Given a choice (and we are given a choice), I would rather be a bride (as in the bride of Christ) rather than a bridesmaid. As wonderful as it will be to get to Heaven, my desire is to go in the first wave, rather in the second, for it is the first wave (the raptured church) that is indeed Christ’s true bride. Again, the raptured church (are) those Christians who are plucked-out before the tribulation period begins and Revelation 7:14-15 is speaking of those people who come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior ‘during’ the tribulation period. They are Christians, they are saved, but they are not the bride of Christ.
Dave, You Lost Me
When we read today’s passage again, we see the revelation. First, we can rejoice for those who chose to believe in Jesus Christ during the tribulation because they are now in Heaven, having been martyred for their new-found faith. But we also notice that they stand before the throne and will serve Jesus forever, night and day. Make no mistake about it, they will be ecstatic that they have been given this eternal opportunity and will rejoice in it, but serve they will.
However, because we have believed in Jesus Christ before the tribulation (and also before the, ‘wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke, ’ spoken of in Joel 2:28-32, we will sit with Jesus in His throne (much as a bride would sit with her groom) and we will reign and rule with Him.
Because you have kept My command to persevere I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth…To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne…Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Revelation 3:10, 21; 20:6
So What’s the Point
So many non-believers declare that if and when they see proof that Jesus is who He says He is, they will believe. That may be true for them, but there are these things they must consider:
1. If they die before the tribulation period, they won’t have this chance
2. If they come to believe during the tribulation, they will be martyred (murdered) for their faith.
3. They will get to be in Heaven forever, but will not be His bride, but His servants.
4. They will be happy to be His servants, but they should know now they could be His bride.
5. If a person cannot stand for Jesus now, what makes them think they will be able to stand for Christ when someone is threatening to kill them?
Brides and Bridesmaids
Finally, we see the differences between a bride and a bridesmaid as portrayed in these two Bible verses (both times Jesus is talking). Thomas (our bridesmaid) is most certainly blessed, but the bride (the one who elects to serve the Lord while on earth) is the one who is served in Heaven. The choice is always ours.
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. Luke 12:37