And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Genesis 9:12-13
If you want to gripe about churches, or just a church in particular, you may find a myriad of characteristics to inflame your gripes. Little effort is required to find something wrong with any one church or all churches in general from one person's little point of view. Any one of us can set the self on the church as judge. What if that church belongs to Him though? Do we dare to judge the Christ? We do if we pick on His future bride! If a church belongs to Jesus, then we have no complaints. Our Lord will take care of any beautification that needs to be done in time for His wedding.
In the Revelation, I mean, His Revelation, Jesus sent messages to seven churches with specific criticism and praise. He also sent messages of Himself, as a young man engaged to be married might do in a similar way. If I, perhaps under some obscure local regulation, had to criticize a young woman about to be married, I certainly would not choose the intended bride of the strongest man in the town. As our Lord Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Almighty, criticizing His bride would seem unwise. So, how long until this great wedding?
As Noah came off the boat to his new land, God made with him and every living creature with him a covenant for perpetual generations. That sounds like a long time and it certainly should, for thousands of years later we still look at rainbows and remember. With many of His other agreements though, long times and end times included, there was a promised now. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a promise of the far flung future became a now. When Jerusalem was stormed under each time, whether by Nebuchadnezzar or the Romans, those distant futures became times of right now. So it will be when the bride of Christ, fully prepared and dressed by God our Father, is presented to His Son at the Wedding of the Lamb, one day this unfathomable and seemingly incredibly distant future promise will become a now. And great will be the rejoicing!
So, as the mightiest of men holds the hand of that most disorganized-organized, weak but strong, confused but certain and doubtfully faithful of future brides, our church in all of its disparate nations, peoples, tribes, and tongues, I think any criticism of mine will need to be turned over to my Lord Jesus for correction. I'm quite sure that He will prepare me for that big wedding too! What would my Lord say about His future bride? I believe He says even this day, "She is right where I want her, right now."
Great is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!Bucky