How spiritually mature will we be found at Christ's return?
You are celebrating great feast of trumpets. This Holy Day pictures all seven of the trumpets blowing, not just the last one. The first six trumpet blown picture a lot of destruction and death on the world. It depicts the send in the debauchery of this sick and dying world. But that seventh trumpet blast pictures the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth to solve all of man’s problems. It pictures a wonderful and glorious time.
Revelation 19:6 Revelation 19:6And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunder, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns.
American King James Version×–9 “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
There is a very insightful statement made here about the bride – “His wife has made herself ready.” Overall it means “to make the necessary preparations – to get everything ready.” Are you ready to be the Bride of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? How spiritually mature are we as a church? How spiritually mature are you as an individual?
A baby grows and goes through stages of adolescent, then puberty, teenage, then the big day comes when the young adult is ready to leave home and stand on its own feet. The parents wonder if the love and training that they have given will have everlasting effects on their child. They question, “Will my offspring make it on his own?” “Will he be successful?” “Will she be a good mother?” “Will they be an alcoholic or get into drugs?” “Will they live by what we have taught them???”
Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
American King James Version×“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” We have all received training from our mother, the Church, in Spiritual matters. But how mature are we spiritually? There is only one way to know - as the old saying goes “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. As we mature we have to prove ourselves and that is the reason why God allows us to have trials and tests to prove us, to test us. To prove our strength and maturity to see where we stand with him.
Deuteronomy 8:1 Deuteronomy 8:1All the commandments which I command you this day shall you observe to do, that you may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers.
American King James Version×–5 “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.” God tested and proved them through trials. Why???
Notice the next verse: Deuteronomy 8:6 Deuteronomy 8:6Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
American King James Version× “Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.” So that we would keep his Law. You see a great part of maturity is that of living by the rules. Staying within the boundaries. A huge part of maturity is obeying those over you. And isn’t that odd thats where young people have the biggest problem as they are trying to mature. They think that maturity means, now that they are older they don’t have to obey the rules. Lacking maturity and not having real understanding the first thing they want to do is rebel against authority especially the parents authority.
Deuteronomy 13:1 Deuteronomy 13:1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder,
American King James Version×–4 “3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.” We do have to prove ourselves. You have to prove yourself. And we do so by obedience. How well are you doing on proving yourself to God?
The Church is the mother of us all. She has taught us and trained us and hopefully matured us. She, like any good mother, has exhorted us to grow and to mature. The church has given us the tools to mature.
Ephesians 3:16 Ephesians 3:16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
American King James Version×–19 “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Paul desired them to be “rooted and grounded in love” – that is a definite proof of spiritual maturity.
I believe God is now testing to see how spiritually mature we are. Jesus Christ will not marry a silly, immature bride. How rooted and how grounded in love are you as a person?
Hebrews 5:12 Hebrews 5:12For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
American King James Version×–14 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Strong meat belongs to the mature. How well do you handle the knowledge that God has given you? How well can you discern between good and evil? How spiritually mature are you?
We are no longer to be children in maturity. God will see how mature you are in your love and in your obedience to him. Do you stand on your own 2 feet spiritually? Perhaps we are in our teenage years spiritually speaking and God wants to see truly how mature or immature we truly are!
Proverbs 5:22 Proverbs 5:22His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be held with the cords of his sins.
American King James Version× “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin.” The wicked trap themselves. God wants you to prove that you love him and that you serve him out of a rightly motivated heart and not because someone stands over you and makes you do it. I have seen some immature individuals come out of the military because they had someone telling them everything to do. The same thing with some prisoners. They are used to a structured life and when they’re on their own and do not have authority directly over them they are not able to handle it and they go right back into the same thing that landed them in prison before.
Proverbs 5:21-23 Proverbs 5:21-23  For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his goings.
 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be held with the cords of his sins.
 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
American King James Version×(Living Translation) “For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. 22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. 23 He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.
One of the best definitions of “Character” I have heard: “character, or the lack thereof, is determined by what you do in the dark.” What do you do in a dark? Is your life an open book before God or do we have hidden closets and sins that we just cannot seemingly overcome? How is your love? Has it grown to a place of maturity, of deep everlasting love the kind of love that God has? The kind of love that is pleasing to God?
Proverbs 4:18 Proverbs 4:18But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day.
American King James Version×–19 “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.” If we are a spiritually mature person our light should shine more and more become brighter and brighter as we grow and mature.
Job 17:9 Job 17:9The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that has clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
American King James Version×“Yet the righteous will hold to his way, And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.” Hold your way. Don’t let go under any circumstances. Hold your Way. Become stronger and stronger in your beliefs and convictions. God is testing to see how mature we are and whether or not we can stand on our own 2 feet.
There comes a time when you cannot help someone anymore. It really boils down to the individual bearing his own burden. We have to be concerned for each other but the individual must bear his own burden. We may not reap the fruit of our way of life immediately but we certainly will in due season. We are exhorted not to grow weary in well doing and we are informed that those that overcome to the end will be the ones that are rewarded Don’t get weary and tired and want to quit. Endurance means working striving and keeping on going.
Serving is a huge aspect of maturity. An immature person only thinks about themselves. You only go around in life once and you may never have the opportunity to serve that individual unless you do it now. If you have an opportunity to serve the thought that maybe God gave you an opportunity he wanted to see how you handle it?
There is no good that comes from garbage. Don’t gossip don’t spread rumors don’t talk about one another. Don’t unload on the congregation. Love God’s people and this world enough to give them love and concern. Be thankful for the opportunity to serve.
Strengthen the Fellowship of the people - don’t be cliquish. Don’t lose the love and joy and peace of mind and doing the work that God is called us to do. Have faith that God will work powerfully through us as a body and as an individual.
Never under estimate the power of prayer. There is a tremendous power of prayer combined in the church. We must be a praying Church. We must be a growing church. We must be a praying individual. You must be a growing individual.
We are in a spiritual battle. Be loyal and faithful. Loyalty seems to be a vague thing in the past.
When you pray for each other, if you have love one for another, you will believe God will help them - you’ll pray in faith. Be wholehearted. We certainly live in discouraging times. I believe it’s time to be concerned about each other. To love each other. To pray one for another. Be concerned about others - it seems that everyone is hurting and having trials and tests. Be positive and uplifting and don’t worry. Do all that you can do to help but let God do the judging and take care of anything that needs to be taken care of. God started this work and he will finish it. Just have faith and trust in God.
Philippians 1:6 Philippians 1:6Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
American King James Version× “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Living Trans)
I think in this end time we need more zeal to get the sins out of our life and out of the Church. Encourage people, strengthen them and turn their minds to God. God is concerned with everything. Let’s prepare the bride of Christ.
What percentage of the congregation is prepared and ready for the return of Christ? How about you - are you ready? We have a big job to do. We must get back to the basics and really have a firm foundation in God’s truth. We need to be able worship God, to honor God and give him the praise that he deserves. The greatest thing we can do is to improve our personal example. Our example is the key. We have all heard the expression: What you are speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you’re saying.
Be loyal to God and to the church. How can we love God if we don’t love those whom we see?
1 John 4:20 1 John 4:20If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
American King James Version×–21 “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
We are in a spiritual battle and warfare.
Our main objectives are to build the church and prepare the bride for the return of Christ. The warning message and the good news of the gospel will follow naturally the fruits of our work will have a lasting effect. We have to tell the world about the wedding. We have to notify the guests that there’s going to be a wedding. We have to be excited and send out invitations. Why would you not invite everyone that you know and love to such a glorious and wonderful happening as the marriage of Jesus Christ.
The gospel is a gospel of good news of the kingdom of God. A gospel of great joy and happiness. It announces a world ruling kingdom ruled over by Jesus Christ. God sent you an invitation and we are here acting out that invitation. It is sort of like the dress rehearsal for the wedding.
Matthew 22:1 Matthew 22:1And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables, and said,
American King James Version×–14 “And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’ 5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” We have the privilege and the responsibility to gather guests for the wedding and give them the great news of the coming wedding. It is a real privilege to help prepare the Bride for the wedding to Christ. It is an honor to help get the bride ready. Not only are we the Bride of Christ but we also are the servants to the Bride. We have to prepare ourselves and help others to prepare as well. We are not in this alone – We are in this together!!!
A few years ago the emphasis was on finding people who wanted to attend the wedding but now the emphasis is on preparing the Bride. We need a burning desire to be the Bride of Christ! WOW – just the statement “the bride of Christ” should absolutely thrill you. You are now set-apart – chosen to be the Bride of the King of Kings. Satan has gotten to some and they have forsaken that calling. But thankfully he has not been able to get to you. But don’t let your guard down because he will not give up.
Revelation 12:10 Revelation 12:10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brothers is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
American King James Version×–11 “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Satan never gives up – he is relentless day and night.
1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
American King James Version×“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” It is usually not the roaring lion that is your concern – it is the silent one that sneaks up in the tall grass that will get you. Generally the roaring indicates that he has gotten his victim and about to have dinner at the victim’s expense. So when things are pretty quiet in your life it’s the time when you really need to be on guard and watchful. Satan has devoured many - Many of our friends have been eaten up and destroyed and that is so very sad.
As I said the important emphasis is now on preparing each of us to become the bride of Christ. There has to be a strong desire to be that bride. We are now sanctified, set apart for a Holy use to prepare with a great joy and responsibility for marrying our Lord and master.
Everyone has certain stumbling blocks. I can promise and assure you that Satan will throw you curves and try to keep you from being the very bride of Jesus Christ. Watch where you step and watch where you’re going. Satan will try to throw roadblocks in front of you. What did God tell the Israelites at the Red Sea? “Standstill and see the salvation of the Lord”. Let God fight your battles. Expect results from God. Really trust God. Put your faith and trust and confidence in Him that He will fight your battles for you and that He will win.
It seems that before any and every wedding that everyone is always in a tizzy. Everyone runs to and fro in getting everything ready. I believe it’s time to get in a tizzy. I believe it’s time to get really fired up and excited about becoming the bride of the living Jesus Christ. I believe it’s time to prove to God that you really want to be the living bride of Jesus Christ. I believe it is time to make sure our garments are white and pressed and truly ready to become the bride of Christ! I believe it’s time that you have made yourself ready.
Ephesians 4:11 Ephesians 4:11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
American King James Version×–16 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;(to that level of maturity) 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” I leave you with this thought and question “How spiritually mature are you?”