For two thousand years, Christians have agreed on at least one thing – we live in the last days. To go along with this belief, each generation of believers has hoped to see with our own eyes Christ arriving from heaven to whisk His bride off to the marriage supper of the Lamb. So far, this has not happened, but my generation remains as optimistic as ever that this will happen soon.
How can we remain so hopeful after all these years of it not happening yet?
The Lord wisely gave us a profound mystery to encourage us: marriage between a man and a woman.
The Apostle Paul describes in Ephesians 5:22-33 how the husband and wife are to mirror Christ and the church. In marriage, the husband is supposed to love his wife like Christ loves His church (or bride) and the wife is to be submissive and loving like Christ’s bride.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. (Ephesians 5:31)
This verse has a natural meaning and a spiritual one. The natural meaning obviously refers to men and women leaving their parents, living together, joining together sexually, physically, financially, and in every way possible to become a inseparable union before God.
The spiritual meaning is that Christ Himself left His Father to come to earth to be the Second Adam, and to bring forth from His body a bride (the church), much like God brought forth Eve from Adam. Then Christ returned to His Father in heaven and will soon return in the fullness of time to hold fast to His bride forever.
There is no doubt that the Apostle Paul is referring to men, women, Christ, and the Church in these verses.
So, who else understands that we live in the last days and wants to pervert this profound mystery?
(Continued in Part 3…if you’re interested, the full series to date can be seen here.)