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The Spirit and the Bride

The Spirit and the Bride
By: Pete Garcia

For all the horrible things that this world can throw at me, I have a hope that shines brighter than a thousand suns. The world may bludgeon this old body and can even batter my soul, but my spirit soars at the thought of the glorious future that awaits.

It’s not just blind faith, but a faith grounded in design, pattern, and personal revelation. The facts on the ground that validate the Bible over and over only reinforce what my spirit already knew the moment I was delivered from the icy grips of death into everlasting life.

I was like that rose who climbed up the wall to the hole only to discover what lies on the other side; I know death isn’t the end, but only the beginning. We start to die the moment we are born, but it is only when we are born again that our true nature awakens from its materialistic coma and we see life for what it really is…a temporary habitation set up to test and shape us. This life is not all that is or was, nor will it be the end of all things. Our life goes on, because we were made in the image of God, which means we were created for eternity.

Of Heaven

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)

I’ve never seen heaven, but I know in my core, that it will be more beautiful and breathtaking than anything I could have ever imagined. I know that at some point known only to the Father, that those of us in Christ, will be caught up to be with Him forever. It is spelled out in a simple chronological process found in Romans 8:28-30, in that:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

I simply do not possess the words to express, or the mental facilities to conceive of what grandeurs await those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ. This writing here will not do the reality of heaven and our glorification in that place, any justice.

The colors will be brighter and purer than anything here on earth. The sights and sounds that seemed incomprehensible here on earth, will simply exist as they are in their natural, impossible state of existence there in heaven. It will defy our sense of logic and comprehending, yet it will exist there in perfect harmony with the rest of heaven.

Human ears could not survive the overwhelming praise that springs forth like an Acapella tidal wave of sounds crashing onto the rocks made of cymbals and glass. The innumerable sounds of the hosts of heaven worshipping will dip from stone rattling lows, to a crescendo of chords and choruses unheard of on earth. The sound of many rushing waters mixed with the rumbling of thunder echoes throughout the throne room. The Seraphim above the throne encircle it day and night endlessly chanting to the perfect, Tri-une nature of God with “Holy Holy Holy” in that ancient perfect language known only to Heaven.

The Father’s very brightness of being is shrouded in unapproachable light. His Holiness alone humbles us to our very core, causing us to fall on our knees and utter praise after praise declaring His Triumphal victory over sin and death as we hail His glorious majesty. Yet, emanating from Him comes forth a love for those who call Him ‘Abba Father’. So completely satisfying is this love, that every hurt, every tear, every pain and every injustice we had ever felt, simply melts away in irrelevance being unable to compete with the unimaginable love that flows from Him.

Yet, at the center of it all, where everything in the universe hinges, is He who sits high upon a throne of light filled with awesome wonder. His Shekinah glory fills the heavenly temple. Before Him, stands the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who appears as the Lamb as though He had been slain bearing the only man-made things in heaven, that being the scars He still bears. All power and authority was granted to Him.

Individually, we kneel before the Son as our lives are laid bare at this Bema Judgment, we watch as the fire in His eyes consumes our intents, thoughts, deeds, and words in a moment, and see watch as what is consumed by the flame, and what is refined into our eternal reward for our momentary lives back there on earth. Truly our momentary afflictions do not compare to the eternal weight of glory that will one day behold us.

We wonder with sheer amazement as we watch the things that seemed so important to us here on earth, go up in flames of irrelevance. Yet the things that seemed so unimportant, and miniscule, and forgettable there…withstand the flame which refined and purified them. In comparison, the people we impacted and shared with in our triumphs and failures, in our joy and our pain will be our rewards as well as the crowns that are given for our own personal sacrifices and faithfulness. If we could but only truly grasp that now, how much more could we do?

The sheer immensity of heaven will overwhelm you and comfort you simultaneously as the thought of finally being at home forever sinks in. The grandeur of it all would overwhelm us if we were not in our glorified state. The most wonderful idea though, will be in the knowledge that we will never again suffer or want for anything anymore…forever.

Of Hell

“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)

For those who do not know the Lord, death is the great unknown. At the very moment one breathes their last breath in this life; they awake in the next to a dark and hopeless reality, eternally separated from their Creator. Never again will they ever see light or experience pleasure. Never again will they ever feel love or have hope. The eternal blackness of darkness forever awaits those who die in their sins.

Jesus Christ is God who put on the robe of flesh so that He could bridge the gap between a sinful man and a righteous God. Jesus said that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no man could come to the Father but through Him. That is how it has to be, because no amount of good deeds, charitable giving or moral religious living could ever be good enough to meet God’s standard of perfect righteousness.

The lake of fire is a place of unbelievable suffering and pain which was built not for human habitation, but for the fallen angels who willingly rebelled against a God they resided with. But if we are made in God’s image, and that means we are eternal, our eternity will either be spent in one of two places. If your eternal destination is not heaven, then the only other place it could be is in hell.

The Choice

But if you’re reading this, then your future does not have to be fearful or bleak. You can KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt where your eternal home will be. Christ will turn none away; will accept you where you are, and will never lose any that the Father has given Him. Christ did not come to make bad people good, but to give dead people life. And to those He gave life, to give them life more abundantly.

Jesus came not for the healthy, but the sick. He came not for the proud, but the poor in spirit. He came to those who were cast out and looked down upon. Christ came and met us where we were, not where a church or denomination said we had to be first. Christ didn’t come down and tell those who inquired of salvation that they must first keep the Law, nor did He tell them that they must keep the Law to stay saved. It was never even about our righteousness at all, but about His.

When Christ came to earth, He came as a Prophet performing signs and miracles and speaking truth to power. Today, He serves as Priest at the right hand of the Father interceding for our sinfulness. One day will reign as King forever and those of His bride will reign with Him. But it’s more than just some far off distant time when Christ ‘might’ return. He is returning, and it will come at a time when no one expects Him too. Either way, each and every one of us has a personal rendezvous with Jesus Christ, whether it’s in the air or at our deathbed.

This world is corrupt and dying, and is even at this very moment, in its last death throes as we see creation all around us in travail. How do we keep our focus on Jesus, and not on the lunacy of the world that invades our lives? We pray, stay in the Word, and we give our hearts in the service to each other. Granted, it is much easier to say this than to stay faithful doing it, but we must not rely on our own strength, because we will only fail over and over. We are strong in the Lord, because He strengthens us, and in our weakness, He is made strong.

And to those who do believe, and who do know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior like the faithful believers in Philadelphia, hold fast. Christ is returning soon and His reward is with Him. Do not give up hope, but remain firmly planted in the truth and the grace that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Come and See

We in the Bride of Christ bid you to come and join our eternal family. Death is not the end, but only the beginning. Your eternity can begin right here and right now.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:16-17)

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