Friday, December 21, 2012

The Bride, the Virgins and the Guests in the Bible

When Jesus was here on Earth, he taught his disciples about the Parables of the Kingdom of Heaven. One of the most mentioned parables was the wedding banquet of Israel, which was used to compare with the rapture of Christians in the last days.

Matthew 22:1
1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:
2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son

When Jesus talked about the parable of wedding banquet, he aimed at teaching us that we must have an identity and attain the qualification of rapture such that we can participate in the wedding banquet on heaven with respective roles.

Jesus once said, during the period of rapture, there would be three different types of people who would be able to attend the wedding banquet of the Lamb: the bride, the virgins and the guests.

The bride is one of the main characters of a wedding who will marry the groom, and is one of the two key persons in a wedding. In a wedding, besides the groom, the bride must be the most alert one waiting for the wedding day.  Also, the bride must also be the most beautifully dressed and the prettiest one in a wedding.

Revelation 19:7
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Revelation 21:2
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

So, the bride are the Christians who are always alert during their lifetime for the return of Jesus. They use the truth of Bible to dress up themselves during the period. They keep themselves as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Ephesians 5:25-27
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

When Jesus comes again, among the first group of Christians to be raptured are those who always stay vigilant and wait for Jesus' return. They will become the main character in the wedding. They will also reign on the heaven with God and receive the biggest heavenly rewards.

Another batch of people in the wedding banquet on heaven are the guests. In the parable, Jesus mentioned that the requirements on the guests were the least. They only need to have proper attire, which represents the righteousness of Christians. So, the guests are those who become Christians during the Great Revival before and after the rapture who are willing to leave their sins. They just meet the time of rapture when they become Christians and thus become the guests with proper attire.

Matthew 22:8-10
8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.
9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’
10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

The guests without proper attire are those who believe in God during the Great Revival but do not really repent and leave their sins and thus cannot be raptured.

Mathew 22:11-13
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.
12 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.
13 "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth

The last batch of people in the wedding banquet on heaven are the virginsIn the Bible, Jesus required them to be alert, prepare enough oil and stand ready for the coming of the groom at all timeThe virgins represent those Christians who have been believing in God for a long time, and are even serving God.

There are three types of virgins:
The first type are those who always stay vigilant and prepare enough oil for their lamps. They represent those Christians who believe in God and serve God. They live on Earth as travelers and are always alert for the second coming of Jesus.
The second and the third types are those being mentioned in the parable of ten virgins. They are not alert and they even fall asleep.  They do not concentrate on waiting for the coming of the groom.  They do not know when the groom would come.

Matthew 25:1-5
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 ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

Though all the ten virgins have fallen asleep, there are still five of them who have prepared their oil.  When they hear the groom, they use the oil to lighten their lamps immediately and follow the groom and the bride to the wedding banquet at the father's home.
The remaining five virgins, whom the Bible described as the foolish ones, cannot go to the wedding banquet with the groom and the bride as they have not prepared their oil.

Matthew 25:8-9
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.’

So, the parable of ten virgins is talking about those Christians who do not aware that Jesus may return during their life time as they have been choked by the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth or their church simply does not teach them to stay vigilant for Jesus' return.

On the other hand, those ready with oil are Christians who are willing to walk in the truth, to sacrifice and to serve. Oil means God's anointing.  In this gloomy age, those Christians lighten the lamps by the oil and stand out as a testimony.

The virgins who have prepared their oil but have fallen asleep are Christians who
love God, walk in the truth and are willing to preach the gospel and serve God though they do not know that they should stay vigilant for Jesus' return. Therefore, Jesus will let them know the signs of his return in the last minute.  They will be raptured a bit later than the bride.  Yet, the five unprepared virgins have no chance to be raptured forever.

Mathew 25:10
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.

However, virgins without oil are those not only remain unprepared for Jesus' return, but also do not walk in the truth or even do evil things.
These so-called Christians and servant of God will not be raptured and Jesus will not recognize them.

Matthew 25:11-12
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.'

All in all, we must be raptured if we are of the "level of the BRIDE" or be a vigilant and well-prepared virginThe sleeping yet well-prepared virgin will be raptured a bit later.
We can then be safe from the tribulation and be able to attend the wedding of the Lamb.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 

Believe in Jesus Chirst TODAY and be prepared!