"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Preparing The Church For The Wedding Of The Lamb

By Rich Carmicheal

    Earlier this year, I had the privilege of escorting my only daughter, Sara, down the aisle to give her in marriage. What a beautiful bride! Okay, I may be somewhat biased. But nevertheless, Sara was so beautiful that day as the Lord united her life in marriage to Justin, a wonderful young man who belongs to the Lord and is eager to establish his home in the Lord. Praise the Lord!

    During these last several weeks I have thought much about marriage, especially from the perspective of the bride. That day is of such great significance that the bride, along with her family and friends, devote much energy, time and resources to prepare for it. Everything must be the best that it can be for the wedding day!

    During this time, I thought about that greater wedding day that is coming, that Day when our Lord returns for His Bride, the Church. The Apostle John describes it this way: "…Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 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. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear…" (Rev. 19:6-8).

    Christ loves the Church! His love is described this way in Ephesians 5:25-27: "…just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." What an indescribably precious gift! The Lord gave Himself for us! He has purchased us with His very own blood (Rev. 5:9; Acts 20:28). He poured out Himself on our behalf to cleanse us of sin and to make us holy and blameless. We belong to Him and He wants us to be spiritually alive and radiant.

    We are His body (Eph. 1:22-23), and as members of His body, He feeds and cares for us (Eph. 5:29-30). He ministers to us through His Spirit and through His Word. He cares for us by appointing leaders for the Church who help shepherd and protect us (Acts 20:28-31) and prepare us for works of service so that we may be built up (Eph. 4:11-13). He imparts spiritual gifts to the Church so that we might be edified and strengthened (1 Cor. 14:12, 26). He is building His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against us (Matt. 16:18).

    I believe that He is even now at work in your and my life, seeking to feed and care for us through this issue of Herald of His Coming that He has made possible. He is calling us into deeper fellowship with Him and into deeper union with His purposes for our lives. One of those purposes is that we serve as instruments of His grace to help bring others into the Church. He wants "all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). He not only wants the Church to grow in spiritual maturity and beauty, but also in number.

    Consider the example of the early church in Jerusalem. As these believers "devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer," the Lord "added to their number daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:42,47). Likewise, as the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria was strengthened and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it "grew in numbers..." (Acts 9:31).

    As members of the Church, we are members of "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). We are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-14) and to hold forth the word of life (Phil. 2:16). What a great privilege and awesome responsibility we have to share the truth and the light of the Lord! Our Lord has "purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Rev. 5:9) and He calls us to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19).

    This issue of the Herald focuses on sharing Christ with others. As you read through it, we hope and pray that the Lord will use the articles to encourage, challenge and equip you in your efforts to share His love and the Gospel message with the unsaved. Christ loves the Church, and wants to work through us to bring others into the Church. Oh that we might open our hearts more fully to Him, and offer ourselves more fully to sharing His love with others! May we do all we can to prepare the Church for the wedding of the Lamb!

    We rejoice in the Herald office over the privilege the Lord gives this ministry to publish and distribute revival literature that encourages and strengthens the body of Christ in preparation for that coming Day, and also salvation literature that helps lost souls find their way to Christ. We offer praise and thanksgiving to Him for those of you whose prayers, encouragement and financial gifts make the outreach of this ministry possible. Let all of us rejoice and give Him glory!