Derek Prince - Are You Dressed Properly For The Heavenly Wedding?
This excerpt is from: How Should We Prepare For His Appearing?
The second thing that I believe we need to be doing if we’re preparing for the return of the Lord is we need to complete our assigned task. Look, first of all, in Ephesians 2:10. Ephesians 2:10: For we are His, God’s, workmanship. The Greek word is poeima, from which we get the English word poem. And it means not just something that’s made, it means a masterpiece. So we are God’s creative masterpiece. It always blesses me to think that, just to demonstrate what He could do to the whole universe.
When he wanted to make this masterpiece, do you know where he went for the material? To the scrap heap. He said to the universe: See what I can do with lives that are broken, stained, out of harmony? Out of those lives I can make what will be my signature piece throughout eternity. So, we are His masterpiece: created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. So we are all created in Christ Jesus, each one of us, for specific good works which are our assigned task. Really, we don’t have to decide what we’re going to do. We need to find out what God has prepared us to do. He has a prepared task for every one. And I will tell you, the satisfied Christians, the fulfilled Christians, are those who are walking in their assigned task.
Now, in Revelation 19, we’ve already looked in this passage, but I want to look again at one characteristic of the bride. Revelation 19:7–8. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give Him glory: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready. Let me point out that the bride has to make herself ready. God doesn’t do that. He provides her with the means, but she has to do it. To her it was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
If you have the King James Version, I think it says the righteousness. But that’s not really, totally accurate. It’s the righteous acts of the saints. You see, when we trust Jesus for salvation His righteousness is imputed to us. We have what the theologians call imputed or reckoned righteousness. We receive it as a gift. But by the time we get to heaven, that’s got to become outworked righteousness. Imputed righteousness has got to be translated into the righteous acts that we have done. You can’t just walk through life saying, well, I’m reckoned righteous. It’s got to be demonstrated in the fact that you live a righteous life.
So there’s first imputed righteousness. Then there’s outworked righteousness. Paul says to the Philippians: work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. God works in us, but He can’t work in us more than we work out, you understand? The limit of what God can put in, is the measure of what we put out. Now, why I say this is because, when you appear in your bridal attire, you don’t want to have a skimpy little dress, do you? You want sufficient material for a beautiful bridal garment. But you’re only going to have enough material if you’ve had enough righteous acts. Because the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Think about it this way: Every righteous act that you make is one thread in the linen. So you’re going to have to do a lot of righteous acts if you’re going to have a beautiful garment. That’s very real to me. I’ll tell you one way.
Years ago my first wife and I had a lady who was a friend of ours, a missionary in Jerusalem. And she became very ill. And hovered between life and death for quite a while. And she was a godly woman and she thought maybe it's God’s time to take me home, and I’d love to go home. But while she was thinking that, one night the Lord gave her a dream. And in this dream, she saw herself working on a dress that she was making. And as she looked at the details, she saw that there was much of the dress that was not yet complete. Especially the sleeves, if I remember rightly. And she realized that God was showing her, you can’t come home yet, because your dress isn’t complete. There’s a lot more righteous acts for you to do, that are appointed for you, before your dress will be complete. Jesus talks about people who will be found naked. Why? Because it’s all profession, but no action. Profession isn’t going to clothe you in that day. It’s action that will clothe you.