Here we see the bride has done something. She has had to make herself ready. We can find references in the Bible for the phrase “the Lamb’s wife”, but not once for “the bride of Christ”. Nowhere. Evenso, modern theology teaches that God has abandoned his covenant with Israel in exchange for the church, and that the church has to iron out the wrinkles in her wedding dress before her groom will return for her.
The confusion might be tied in part to two parables of Christ concerning brides. One is the parable of the marriage banquet and one is the parable of the virgins. If we examine them, we see that the church is not the bride in these parables, rather a guest.
The first one is found in Matthew 22:1-14, “And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.’”
Parables stand alone. We must understand this. They must be “boxed” and “unpacked” separately. Here the original guests may well represent the nation of Israel who rejected the invitation to dine at the wedding banquet with Christ. He then passed along salvation to the Gentiles, and not just the good ones. The one uninvited guest may symbolize anyone trying to enter without coming through Christ. He could symbolize those who attended church and Christian fellowships but never really separated themselves unto their groom. He may even represent those who thought themselves to be “good” and so deserved a seat at the banquet.
Whatever the case, the church in this parable is not the bride. There is no mention of who the bride is. The focus is on the guests.
Watch this space…
By Jori Sams
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