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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

The Church the Beautiful Bride of Christ

By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs

I.  Introduction.
    A.  In the parable of the marriage supper Jesus teaches some things
        about the church.
        1.  "And Jesus answered and spake again in parables unto them,
            saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a certain 
            king, who made a marriage feast for his son, and sent forth 
            his servants to call them that were bidden to the marriage 
            feast: and they would not come.  Again he sent forth other 
            servants, saying, Tell them that are bidden, Behold, I have 
            made ready my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, 
            and all things are ready: come to the marriage feast.  But 
            they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his own 
            farm, another to his merchandise; and the rest laid hold on 
            his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed them.  
            But the king was wroth; and he sent his armies, and 
            destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.  Then 
            saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they 
            that were bidden were not worthy.  Go ye therefore unto the 
            partings of the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid 
            to the marriage feast.  And those servants went out into the 
            highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, 
            both bad and good: and the wedding was filled with guests.  
            But when the king came in to behold the guests, he saw there 
            a man who had not on a wedding-garment: and he saith unto 
            him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding-
            garment? And he was speechless.  Then the king said to the 
            servants, Bind him hand and foot, and cast him out into the 
            outer darkness; there shall be the weeping and the gnashing 
            of teeth.  For many are called, but few chosen" (Matt. 22:1-
        2.  The kingdom of heaven is the church of Christ (Matt. 16:18-
    B.  Parable of the marriage supper came near the end of the life of 
        Jesus on earth.
        1.  As his life drew to a close, he spoke often of the rejection 
            of the Jews and the destruction of Jerusalem.
        2.  Jewish leaders reacted with resentment (Matt. 21:45).
            (a)  Jesus was not afraid and did not back away, but openly 
                 repeated the teaching.
            (b)  His courage and boldness show his prophetic role.  We 
                 dare not be intimidated and meekly surrender.
II.  Features of the Parable.
     A.  The call
         1.  Old Testament prophets, John the baptizer, Jesus.
             (a)  Jesus and John declared the kingdom was at hand and 
                  called for repentance.
     B.  Rejection.
         1.  Invited guests (the Jews) made light of the invitation.
         2.  They were too busy with farm and shop.
             (a)  Men often put greater emphasis on the perishing things 
                  of time than on the imperishable treasure of eternity.
         3.  The messengers were killed.
         4.  The king sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and 
             burned their city.  The parable in point of time 
             anticipates the destruction of Jerusalem.
     C.  Others invited.
         1.  The King's invitation is extended to all who will come.
             (a)  The gospel is a "whosoever will" invitation to heaven.
             (b)  Every creature in all the world is invited (Mark 
             (c)  The gospel is for all - the grace of God which brings 
                  salvation appears to all (Titus 2:11-12).  If 
                  salvation is by grace only, then all will be saved.
         2.  Anyone may accept the invitation by obedience to God's 
     D.  A time of preparation and waiting.
         1.  The church on earth is not the wife of the lamb, but she is 
             the betrothed to Christ - engaged to the Lord.
         2.  The marriage will take place when Jesus comes again.
         3.  The church must keep herself unspotted from the world and 
             do nothing to dirty her good name and the reputation of 
             her groom.
             (a)  "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved 
                  the church, and gave himself up for it; that he might 
                  sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of 
                  water with the word, that he might present the church 
                  to himself a glorious church, not having spot or 
                  wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy 
                  and without blemish" (Eph. 5:25-27).
             (b)  The church must be glorious and unblemished.
         4.  No blemish in doctrine.
             (a)  Apostles were to keep the church free from error (Gal. 
             (b)  Passed this responsibility to others (1 Tim. 1:3;
                  1 Tim. 4:6; Titus 2:1).
             (c)  They in turn passed to others (2 Tim. 2:2; Jude 1:3).
             (d)  The gospel must be guarded, defended, and protected, 
                  or it will be mutilated, perverted and altered (Heb. 
             (e)  The church--the saved--is the pillar and ground of 
                  truth (1 Tim. 3:15).
             (f)  The church loses here beauty and glory if she forsakes 
                  eternal truth.
         5.  No blemish in morals (Gal. 5:19-26).
     E.  The bridegroom comes.
         1.  Those without a wedding garment shall be cast out.
         2.  "Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the 
             glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and 
             his wife hath made herself ready.  And it was given unto 
             her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and 
             pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the 
             saints" (Rev. 19:7-8).
         3.  The holy city coming down out of Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-10).
III.  Bride Become the Wife.
      A.  Here glory, thereafter, shall never fade nor pass away.
      B.  "And behold, I come quickly.  Blessed is he that keepeth the 
          words of the prophecy of this book" (Rev. 22:7).

H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email: [email protected]
P. O. Box 690192
Houston, Texas 77269-0192
(281) 469-3540

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