"Baptist Bride" Asserted

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, May 25, 2004.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    I will here show the "Baptist Bride" position is truth. First, let me say that I don't like the term "Baptist Bride" because it implies a person must be known by the title "Baptist" in order to be in the bride of Christ.

    No one I know actually believes such a ridiculous thing. All the Landmark Baptists I know believe the Lord's churches have been called by various names down through the ages, usually the names given by their enemies.

    What the "Baptist Bride" belief teaches is that saved people who faithfully serve Christ will be rewarded with the privledge of being in His bride. Since fidelity to Christ is impossible without fidelity to the church, we believe that only those who faithfully serve in the church will receive this reward.

    The term "Baptist" enters the picture only because most of the churches today which retain the true doctrines of Christ are known as "Baptists."

    The question before us is, is being in "the bride of Christ" purely a matter of being "saved" (born again) or is it a reward that comes from faithfulness to Christ? The Scriptures, not popular opinion or sentimental opinion must answer this question. I give the following Scriptural evidence as proof that being part of Christ's bride is a reward for faithfulness and not a blessing bestowed on all believers.

    The Bible teaches that salvation is a gift given to all who believe, not the reward of any work. But the Bible teaches, just as surely, that saved people who do good works will be rewarded and, conversely, that those who do not do good works will be deprived of reward, both in this life and that to come.

    One reason so many people have a hard time accepting the idea of eternal reward for good works is that they don't think that anyone is saved unless they do the good works. In other words, they think that salvation is the reward of good works and that without works no one will be saved.

    When we accept the Bible doctrine that some saved people will receive greater reward than others, it is easy to understand and accept the truth that some saved people will be in Christ's bride and some will not.

    The following Scriptures clearly teach that faithful service to God is rewarded above and beyond simply escaping the damnation of hell: Matthew 5:19, Matthew 16:27, Luke 19:11-27, I Corinthians 3:14-15, I Timothy 4:8, II Timothy 2:1-13 and 4:7-8, Revelation 22:12.

    These Scriptures prove that faithful works are rewarded by God in eternity. But does the reward of faithfulness include being in the bride of Christ and will unfaithfulness exclude one from the bride of Christ? I submit the following Scriptures for your sober reflection:

    Paul told the church of God at Corinth:

    "For I am jealous over you with a godly jealously: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I my present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (II Corinthians 11:2).

    And he told the church at Ephesus:

    "Husbands, love your wives as Christ even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

    The ramification of these passages is so clear that all parties understand them to teach that "the church" is the spouse of Christ. And yet, in an attempt to justify the Protestant world, they vainly assert that the "church" of which Paul here speaks is simply those who are born again.

    And yet the plain reading of the Bible shows Paul is speaking of a congregation of baptized believers; and beyond that, he is exhorting them to a practical cleansing of their lives through the word of God which will result in their being presented as a spotless bride to Christ.

    At this point some will obstinately argue that to think one born again person will be considered spotless in life while another will not constitutes spiritual pride. In anticipation of which argument I present you with the plain words of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who walks in the midst of His churches, instructing and pleading, rebuking and applauding:

    "Thou hast a FEW NAMES"

    - yes, my friends, whether you like it or not THE FAITHFUL FEW, the spiritually elite if you will, or if you won't -

    "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white for THEY ARE WORTHY" (Revelation 3:4).

    Of that great city, the New Jerusalem, John saw a vision and he described her as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 19:7-9 says,

    "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God."

    Let God be true and every man a liar!

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    All Christians saved from Pentecost (the beginning of the church) through the rapture are part of the one true church.

    Landmarkism is rightly called "Baptist catholicism".
     
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Mark, are you saying that some of God's precious elect are going to be "bride" and some just "friends"? That some elect will gain favor on a spiritual plane by works, elevating them to "bride" status, while others who don't work as hard are not?

    That is one of the most wicked assertions I can imagine, impugning the integrity of my Savior who shed His blood for ALL His own.

    While my faithfulness (using HIS faith, a gift to me) may see some blessings in the kingdom to come, my being a part of the Bride depends on HIM and not ME.

    "My goodness" is just an expression!
     
  4. Major B

    Major B
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    Question: What is the difference between the "Baptist Bride" doctrine and "the flat earth doctrine?"

    Answer: There is FAR more evidence for a flat earth, and more people who believe in it...
     
  5. Pluvivs

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    Dr. Bob,

    Can you not elaborate more? It seems your very short reasoning above is not above reproach. You appear offended at the thought that my works could put me in the Bride of Christ, yet you have no problem with saying my fleshly works yield eternal, spiritual rewards and the favor of our Lord.

    Would you be as offended if I reword your quote to be:

    "Mark, are you saying that some of God's precious elect are going to [win crowns] and some [will have none]? That some elect will gain favor on a spiritual plane by works, elevating them to [crowned] status, while others who don't work as hard are not?"

    -Pluvivs
     
  6. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Uh, yes. I didn't realize I had left any doubt. But you said,

    So what is the vast difference between you gaining "some blessings in the kingdom to come" by your faithfulness and gaining the blessing of bridehood? Your amazement stems not from reason or Scripture, but only from your presumptive opinion that bridehood is not a reward of faithfulness.

    I too believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood for all His own; and not only for the sins of His own, but for the sins of the whole world. When I became one of His own by faith in Christ, He gave me the gift of eternal life, requiring nothing of me but believing.

    But just as surely, He has promised me greater blessing as I am faithful to Him. I have given Scriptures that demonstrate one of these blessings to be bridehood. You say this is a wicked idea but you gave no answer to my argument.

    For the record, every blessing we receive is a blessing of God's grace through faith, just as surely as the gift of salvation. If I should be so privledged as to walk with Him in white, it will be only because of His grace. As Paul said,

    "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  7. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Ultimately, it is up to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the "Author and Perfecter of my faith" and Him alone, to determine where I come in any heavenly pecking order, not my works "so that no one may boast". Sounds like some people are trying to boast here...

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  8. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    But Jesus said in Malachi,

    "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not."

    And Jesus said,

    "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."

    And He said,

    "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

    And He said,

    "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

    And His apostle Paul said,

    "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

    And His apostle Peter said,

    "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."

    In light of these Scriptures, it seems to me if there is any pride here it is on the part of those who are so presumptuous and high minded as to think they will be rewarded by God irregardless of their faithfulness or lack thereof.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  9. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    No, it is HUMILITY in the face of God's GRACE

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  10. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    Some folks attempt to indentify what rewards for faithfulness are and IMMEDIATELY other folks cry HERESY! Or worse.
    We saw this same mentality in another thread concerning the Kingdom of God.
    The FACT is this;
    Jesus, Himself, said He will REWARD faithfulness and obedience on our part. There are NO rewards for the lost, nor for the lazy christians.
    Some have identified those rewards as being in "The Bride of Christ", while others have identified them as "reigning with Him in His Kingdom".
    Yet, there are those who on the one hand vehemently oppose the idea of rewards for the faithful, they on the other hand state they MAY have some 'BLESSINGS' in the Kingdom to come.
    Interesting.
    And who ever SAID that anything we do to EARN rewards can in any way shape or form; be done APART from the power of the Holy Spirit in us as we yeild ourselves to Him?
    No my friends, the fact is we must obey Him. Not APART from Him but "through Him" for "without Christ ye can do nothing".
    Jim
     
  11. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    There is no humility in turning God's grace into a license to sin. As Jude said,

    "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  12. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Jim

    Amen, to everything you said; especially this part:

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  13. Bartholomew

    Bartholomew
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    Hi Mark, [​IMG]

    I'd never heard of this idea before, and I was pretty amazed to see the similarity of what you're teaching to a belief I have held for three years now, and a teaching Jim was refering to. That belief is that entrance and reign in the coming 1000 year kingdom is a reward according to works, and that Christians may miss this and be punished instead (but saved on the last day and for eternity) again according to their works. How does your position regarding the bride being the reward tie in with this? Do you believe all Christians will be in the kingdom, or just the bride?

    In the thread on the judgement seat of Christ (in the theology/Bible study section), page 2, someone called "simnesan" made his only post to date, in which he wrote the following (emphasis added). What is your view of what he wrote?
     
  14. Mark Osgatharp

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    Bartholomew,

    I believe that anyone who has ever been born again will be resurrected when Christ returns and will be in the kingdom of God. I do not think that unfaithful Christians will be punished, but rather will not receive any reward for their lives.

    Those who have been faithful will be rewarded by being allowed to rule with Christ and being part of His bride. I also believe that only the bride will live within the New Jerusalem, while "the nations of them which are saved" (Revelation 21:24) will walk in the light of the city and come there to worship Christ (incidentally, I think the New Jerusalem descends at the beginning of the millenium, not the close of it as is commonly held).

    The judgment seat of Christ will be when the Lord grants us our reward, or else informs us of our lack thereof. This is when there will definately be some "weeping and gnashing of teeth" on the part of believers who wasted their lived. I believe this takes place at the beginning of the millenium and will determine our place in the millenium.

    As for the quote from "simnesan", I think some of his arguments are strained. However, I agree with the basic principle that only those in the church who are faithful to the Lord will be part of the bride. I think Jesus' words to the church at Sardis make this very clear. The letter was addressed to the whole church and yet there were only a "few" within that church who would be granted to walk with Christ in white.

    As for the "rest" mentioned in Hebrews, I think that is the rest that we can experience right now if we are obedient to the Lord. If we are disobedient then we will not have the peace and rest of mind that the Lord promises to those who trust and obey Him.

    Finally, I think the passages which state that those who commit certain sins will not enter the kingdom of God simply mean that sinners will not be allowed into God's kingdom. That is why the resurrection is necessary, for until we are resurrected we are still tainted with sin and therefore unfit to enter God's kingdom. As Paul said,

    "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

    For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  15. Bartholomew

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    Thanks Mark,

    I don't want to argue with you or hijack this thread - I just wondered what you thought about this.

    You say only the bride will reign: have you read "Reign of the Servant Kings" by Dillow? I have not, but I think he teaches that the unfaithful Christians will enter the millennium, but not reign, and have "weeping and gnashing of teeth".

    Also, I recently read a book called "Firstborn Sons" by a man called G.H. Lang. He argued similarly about the bride being washed, sanctified, etc., though I don't remember if he asserted that the unfaithful Christians woldn't be part of the "bride". However, he did teach they would not enter the kingdom.

    Finally, may I ask - do you think the "bride" may be made up from any obedient Chrsitians? The impression I got from other threads was that those teaching "baptist bride" saw their own churches as part of the "bride", and others as not. Personally, in my "kingdom doctrine", I don't think we can judge who will be accounted worthy to enter the kingdom - and it might include people whose churches weren't faithful, but who individually served Him faithfully.
     
  16. calvin4me

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    Mark,

    May I ask you a question?
    Do you consider YOURSELF to be in His Bride?
    And if so, can you share with the rest of us just what exactly we must do to be His bride?

    As you know, the greatest commandement of all is love our God with our whole being. Indeed, that is the most glorious "work" any of us can do.

    I believe that Christ draws us closer to Himself through SANTIFICATION.
    To love God with HIS love is the greatest way to love Him; through santification, this is possible by the Spirit's leading.

    Our motives will never be pure, unless they are HIS motives, for we can surly bear no genuine fruit in ourselves, but in Him who is the Vine.

    I agree that many Scriptures teach rewards; I do not profess to understand thier meaning completely. But what I DO understand is that Scripture cannot contradict Scripture, so we must reverently compare them.
    Whatever works we do to "earn" rewards and therefore "promote our status" from being an adopted child of God to a glorious bride -how do you explain those who are mentally retarded, psychotic and those who die at birth? Are they excluded because they didn't follow, or rather, were UNABLE to follow whatever criteria you are proposing? If they are part of the elect, but have little or no capacity to do these works, are they instantly consigned to the "rubbish heap"...because, lets face it, if they are engrafted into the Bride simply because of thier status, this is unbiblical "For god is no repecter of persons" and "shows partiality to no man"
    Let's rember what the Spirit has to say about ANY man's personal destiny or endeavors:
    "My times are in YOUR hand." (Ps. 31:15)
    "A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD DIRECTS his steps." (Prov.16:9)
    "There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless, the Lord's counsel- THAT will stand." (Prov.19:21)

    I am not trying to win any debate; I, too, want to be His Bride.
     
  17. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Bartholomew,

    I have not read the books you mentioned. You asked,

    "
    I do think that being in the bride will be judged on an individual basis. However, I do not think it is possible for a person to be faithful to God while retaining membership in an apostate church, for the Lord commanded us to "come out from among them and be ye separate."

    The churches that Christ addressed in the Revelation had their problems but they were, nonetheless, acknowledged as His churches (though some of them were on the verge of death). That is quite a different thing from a church (such as the Roman Catholic) that is totally anti-Christian.

    We may not always know which churches belong to the Lord (though in many cases that they do not is obvious) but we can say that our relationship to the church will play a major part in the judgment of our lives.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  18. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Calvin4me,

    You asked,

    I hope to be in His bride but I will not know for sure until that day. What God requires of us is faithfulness. Have I been faithful? God will judge, as Paul said,

    "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
    For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
    Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."

    You said,

    True. But do not forget what love us:

    "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
    For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."


    Youask,

    I am not required to judge these or any man for that matter. All I am required to do is proclaim the fact that God requires His children to be faithful if they are to be part of His glorious bride and then strive to be faithful myself.

    But you say,

    None of these passages mean that God arbitralily doles out blessings and rewards. What they do teach is that God is able to help us as we seek to do His will. That He will do and reward us if we are willing and obedient.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  19. calvin4me

    calvin4me
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    To Mark:

    As a Calvinist, I believe that the sovereignty of God plays a vital role in the lives of us believers. I certainly believe man has a free will, and that he will always choose in accordance to his nature.
    Christ says, "Ye can do nothing without me", and I think we would all agree with that.
    When it comes to spiritial gifts, which obviously makes a world of difference in our progreess towards pleasing Him and accomplishing greater works, we read: "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift." (Eph. 4:7)
    Here again we have the principle of grace, and I personally think that God's grace to each and every believer is what decides the ultimate issues.
    If I accomplish more in the ways of works than others, I would humbly attribute that to His grace.
    This "Baptist Bride" position is something that has given me much occasion for thought, and I am eager to read more of what you have to say about it.
    I am trying hard to reconcile what is in our power to accomplish, to what God in His good pleasure and absolute grace decides to give us which ENABLES us to accomplish the the works that commend us into the position of Bride.

    [ May 27, 2004, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: calvin4me ]
     
  20. Bartholomew

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    Thanks, Mark, for your answers. I agree with pretty much everything you said. Interesting that you mentioned the churches in Revelation - what did God say to the church in Laodecea? (Rev 3:16)

    "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."

    As you say, this is a real church, but not one that is going to have such a good time at the judgment! Yet there is still hope for the individuals within it:

    "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Rev 3:20-21)

    I think there is a lot of merit in what you say. I must study it more, but the Bible clearly teaches there are rewards for faithfulness, and consequences for unfaithfulness. [​IMG]
     

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