We have been talking about coming to the Altar – today we are going to talk about the Church being the Bride of Christ, and meeting him at the Altar.
A. Jesus is The Bridegroom and He has loving and sacrificially chosen the church as his bride
Mark 2:18-20 (NIV)
Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?" Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
B. The Church is His Bride
C. We are temporarily Separated which is represented by the Betrothal/Engagement Period
Ephesians 1:11-14 (NIV)
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.
D. The Bride’s responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful
2 Corinthians 11:2 (NIV)
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
Revelation 19:6-8 (NIV)
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”