Just WHO is preparing the Bride for Christ?

Here is the scripture that started me thinking:

Rom_10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Does this scripture say that our minister is responsible to prepare the bride for Christ? In this ERA and this day and time just how is a member of the Body of Christ prepared for the wedding? Who does the preparing and just how is one prepared anyway.

I understand that it is the minister who brings to us the Gospel of Christ and who is instrumental in bringing us to maturity as a Christian and follower of Christ. But beyond that just how much of a role does a minister play in the preparation of the bride?

Take a notice at what is said about the WIFE of Christ at the Wedding Supper itself:

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Notice it says here that THE WIFE had made herself ready.

This is undoubtedly written for the sakes of those of us who are alive at the time when this is at the pinnacle of importance to us.

In all the other ERA's of God's church as recorded in Rev. 2-3, the emphasis was to the church itself. The people as a called out group. The church was there to teach and to admonish and to attempt to hold together as many as could be so that they could reach the goal of being a first fruit in the Kingdom of God.

In the 6th ERA, Philadelphia, the emphasis was on a large single group supporting a man who was to be a witness to the world and to the Leaders of that World. Many people were called into that group purely to support the work that it was doing and to be prepared for Christ's coming by having the foundation of the Apostles laid again in our time. Because this what has really prepared us for Him. This is what opened our eyes and made us see what was important and what in fact was not.

But now going into Laodicea the 7th and final church ERA we see a church saturated with the foundational truths of God's word. So much so that the love of that truth, the initial learning of the truths of God, that so excited us, has become almost blasť  that is "apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence or enjoyment" exactly what the book of Revelation calls "LUKEWARM". Rich and Increased with goods in need of NOTHING!

So now here is Christ Knocking on the door of each individual who is a member of the Body of Christ, asking them to open the door to Him. Opening the door to Christ is simply saying yes to Christ, repenting of our sins in truth and turning from our way to His way. He says He will "sup" with us.

So how do you sup with Christ, it simply means to eat or take the evening meal with him. Christ said He was the bread of life and the we were to LIVE by every word. So now we see bible study, prayer and fasting coming into the scheme of things as the way that we partake of Christ.

But take note now all of this is a two way between Christ and the individual. Where does the ministry take part in this particular preparation for the end. Because make no mistake that is exactly what we are preparing for.

As always it is the Minister role to oversee and make sure that we are in fact preparing as we should. They are there in a supporting role to guide and encourage. But brethren is it our job to prepare. It is always what happens between Christ and ourselves that makes the difference.

In this day and age this admonision from Paul takes on even greater meaning;

Php_2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Notice in Malachi 3:16-18;

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Mal 3:17  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
Mal 3:18  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

This seems very important to God. This communication between brethren. Encouraging each other and supporting one another all in the fear of the Lord. When we have the proper respect and love for the words of God, when they have real meaning to us as individuals then we can help each other to work out our salvation and to prepare ourselves for the wedding of the Lamb.

Here is a verse that has always meant a lot to me even though it is also misused. I think the Good News Paraphrase really sums it up nicely in this case:

Pro 27:17  People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron.

Once we reach a certain point where we are no longer children spiritually;

Heb_5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Once we reach this point in time it is all about us as individuals building on the foundational doctrines that were given to us, a Spiritual Building.

1Co 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Do you notice the work that has to be done once that foundation is laid? It is each man's work. The work of the individual. We are to be working with Christ now in a serious effort to build on that foundation a building that will not be burned by fire. The Ministry cannot do this for us, brethren, this is where we must take a stand and begine to build this Spiritual Structure.

The is how the wife of Christ made herself ready for her husband(Christ). By building a spiritual building (character) that would withstand the burning. By walking worthy of the great calling that has been given to us. By demonstrating that first love for the truth of God's word.

The Minister can be of help is be able to see if you are in fact builing properly and help with instructions and spiritual food from the pulpit and can act as guides and inspirations. Fellowship with the brethren can also help to support our efforts but in the end it is a work that is between each of us and Christ. He is the one knocking on our door and if we allow it He is the one who is feeding us what we need.

 In this ERA of God's Church the "church of the Laodiceans" The emphasis is on each of us as individuals to prepare ourselves for wedding.