5: The Great Divide
Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014Print
About The Bride Is Ready Series
Who is the Bride of Christ, and how does she make herself ready? These questions and more are explored in this piercing series as Martha digs deep into the blessings AND requirements of Christ's own Bride.
May it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
Galatians 6:14 NASB
In His closing days, Jesus spelled out the future for his disciples, and in God’s amazing depth of message, He laid out the future also for us. Wars and rumors of wars. Tumultuous times. This is the beginning…the sign of the Rapture’s nearness.
The rapture is pictured in times like Noah, the righteous man who sailed away on the very flood of God’s judgment over evil thought – self-indulgence – eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage (Gen. 6:5; Lk. 17: 26-27). Noah, picture of the Rapture of the Bride… Floated above it and out of the danger of the flooding destruction of the world. The entire world.
“So will it be also in the days of the Son of Man… In the same way as the days of Lot:” eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building.
“On the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.”
On the day of brimstone, Lot went out from black Sodom, led by the Angel of deliverance. Lot also pictures the Rapture of the Bride, with Angels taking “her” out at the very moment judgment rains down in terrible flame (Luke 17:28, 29).
“It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.”
There will be a day when the Son is revealed, like the times of Noah and Lot – the righteous taken out, the evil left to face the fire – clear and vivid pictures of the Rapture. Those in the lifestyle of the cross will go OUT. Those in self-preservation will STAY. The Cross will be the great divide of believers. Ones who die, escape the death. Ones who live to live, face the devastation. Even as He tells it, Jesus gives the secret of the Rapture.
Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
Luke 17:33 NASB
The Cross…abandoned response to God’s silent baton, the heart’s secret song, played solely for His enjoyment. The day of the Rapture will expose the “dead” of the Cross-life and those “living” in the World-life.
“I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left” (verse 34).
Rest is symbolic of faith. Faith is not the entrance to the Great Escape of God. Both are in the sleep of rest, appearing the same…yet divided by the Rapture’s selection.
“There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left” (verse 35).
Both working, by the same occupation, in the same place. Grinding stands for refinement, making the grain edible and elegant. But however refined and pure the believer makes himself, it is no door to the Escape of Judgment. Two workers, toiling alike, yet fully known to God and separated by His favored approval. “The man who loves God is known by God” (1 Cor. 8:3, Jn. 10:14).
“Two men will be in the field, one will be taken and the other will be left” (verse 36).
The field stands for Christian ministry among humanity. Labor for the Lord is not the ground of His choice. Both are “in the field” of the world, giving the gospel. Service alone does not qualify.
Only the constant Cross, the unseen letting-go inside the crucible of His will, alone and secret…losing all for Him. This alone saves your life and “snatches” you from the coming terror.
The Cross is the Great Divide—the ultimate test.
Two rest. Two grind. Two minister. Whatever the occupation, the Light of God penetrates the heart. He knows. He chooses based on what He knows. He takes away the one He chooses. All must rest in faith. All should grind out holiness. In some form, all will minister. But these aspects of Christian life, necessary as they are, do not the Rapture earn. Remember…everyone is invited.
“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Matt. 7:14 NASB
How to find it? Just obey. Obey the Person. His personal directive. On the path of obedience you will run headlong into the Cross, and by its crushing, you will be made small enough to get through the gate. Naked of soul – taking nothing with you, no props, no riches, no pleasures, no loved ones! Not even…your very Self.
The Cross! That Inevitable Cross! Sentinel of Eternal Division, it divides history, separates friends, splits families and tears nations. That Ever-Looming Cross will, at the beginning of the end, separate believer from believer. The Judged from the Raptured. The Taken and the Left.
“One will be taken and the other will be left.”
The Rapture is clearly not inclusive of all believers: of all who rest on faith, of those who grind at holiness, nor even ones who minister in the field. The Rapture is exclusive, selective. God wants you there. He gives away all the answers, lays out every marker and even…gives you the prayer to pray. But in the great end of history’s wait for the Real God to be disclosed, Abba Father will select and capture only those who love Him. Oh, not ones who loved Him enough to believe Him, or loved Him enough to serve Him…but ones who love Him enough to daily die!
And He (Jesus) said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself (disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself) and take up his cross daily and follow Me (cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and if need be, in dying also.
Luke 9:23 Amplified
Christ’s standard of loving Him is counted not in serving, living, or believing. Love is only love that lies wasted at His feet and kisses His Disappointing Hand. Love is only Love that loves God more than self. And those who love their God to that dying extent will live with Him above the outpouring of death on an evil world.
Dead to this world, slain to self, killed to everything…those who die-while-living by a burning heart for God will soar on the greatest human adventure that man will ever know, “caught up in the air to meet the Lord in the clouds” (1 Thess. 4:17). Love, true impassioned love, blazing agonized love. Love that abandons, throws itself without thought of safety from the cliff of perishing—that Love will consent to die, will love to die. That Love will recognize with old familiarity, the dark shadow of the Compelling Cross and welcome its impaling. Saving nothing!
That Love wants to die, begs to die, of all that offends her Beloved.
The Cross is the friend of Bridal espousal, the crucial stripping for her real adorning. She views its misery not as loss but welcomed gain that brings her only nearer to her Spouse. The Lord Himself will seize those who are His fainting Lovers, panting for His presence, longing to leave by having already left (John 8:51). Those who died a thousand unfuneraled deaths will never die, but with the Beloved Son, soon be “caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”
THE ETERNAL WORD
Sky and the earth (that is, the universe, the world) will pass away, but My words will not pass away (Mt. 26:35 AMP).
But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self indulgence, drunkenness and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth (Lk. 21:34-35 AMP).
Keep awake then and watch at all times (be discreet, attentive, and ready), praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things (taken together) that will take place and to stand in the presence of the son of Man (Lk. 21:36 AMP).
Copyright © 2001 Martha Kilpatrick, The Bride Is Ready