Drinking Deeply

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 at 5:06 PM

Crowns (8) - The Bride of Christ

Returning to a month old question, do "better" Christians get more treasures in heaven?

This series of posts on crowns would not be complete without a peek at Revelation. Once again, I must freely confess that my interpretive ability of Revelation is rather weak. Here are some verses and guesses at what that means.

We can all agree that Christians do good works while here on earth (Ephesians 2:10). We can also agree that we don't need a reason to do such good works apart from the fact that God told us to. Same for prayer and evangelism. We don't necessarily need a "practical" reason to do them, God has asked us, and it is our joy to serve.

That said, the book of Revelation does give us a glimpse of something else in addition to the simple command of God -

Revelation 19:6-8:
6Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure"--

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Notice specifically verse 8. The Bride of the Lamb is clothed with fine linen, which is the righteous deeds of the saints.

In chapter 21:9-27 we see a more detailed picture of the Bride:
9Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed-- 13on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16The city lies foursquare; its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia.[a] Its length and width and height are equal. 17He also measured its wall, 144 cubits[b] by human measurement, which is also an angel's measurement. 18The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. 19The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.

Whatever figurative or literal interpretations we ascribe to the Bride of Christ, we know that it's beautiful and glorious. Somehow it's "pure gold, clear as glass." I think this beauty, this richness, comprise of some of the treasures in Heaven. It's also interesting to notice that the 12 apostles and 12 sons of Israel do get special mention. Their names are inscribed on the foundations and gates of the New Jerusalem. Not too sure what exactly that means, but, great! =) Heaven's gonna rock.

**addition, (I got so carried away with the picture of heaven that I forgot what I was going to say and just posted it)**

Since the Bride of Christ is clothed with the good works of the righteous, maybe it's the case that we do store treasures in Heaven by good works. Except those treasures aren't stored just for ourselves, but rather they're stored for everyone and their enjoyment. That certainly sounds reasonable, but who knows? And I'm sure whatever happens in Heaven will be far better than I can imagine.


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