Ephesians 5:25-27 Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for
26 That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word,
27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
We tend to forget the ultimate plan. The Lord intends to present the church to Himself, and He intends for it to be a glorious church, not having any blemish. One might tend to wonder why the Lord, after having a church for almost 2,000 years, hasn’t been able to make it what He wants it to be. What’s the holdup? Well, the delay is not His fault. It is not that He is unable to accomplish the desired work. The fault is ours. He only sanctifies, cleanses, and glorifies those who desire to become members of a glorious church. He waits for us to take the initiative to become His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). Those who say, “Well, when God gets ready to make me what He wants me to be, He will do it,” may never become what God wants them to be. It is those who hunger and thirst after righteousness that shall be filled (Matthew 5:6). Are you one that is hungering and thirsting after the Lord?
When will the church become what God wants it to be? When will His plan for the church be fulfilled? This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Matthew 24:34-36. And Mark 13:32 adds that even the Son of God does not know. Why is the fulfillment of the church so mysterious? Why is it that even Jesus the Son of God does not know when the fulfillment will be? Could it be because it depends on us? That is, when will there be a people who really want with all their hearts to become that glorious church? I tend to feel that it didn’t have to take this long?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want things to continue on as they are! I don’t want God to have to keep waiting for a people that will contend with Him to become that glorious church. I want to be one of a people who will wrestle with the Lord, as Jacob did, and say, “We will not turn You loose until You make us the fulfillment of Your Word!” Isaiah prophesied there would be a people like that. For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns. Isaiah 62:1. Isaiah is prophesying about the church, spiritual Jerusalem. Then in verses 6 and 7 of the same chapter: I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Are you willing for things to just drift on as they are? Or, will you be one of the watchmen on the wall, and give Him no rest until He establishes the church, and brings it forth as a praise in the earth?
Those who wait for the Lord to establish His church and to bring forth His will in the earth may not be a part of it. Only those who intensely take the Kingdom by force will experience it. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it. Luke 16:16.
I know someone who has been suffering a dreadful disease for many years. This person’s attitude has been, “Well, if God wants to heal me, He will do it when He gets ready.” So far God hasn’t healed him, and the chance that He will is very slim. The church seems to have taken that same attitude. It drifts along as it is, satisfied with the status quo. It is not wrestling with God for change! It has sunk into the mire of passivity and lethargy. “Shake yourselves loose, O church! Throw off the chains of restraint! Believe the Word! And give the Lord no rest, until He establishes and presents to Himself a glorious Bride.”
Copyright © 1996 by Henry DuBose