving beautifies the Bride. What a motivation to generosity!

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Craig Parro

Since joining Leadership Resources International in 1989, Craig directed its international ministry, and as of January 2010, he now serves as President. A graduate of TEDS (M.A., Mission), Craig is a stimulating teacher and has equipped and encouraged pastors and churches throughout the U.S., Latin America and Asia. Craig also serves on the Board of Directors of TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Coalition), an association of pastoral training organizations focused on accelerating pastoral training worldwide. Craig has authored articles appearing in several magazines. His first book, Unlikely Warriors, was published in 1992. He is also co-author of Finishing Well in Life and Ministry: God’s Protection from Burnout.