ELEVEN CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
Many believers have resigned from expecting the return of the Lord using as excuse Mt 24:36. Rapture will not overtake every believer by surprise. Just as Simeon, Anna, Elizabeth and John the Baptist knew in advance about the birth of Jesus, even so those who love the Lord and have the mind of Christ will know within a short space of time when the rapture will take place.
The Bride of Christ will be chosen at the Judgment Seat of Christ in the atmospheric heaven immediately after the rapture of the church. Qualification for selection is majorly “the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” as it happened to the tribe of Levi in the matter of the molded calf at the foot of Mount Sinai when Moses said: “Who is on the LORD’S side?” You must zealously pursue the mandate of Jesus.
Raptured saints whose works survive the fire of judgment will receive rewards at the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from zeal in carrying out their divine mandate, those to be chosen into the higher echelon of bride of Christ have heaven-oriented mode of conduct including the following:
Their orientation on life and living is focused on desire for the return of Jesus.
Phil 3:20-21 – For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
They see the world of men the way God sees it, corrupt, full of wickedness and ready for judgment and distance themselves from worldly pursuits.
Titus 2:11-14 – For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
They are more heaven-conscious than those who are living according to the dictates of the world system.
Heb 10:25 – Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
They are like brides preparing for their wedding.
1 Jn 3:2-3 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Their evangelistic fervour reflects the way they zealously distribute their ‘wedding invitation’ witnessing to the lost and strengthening the weak in Chris.
Heb 9:28 – So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Followers of Christ know that in His first coming Jesus came into the world as the Lamb of God to offer His life a ransom for many but in His second coming Jesus will come as the judge of the dead and the living.
2 Pet 3:11-14 – Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Their attitude to money and wealth accumulation is guided by building eternal heritage in heaven.
1 Pet 1:7 – That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
Like the original apostles they are daily expecting the return of the Lord through, among other things, the celebration of Holy Communion.
1 Cor 11:26 – For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
They recognise ‘birthpangs’ as the signs that signal the approaching sound of the trumpet of God for the rapture of the church.
1 Cor 1:7-8 – So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
They patiently wait for the coming of the Lord earnestly desiring if the will of the Lord be so to participate in the event as living saints.
Jam 5:7-8 – Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
They know the times and the seasons and what believers should be doing in this end-time just as the Issachar Company knew the times and what Israel ought to do in those days.
1 Thess 5:1-6 – But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. … But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.