A contemporary whose editor does not believe our Lord now present, says it believes that when Jesus comes he will spend some time washing his bride before the marriage. Truly, this is a peculiar thought, strangely out of harmony with earthly usages and customs. We suggest the thought that the Bible never uses an illustration which involves an absurdity. Let us glance at the Scriptural way of stating the matter.
Jesus espoused to himself a virgin clad in filthy garments of her own unrighteousness; He left her robes of righteousness, of his own purchase, telling her that she must put on these robes (by faith) if she would be His. He did not put them on her. The robes he gave her were sages to her by the Apostles that she should abstain from all defiling things while she waited for him; that she should put away her former filthy habits and live henceforth according to the Spirit and not after the flesh, and keep herself "unspotted from the world." He left his word as a purifier and cleanser if ever she got a soil upon her robes, that so he might though absent himself thus arrange for her readiness, and "sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that he might present her to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." And the Apostle exhorts us to make use of these agencies and be sanctified—holy—through the truth.
"Wherefore, beloved, seeing ye look for such things, be diligent that [R163 : page 8] ye may be found of him in peace without spot and blameless." (2 Pet. 3:14.) Mark that he says not, that he shall wash you when he comes, but you shall be found of him so cleansed. Let us, dearly beloved, give diligence to this subject and see that our robe is spotless, remembering always that "without holiness (purity—separation) no man shall see the Lord." Those whose robes need washing must do it for themselves, either now or during the time of trouble. (Rev. 7:14.)