God has made it clear in His word that He wants personal, intimate relationship that includes commitment. We have been created to live in covenant relationship with God and covenant in God’s eyes is irrevocable. It is a serious commitment that may not be broken; it is a blood covenant with humanity. God in His word likens our relationship to Him as a “marriage” and we see this illustrated in Genesis and in Revelation.
While there are many identities of the Church mentioned in the Bible (“family”, “army”, “body”, “temple”, etc.), the primary identity of the Church at the end of the age will be that of the Bride of Christ. That identity describes the eternal, permanent, faithful covenant relationship that God has intended for our relationship with Him. History begins with a wedding and ends with a wedding – a corporate Bride perfected for God’s perfect Son.
God is a “jealous” Husband in a pure and redemptive sense. He is a covenant maker and a covenant keeper! The blessings of the Lord are connected to our covenant relationship with Him. When we live according to His ways we can expect His blessings. When we break covenant with God and follow our own ways we shouldn’t expect God’s covenant blessing! Covenant is about both parties remaining faithful to the covenant and when it’s broken there are serious consequences.
There is a great deception in the Church – that we can remain in right standing with God while living however we want. We break our covenant relationship with the Lord through compromised living and sin and yet we demand the covenant blessing of God. There is not neutral ground, we are either in covenant relationship with God or not…
When the people of God live outside their covenant relationship with Jesus, becoming spiritual “unfaithful” they commit spiritual adultery. We are living in a nation where the Church has chosen to pursue the world and lives in deception that it is having perceptible impact on our lives, congregations and communities. We have become a people who deny any responsibility for the consequences of our spiritual harlotry on our nation.
When the church leaves her First Love, she turns to other lovers. She always has. Spiritual adultery is a recurring theme in the Word of God. It was the ongoing issue between the Lord and Israel. Who would they love? Who would they worship?
Jesus gives us a clear warning in the Book of Revelation when He addressed the Church of Ephesus. The Church of Ephesus was the very same church that we read about all the mighty exploits in the Book of Acts, etc…this is the city where….and yet at the end Jesus addresses them with a stern rebuke, threatening to remove their influence unless they returned to their first love:
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent. Revelation 2:2-5
The church has lost her fascination with the Person of Jesus Christ and become fascinated with the things of the world. We can’t hope to see revival or city transformation before the individual hearts of God’s people return to Him.
No matter how hard we try to convince Him with all of our fanfare, well-planned events and presentation, God is not budging – He is not going to give us revival on our terms or add His glory to our idolatry and immorality. He will not rest in a defiled temple.