This is what you

need to know and do

The consequences of delaying or deferring a decision to follow Jesus Christ

Most know what it is to defer important decisions. Fixing sluggish brakes on the car, exchanging the dead batteries in the smoke detector for fresh ones, and getting that scaly patch of skin evaluated by a doctor are a few examples. You know you need to address those issues, but for a variety of reasons, you delay. It is a stubborn pattern.

And for many, there are no grave consequences. Most can say: “No fire destroyed my home.”  “My accident was minor and covered by insurance.” Or, “My doctor gave me some ointment for what turned out to be a minor skin irritation.” However, just because you have escaped severe consequences for procrastinating thus far does not mean you can do so forever. In fact, in the spirit, a day of reckoning is coming and that day is closer than most think.

Those who ignore this warning do so at their peril. Soon a day will come when millions across the globe will suddenly be whisked away in an event Christians call the Rapture. There will be no warning. Government leaders will offer no good explanation. Infants and children will be gone. Faithful followers of Christ will disappear. For millions, parents, friends, spouses, and loved-ones will be gone. Many will count that day the worst day of their life, but the woes are just beginning.

Soon after what many will likely call the disappearances, a new world leader will move into power. He will be charismatic, polished, and sharp. He will have answers, solutions to major problems and quickly move into a position of ultimate power. In time he will lead a one world government, a one world economy and a one world religion. But to achieve these aims, there will be war, oppression, and ruthless maneuvering. There will also be horrible plagues, sickness, famine, heat, and troubles in the animal kingdom and waters. Billions will die. Christians refer to this period of sorrow as the Tribulation Period.

My message to you is that the Tribulation is coming, the Antichrist is coming, war, plague, and death are coming, and the Rapture is coming. Through the Rapture, individuals can escape the horrors that are to come. Those who are right in their relationship with God and have confessed their sins to Jesus Christ will be rescued in the Rapture. Are you ready for the return of the Lord?

Jesus warned of approaching danger”

  • Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come…So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  “Who then is the faithful and wise servant…It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns…But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time…’  The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.  He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:42-50)

Those words are hard to read. It may shock you to learn that Jesus spoke them. If you know anything about Jesus, you probably think of Him as someone from whom love, gentleness, and kindness flowed like a perpetual fountain. Love, yes…gentleness, not always.

Jesus warned those whom He loves. He loves you and wants you to heed this warning. He is coming and wants you to be ready—spiritually ready for His return. Those who are not spiritually prepared when Jesus returns will need to live through the darkest period in human history. It will be possible to come to faith (and be forgiven and saved) during this time, but millions of believers will die as martyrs. Those who die before they decide to become a follower of Christ will be cast into hell. There they will experience eternal regret over the decision to defer the most important of decisions—the decision to believe in and follow Jesus Christ. In hell, there will be no rest, no love, no laughter, no mercy, and no escape. This is what Jesus said awaits those who reject His offer of salvation.

God loves you with an inexpressible love. The question is, how are you going to respond?  Will you continue to delay or defer a decision to follow Him, or will you embrace the One who is pursuing you? The choices you make today can lead you to Christ and your salvation, or move you closer to your doom. Humans have been granted free will—the choice is yours. Choose wisely.

The next portion of this reading profiles the evidence of a life that is truly committed to Jesus and ready for the Rapture.

How to ensure you will be caught up in the Rapture and have the hope of eternal life in heaven?

The only way to ensure you will 1) be caught-up and rescued in the Rapture  2) live in eternity in heaven and 3) escape the terrible Tribulation period events that are to come is to become a Christian—a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.  I urge you to consider the information below—it profiles how to be
forgiven, saved and receive the promise of eternal life.

Maybe you’ve heard about Jesus or have grown up in a church or with religious family members. You’ve heard the stories—but how are they important for you?

Jesus taught in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Simply put, believing in Jesus as God’s Son provides eternal life.

In the New Testament book of Romans, the apostle Paul describes what it means to believe in Jesus: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

The process of believing in Jesus and receiving eternal life with Him in heaven involves  1) accepting Jesus as Lord (as God) and 2) believing that He rose again from death and  3) making a sincere commitment to live for Him, and be a witness for Him.


If so, you can do so right now. Some have described this process as the spiritual ABCs.

First, ADMIT you need God’s forgiveness. We are all sinners and have done wrong. Every person needs God’s forgiveness to be made right with God.

Second, BELIEVE in Jesus as God’s Son who rose from the dead. Only He is powerful enough to forgive you and provide eternal life.

Third, COMMIT your life to Jesus. Believing in Jesus indicates you are willing to begin following Him. Just as the early followers of Jesus changed their lives to follow Him each day, we are called to change from past wrongful ways to live for Him.

Remember, God’s offer of eternal life is a gift. We do not earn it; we accept it: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If you would like to commit to believe in Jesus right now and experience a new life with Him, you can do so by praying a prayer similar to the one noted below:

“God, I admit I have done wrong and need you. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus as Lord. I believe Jesus rose from the dead. I receive your gift of eternal life. Help me live for you from this moment forward. Amen.”

If you have sincerely expressed this prayer, you can know God has forgiven you and given you eternal life. The Bible says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

Congratulations on your new life in Christ!

If you have made this decision, please complete the brief form at the bottom of this website. We would like to rejoice with you, pray for you, and send you free material to help you grow in the faith.

Also, you can submit questions through the CONTACT portal on this website.

A few supporting Scriptures are printed below:

  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18
  • “For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God…”         (Rom. 3:23)
  • If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”  (Rom. 10:9-11)
  • “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,  but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (1 Tim. 1:9-10)
  • “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”  (Heb. 9:27-28)
  • “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.” (John 6:47)
  • “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)”
  • “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:5-7)

What to expect as a follower of Christ?

Believers are not exempt from trial or trouble—but believers are promised a “Helper” (John 14:26), an Advocate (1 John 2:1), and that God will never “leave nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5). Believers are also promised forgiveness, mercy, grace, God’s love, and the hope of eternal life in heaven. Whatever difficulties we face or sacrifices we make on earth will pale when compared to the glorious riches that await the faithful in heaven. However, and this is a big however, being a believer at this point in history (the last days) means that your life on earth will become more difficult—not more comfortable. Scripture notes that believers should expect the following:

  • Oppression: Evil is on the rise. It will become increasingly difficult to be a witness for the Lord without consequence. Expect your work and relationships to be impacted.
  • Satan will try to discourage and destroy you: He hates all that God loves, blesses and uses for His glory. Stay prayerful, in the Word, and focused on the positive. Dwell on the promises of God rather than the difficulty or pain of the moment. Do not let a guard down. (1 Peter 5:8;  1 Corinthians 10:12)
  • God will test you: Testing may appear to be negative, but by it, believers are made better, wiser, and stronger. James 1:2-4 notes: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
    • Read the book of Exodus for a case study in how God tests His people (and the importance of being ready to pass the test).

What do I do now as a follower?

What are the best next steps?  Noted below are seven suggestions:

  • Contact the I Am A Watchman ministry to share your decision to follow Christ and receive prayer support and helpful resources. Share your decision by following this link:
  • Join a good, evangelical, Bible-teaching church: When looking for a church, do not be unduly influenced by congregation size, building, or professional music or preaching presentations. Look for heart. Look to see if people love each other. Discern whether or not the staff are good teachers and shepherds. Ask for information about church goals, study opportunities, beliefs, and missions involvement. Determine if staff teach and preach in a way that communicates the need to be prepared for the imminent return of the Lord.
  • Join a study group: Meeting with a small group of fellow believers Provides an opportunity to build relationships, share, learn, pray with and for others, and walk with others on your spiritual journey.
  • Develop your personal prayer life: Many have busy schedules and hesitate to schedule something new—particularly a new time commitment every day. However, prayer is not only important; it is essential. Jesus prayed constantly and encouraged his disciples to pray. Paul noted that believers are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). A few suggestions to help you develop a meaningful daily prayer are listed below.
  • Schedule it: For many, if it’s not on the schedule, it doesn’t get done. Set a time each day to have a conversation with God.
  • Seek out a prayer partner: This needs to be a confidant who will pray for you and with you—someone who will encourage you and challenge you. Pray with and for this person about specific needs.
  • Keep a prayer journal: Track your prayers. Follow-up with your prayer partner to let them know you have not forgotten their prayer requests. Let your prayer partners know how God is working in your life. Be positive, be encouraging, and be perseverant. Ask church leadership to pair you with a prayer partner if one is not apparent.
  • Be specific: Note when you begin praying for specific needs and how God moves. Review your prayer journal often and rejoice in seeing how God moves to answer specific requests.
  • Plan to give: Christian stewardship is the mark of Christian maturity. When believers give, believers receive. Give cheerfully, regularly, and generously. Give of your time, talent, resources, and finances. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).
  • Read and study the Word: Acts 17:11 notes that the Bereans (a small group of believers living in Berea) were commended for their diligence in studying the Word. It honors God when His people strive to learn what His Word says, how to share it, and how to incorporate it, and how to live it out.
  • Prayerfully consider if God is calling you not just to be a believer, but also to be a Watchman: The English term Watchman is found more than a dozen times in Scripture, perhaps most notably in Ezekiel 33:1-9. In that passage of Scripture, we see that a Watchman is a bold and faithful believer who exercises a concern beyond self. The Watchman will know the Word, be attuned to the Lord’s working and expectations, and find ways to inform and warn others about what God has done, what He expects, and what He has promised to do. Being a Watchman is biblical and God-honoring work. The work of a Watchman is challenging, but I believe that when one lives to honor God, God will honor them. Please visit the for an abundance of information that will encourage and equip you as you live for the Lord.

Summary and next steps

Noted below are 10 key truths the articles in this website are trying to communicate

  1. The Bible is true. Historical documents, a field of study called manuscript attestation (the study examining ancient documents for accuracy), archeological finds, and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy verify the integrity of Scripture.
  2. All of humanity sin. When we sin, we remove ourselves from the state of perfection God desires. Because of sin, all “fall short” (Rom. 3:23)—none are perfect. This disqualifies humanity from being able to experience eternal life in heaven because God is perfect, and requires that all who abide with Him in heaven be perfect.
  3. Recognizing the plight of humanity (due to willful disobedience and sin), God graciously sent His Son Jesus to save and redeem humanity (Romans 5:8).
  4. In fulfilment of more than 100 prophecies, Jesus was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, ministered in Galilee and throughout Israel, lived a sinless life, preached truth and exuded love, was betrayed, arrested, scourged and crucified, died on a cross (on the day of Passover) and rose again on the third day.
  5. The sacrifice of Jesus and blood shed on Calvary makes possible the atonement of sin. Those who confess their sins to Jesus the Savior receive forgiveness and are restored into a right (perfect) relationship with God (Gal. 1:4).
  6. The concentration of fulfilled prophecies in the last 70 years, the increase of global tension surrounding Jerusalem, the rise of evil and apostasy in the church, the formation of coalitions of nations conspiring against Israel, the surge of strange weather and significant geologic events, the uptick in animal die-offs, the fragile nature of the world economic structure, and the advancement of technology are all signs Jesus said would accompany the last days and announce His imminent return. These signs serve as indicators regarding where we are on God’s prophetic time clock.
  7. A Rapture event will happen. By this, faithful followers of Christ will be rescued (“caught-up”) to “meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17) and thereby escape the dreadful oppression of the Antichrist and divine judgments that will accompany the coming Tribulation period.
  8. The Rapture event is imminent. No requisite prophecies remain. The event will come without additional warning and will be instantaneous.
  9. Those taken in the Rapture will be in right relationship with God at the time of the Rapture. Most of the world will be left behind.
  10. Those left behind can be saved (meaning they can be forgiven and have the hope of heaven), but will have to endure the most difficult period of history the world has ever known (the 7-year Tribulation period). Those who become followers of Jesus during this period will need to be individuals of exceptional courage—most will die as martyrs for the faith.

A few priority next step suggestions are presented below

  1. Please use the contact portal {make contact portal a hyperlink} to let us know if you have made a spiritual decision today, or have a question or prayer request. Also, if you share your first name and email information we will send you free resources to help you grow in the faith. We desire to walk with you and be a support to you.
  2. Be sure to read the WHAT TO EXPECT/WHAT TO DO NOW  documents on the website.
  3. Share your faith. Do not delay. It is tempting to reason that you should leave witnessing to the experts, or defer personal evangelism until you feel more comfortable, memorize more Scripture, acquire more training, or have more answers at the ready. The desire to learn more is commendable, but do NOT allow that desire to keep you from your duty. An amazing witness does not need to be astoundingly articulate. A powerful witness does not need to be extremely polished—the message just needs to be true, point to Jesus, and come from the heart. Jesus invited Andrew to learn more by simply saying, “Come and see” (John 1:39). The Samaritan woman in John 4 was a powerful witness by simply telling others about the amazing things Jesus did. The blind man in John 9 did not have theological training or know much about spiritual things, but his witness was powerful when he testified of how the Lord had been good to him saying, “One thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see!” Share what you know. Practice sharing your testimony—a short version (less than 90 seconds), and a longer version. Look for opportunities to share, for when you seek them, you will see them. The following teaching files can help you grow in your witness:


For additional information on the work of a Watchman and resources to help you grow in Christ, please follow the links below:

A devotional titled, ready or not, here I come

Jesus cautioned His disciples against taking a lackadaisical attitude toward His return. He counseled them to be ready; He could arrive at any moment (Matt. 24:4; Luke 12:35-40).

What does it take to be ready for Jesus’ return?

Every morning, you get ready for the day. You sit up in bed after the alarm wakes you. You shower, put on deodorant and clothing, brush your teeth and swallow your daily medication. A final glance in the mirror confirms that each hair is in its proper place.

One or more cups of coffee, a bowl of cereal, and an affectionate farewell to your spouse precede your hurried departure. Hopefully, you take time somewhere in that process or as you travel down the road to prepare yourself spiritually by conversing with the Lord. You do all this because it is what your parents or someone in your life taught you.

Jesus used parables to teach His disciples the necessity of being ready. A master’s unanticipated return produced embarrassed servants (Luke 12:38). Intruders gained access through unlocked doors (Matt. 24:43). The illustration Jesus used most often was of a woman on her wedding day (Matt. 22:8; 25:10). We are Jesus’ Bride; He is our Groom.

The first step to being ready is to say “yes” to Jesus’ proposal. This results in salvation (Rev. 3:20). Most of you reading these words made that commitment. If you have not, now is the time. Nothing else in this article can save your soul. Jesus alone forgives our sins. You cannot rescue yourself.

God is ready to help (Psalm 46:1), ready to forgive (Psalm 86:5), and ready to save (Psalm 109:31). He patiently awaits your response. Don’t wait too long though; His return is quickly approaching. The wedding day will soon be here (Rom. 13:11-12).

Like any wedding, preparation takes longer than the event. Jesus’ role as the Bridegroom is to get our eternal home ready (John 14:3). Our job (with His help) is to prepare for His arrival. Jesus is not concerned about the venue, the music, the decorations, or the cake. He only has eyes for one item – His Bride. The Bride requires the most preparation. Paul counsels the Bride in Romans 13.

Make Yourself Attractive “remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.” (Rom. 13:12)

It’s the wedding day. Others work to ensure the setting is perfect. The couple’s task is to beautify themselves for their soon-to-be mate.

The groom combs his hair, shaves his face, and makes sure his breath smells minty. There are limitations on what he can do to improve his appearance. No worries. All eyes, including his, will be on the bride.

Her task is much more complicated. The bride usually needs help to arrange her hair, paint her nails, do her makeup, and put on her clothing. The process takes time. She will only wear a wedding dress once. She wants to get it right. If she can just get that wow look on his face as she appears, it will be worth it.

Unlike most love relationships, the one between Jesus and you did not begin with mutual attraction. You did not seek Jesus (Rom. 3:11), and He had no logical reason to approach you. Jesus made His choice when you were repulsive (Rom. 5:8). The arrival of this joyous day is a testament to God’s mercy and grace, not our beauty or merit.

Just because Jesus loves you the way you are does not permit you to remain that way. A guy who originally found himself attracted to a girl when she was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt still wants her to dress her best for their wedding day. It proves she knows this day is special and she values her groom’s approval.

Jesus’ expectation is no less. He calls you to dress the part you will play. Your gown is not fashioned from lace or silk. Your righteous acts compose your covering (Rev. 16:15; 19:8). Before salvation, good deeds produced no merit (Is. 64:6; Eph. 2:8-9). Now, you belong to Jesus, and He has tasks for you to complete (Eph. 2:10).

Jesus picked out and purchased your wedding apparel. It’s your responsibility to gladly receive what He planned.

Invite Everyone to Be A Witness “we must live decent lives for all to see” (v. 13)

After selecting the perfect ring, you showed it to all your buddies. Your fiancé suddenly became left-handed once the ring was hers. Every photo on every social media platform proudly and excitedly displayed it.

The wedding bands – permanent, public displays of commitment – soon occupied their position on the appropriate fingers. Months before the wedding, you sent out announcements inviting people to come, see the event, and hopefully bring gifts. Even if you said your vows before a judge, there were witnesses.

A wedding is a public event. You don’t keep it between you and your spouse. Most brides, no matter how introverted, have dreamed of the day they could publicly affirm their love and commitment to their life-partner. People in love usually want the world to know.

What if, right after the first kiss, she leans in close to whisper in your ear. You expect romantic and endearing words. Instead, she says, “Let’s keep this between us, okay?” 

Jesus has always had “secret disciples.” They want the benefits Jesus provides, but they hesitate to identify with Him (John 19:38-39).

Jesus spoke of some spiritual activities that should be performed discreetly (Matt. 6:4, 6, 17). By doing so, He was confronting pride, hypocrisy, and arrogance. However, Jesus never intended faith to be a private matter (Matt. 5:16). If He had, baptism would occur in a bathtub instead of a church or river.

Perhaps it is time for you to walk down the aisle, step into the water, and publicly live out your faith – to go ALL IN. It would be awkward for the outward signs of your commitment to be missing when your betrothed appears.

The reason you hesitate to declare your commitment to Jesus may arise from the life you currently lead. Publicity invites scrutiny. The thought of someone fervently evaluating your finances, entertainment choices, personal interactions, and web activities is frightening. Jesus does not condemn you (Rom. 8:1), but people can be judgmental.

Does your life have parts you would rather keep private? Jesus says, amputate them (Matt. 5:29)! Doing so will be painful, but the confidence it gives is freeing. Live so purely, that if someone did accuse you, no one would believe them.

Avoid Potentially Embarrassing Activities “Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness” (Rom. 13:13)

The period just before the wedding can be a tempting time, especially for the groom. In many cultures, the man’s friends abduct him, so they can enjoy one final moment of “freedom” before he declares his total commitment to one woman. The activity they enjoy might be something innocent like a camping trip or a basketball game. It could also be something sordid or unbecoming a Christian.

The result is a sleepy groom, with a massive headache, saying his vows with a painful burden of guilt. If his dark actions ever become public, the consequences will be extremely embarrassing for him and his spouse.

As our Groom, Jesus will never do anything to justly cause us shame. He does not have the same guarantee from us.

Some Christians assume that freedom from sin’s penalty gives permission to participate in sin’s pleasure (Rom. 6:1-2). They don’t rebel in public. They know better. But in the dark where they believe no one sees and where it is more difficult to identify the criminal, they disgrace the One Who chose them (John 3:19-20).

They plan to honor Jesus exclusively after the wedding day. They are uninformed. In a Jewish context, engagement and marriage were synonymous (Matt. 1:18,19). The only factors engagement did not include were sex and cohabitation.

You will live with Jesus one day, but you are permanently connected to Him now. What He does impacts others’ perception of you, and what you do affects how the world views Jesus. God erased your past. He forgave all your sin. Sadly, some still stubbornly clinch actions or attitudes that are an embarrassment to Jesus.

Your goal should be the incomprehensible affirmation God spoke of past saints: “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Heb. 11:16). The judgment will manifest those shameful portions of your life you tried to hide (Prov. 10:9). Live instead in the light. Make Jesus proud of you so that when He appears, you can approach Him with a clear conscience (1 John 2:28). 

Save Yourself Only for One “sexual promiscuity and immoral living” (v. 13)

Virginity was once the norm for singles. Couples approached the wedding bed never having experienced sexual activity. Sadly, this has changed.

We live in a society driven by its physical passions (1 Peter 2:11). Food. Comfort. Pleasure. Music … and Sex. You’ve heard the adage: “Sex sells” Advertisers use physical attraction to market everything from cars to hamburgers. Social media has opened relationship doors that should have remained tightly locked.

Though we live in a promiscuous world, a sexual problem is not the environment’s fault. Often, society merely creates opportunities to act where weaknesses were already present (James 4:1).

Living counter-culturally is challenging. It calls you to control your God-given inclinations, but control is exactly what Jesus commands. Jesus amplified His requirements when He spoke not only of a pure body but also a clean mind (Matt. 5:28).

Men, you may think yourself spiritually mature because only your wife occupies your bed, but let’s take the discussion one step further. Who occupies your mind?

Righteousness is not just about what you do or don’t do, but why. What are your motives? There is only one engine powerful enough to drive you to purity and only one reason Jesus accepts: love (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

When love is askew or missing, nothing else is right. Jesus said your greatest responsibility is to love God with every resource you possess (Matt. 22:37). He warned both through precept (1 John 3:15-17) and example (2 Tim. 4:10; Rev. 2:4) about the danger of giving away what rightfully belongs to Him. Giving to another what is rightfully His is committing spiritual adultery (James 4:4).

Staying clean in a filthy environment is a herculean task, but it can be done (James 1:27). Consider Noah, Daniel, Joseph, and Jesus. Physical strength will not get you there; ask Samson. Wisdom alone is insufficient; ask Daniel. A pure heart also requires pure actions; ask Joseph. We need God’s Spirit (Eph. 5:23).

The gown Jesus picked out for you may not appeal to others. That’s okay. You are not at your wedding to impress or excite anyone but Christ.

Jesus’ eyes will one day be transfixed as you, adorned by pure white linen, rise to meet Him. He died to secure you. His blood cleansed your soul. Whenever you are tempted to give your body or your heart to another, remember the price Jesus paid.

Cooperation Not Competition “quarreling and jealousy” (v. 13)

Marriage ceremonies are likely the most significant event in family life. Mothers, daughters, family members, and even unrelated guests have ideas about how the festivities should go. The extreme stress can cause emotional outbursts and regrettable statements. With so much at stake and so many personalities involved, feelings easily get trampled.

The wedding day’s purpose is for two to become one. It’s not about the flowers or the dress or the reception or any of the other trappings. The only people whose pleasure is worthy of compromise on that day are the bride and groom. Whenever you forget that, you sacrifice unity on the altar of ceremony.

Jesus aches for His church, the Bride of Christ, to be unified too. He prayed for it while He was here (John 17:21-22). He works toward it now. He knows how prone Christians are to independence, and independence to insolence.

Indications of jealousy and self-interest were present even among Jesus’ twelve disciples (Matt. 20:21, 24). The early church struggled with divisive issues that could have stunted its rapid growth and effectiveness (Acts 6:1). Paul even used one of his epistles – a public letter read in front of the entire church – to urge fighting friends to abandon their differences and begin working together (Phil. 4:2). Disruptive elements are present in the church still today.

Why is unity so important? Because though Satan cannot destroy God’s church, bickering and infighting can. At the least, they can steal the church’s joy and testimony.

Jesus left an enormous task for His disciples to complete before His return (Matt. 28:19-20). The only way to finish it is for Christians to work together. The only place for competition among God’s people is on a friendly sports field.

Do not allow the enemy to distract you. Don’t get too upset when someone else gets their way in areas possessing no eternal significance. Focus on the mission.

For generations, wise parents have given this counsel to their anxious daughters on the wedding day: “Not everything will happen according to plan. It’s okay. At the end of the day, you are married. That’s all that matters.”

One day soon, Jesus’ prayer will finally be realized. We will be one with Him, and there will be unity in the Bride. Until then, we must take our eyes off each other and our surroundings, and focus on Jesus (Heb. 12:2). There is work to be done.

Be Jesus to People “clothe yourself with the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 14)

He stood nervously at the front of the church. She moved gracefully toward him. They said their vows, kissed passionately, and quickly exited down the aisle as onlookers recorded. The December air is piercing, so he shields her from the cold with his jacket. The scene is reminiscent of the many times he draped his coat around her shoulders during their courtship.

When guests approach, they enjoy his aroma not her perfume. She doesn’t mind. Everyone else watched her as she walked the aisle. She gave all her attention to him. He is the man of her dreams, the love of her life, and all she could ever hope for.

She has taken his name. The pastor was the first to announce it – “Mr. and Mrs.” They now share possessions, troubles, and a future. Every time someone thinks of her, he will come to mind. It’s only right that she should smell like him (2 Cor. 2:14-16).

Your marriage to Jesus is yet to occur. You already wear His name. You are a Christian, a “little Christ.”

Paul stood in Christ’s place as His ambassador (2 Cor. 5:20). Jesus encouraged welcoming a child (Matt. 18:5) and giving a cup of cold water in His name (Mark 9:41). Disciples did miracles as Jesus’ representatives (Mark 9:39), and prayers offered in Jesus’ name are guaranteed a listening ear (John 14:14).  

Jesus said actions done to others are actions done toward Him (Matt. 25:40). Since Jesus lives inside you, what you do is also done by Him. You are the Bride of Christ, but you are also His body (1 Cor. 12:27). As you approach the end, people need to see Jesus more than they see you.

Don’t expect a positive reception. Most who knew Jesus when He came the first time rejected Him. However, all those who believed on His name were adopted into His family (John 1:12). They have something else wonderful to anticipate.

“All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God… And I will also write on them My new name.” (Rev. 3:12)

Get Creative at Doing Good “don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires” (v. 14)

The wedding is over. After scores of pictures, loads of laughter, and a few heart-tugging moments, the couple leaves for the airport. The only remaining task is to remove the decorations from the church.

Mom-in-law is once again awed by the creativity her new daughter possesses. She and the bridesmaids collect the coasters on which guests have left encouraging messages and advice for the newlyweds. They carefully roll the aisle runner that has the couple’s love story engraved with photos and words. When mom lifts one of the ad-lib cards left on a table, she can’t help but grin as she thinks of the fun her son and his bride will enjoy for a lifetime.

The Church could learn something from the marriage events that happen repeatedly within her walls. Do something new, or do something old in a new way. God is creative (Gen. 1:1; 2 Cor. 5:17). Why isn’t His church?

Criminals use their brains more than Christians. Jesus commended a crooked steward, not for his actions, but for his creativity (Luke 16:8).

You once used ingenuity to circumvent the boundaries authorities placed on you. Why don’t you use your talents for identifying ways to do good? If anything, a relationship with Jesus Christ should have enhanced your creativity rather than diminishing it. Perhaps you’ve just gotten lazy.

The Church has squandered twenty centuries of opportunities. With few exceptions, the Church has been satisfied with traditional techniques and the limited results those techniques have produced. It’s time to use every resource available to finish the work Jesus began.

Purpose gives definition to events and organizations. A wedding, no matter what else the participants include, is about two people becoming husband and wife. The church’s mission is to see people come to faith in Jesus Christ and then disciple them. We must not change what we do, but we have to change how we do it.

When Jesus returns for His Church, He doesn’t want to find her stale and lifeless. He deserves a vibrant bride who through originality, thought, and hard work is continually striving to please her Groom. He provides the authority; it’s up to you to move forward and produce results.

What does it mean to be ready for Jesus’ return? Do good works. Do them publicly for all to see. Stay away from those activities that would embarrass Jesus even when you are in private. Keep yourself pure so that God can use you to work with others for the Kingdom. Be Jesus’ representative on earth until He comes, and creatively use your talents to help the Church accomplish its mission.

Jesus is coming. Are you ready?