By Armando Yzaguirre, Jr.
This year has been hectic, and our family and church have had many trials. I asked my wife what she wanted for Christmas this year. She responded, “I just want to go on a date with you. It has been a rough few months.” My wife was trying to communicate that nothing would minister to her soul more than some quality and quantity of time with the person she loves most in this world. To my wife, time with me is better than any treasure or trinket she could receive on Christmas morning.
Pastors, I wonder if your church—the Bride of Christ—thinks the same about her Bridegroom. Do they delight in Christ and want to spend time with Him more than anything? Are they delighting in the world’s treasures more than longing for time with their Husband? Does your church view Christ as their ultimate treasure?
Revelation 21 is a beautiful picture of when the Bride of Christ will be gathered together to be united to their Bridegroom for all of eternity. Notice how the Bride of Christ looks. She is adorned as a bride for her Husband. God beautifies the Bride of Christ through sanctification that will culminate in glorification at the end of time. J.C. Ryle once said, “We must be holy because this is one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world.” We must be holy in this life if we hope to be holy and adorned in the life to come. Pastors, your people need to be reminded of this great end. Without this charge, your people will be distracted and more likely to commit spiritual adultery against their Bridegroom.
Pastors, you must remind your people that being united to Christ is the ultimate gift and treasure that we receive in Christ. At the end of time, we will dwell with Him in a land without suffering, death, and sin. This land will be brand new, for all the old things will have passed away (v4). The most important thing is that God will dwell with His people, and there will be no need for a temple.
In this life, those who overcome the difficulties of this life by faith will inherit these things. Yet, those who are “cowardly, the faithless, the detestable…” will not (v8). The good news for your people is that they do not have to be strong in and of themselves. Their strength comes from Christ alone. The Holy Spirit who dwells in them empowers their courage and boldness. Pastors, your people need to be reminded of how the story ends. Remind them of these words, for they are faithful and true. We need them because they will bring us home.
This brief is part of a month-long Advent series designed for local church pastors, made possible through a partnership between Fellowship Church of Immokalee, Fla., and the Conservative Baptist Network.