Some people say that the Triune God has always been characterized by plurality. In the creation story we read, “And God said, “Let us create man in our own image.” One important pair is in Ephesians 5 where it says that Christ and his Bride are “one flesh.” In John 17 we read about the perfect One-ness of Jesus and his Father. And at the end of the book of Revelation there is an important pair.
An invitation is extended to all in the epilogue of Revelation. The invitation is extend by another pair, a pair that is significant to the teaching we have been exploring.
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” Let everyone who listens answer, “Come.” Then let all who are thirsty come: all who want it may have the water of life, and have it free. (Revelation 22:17, Jerusalem Bible)
The translators of the Jerusalem Bible recognize the deity of the Church, which is why they have capitalized “Bride” here.
There is a similar invitation in Matthew 11:28: “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (NLT)
And in John’s gospel Jesus is recorded as saying, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32)
But in Revelation 22:17 the invitation is extended by the Spirit and the Bride.
By itself, this single verse would not establish much. But in the context of the testimony of Paul, John, and Peter, it sounds like a good confirmation of the exalted place of the Church.
If, by “Church”, Pastor Ron, you mean “The fellowship of all Christians”, I will agree with you. If, on the other hand, you mean the organized body of the Catholic Church, I must disagree (vehemently).
Agreed, Duncan. Organizations and institutions just interfere with our journey to the truth. They divide us from one another, and perpetuate unnecessary traditions–and you know what Jesus had to say about traditioin!
It sounds like you may have come from the Roman Catholic church?
Pastor Ron, I’ve gone to almost EVERY Christian Church, but I was baptized a Methodist. I was born with a terminal (supposedly) form of Epilepsy, you see, and nobody else would baptize me. Nobody wanted to risk having one of them there spazzes in Heaven, I guess.
I’m sorry your experiences with other groups turned out so poorly, but I’m glad you found a pastor who was willing to baptize you. Pastors can be overly concerned with the “comfort” of “normies,” and unwilling to have members of the congregation stretched much.
If you would take a few minutes and describe what your Christian experience has been like as someone with epilepsy, I’d appreciate it.
I just noticed a post that touches on situations similar (but not identical) to yours. You might check it out, by clicking below.
I DIDN’T find a Church. My parents did. I was a little baby with a dreaded, deadly condition. If you REALLY want to know why I am SO critical of churches, and why I stand up for gay people (and everyone else), that’s WHY – because I know damned well what it’s like to lose the rights of a human being – in fact, what it’s like to never be ALLOWED those rights in the first place, over something one can’t HELP.