So today I had to do an abnormally large amount of laundry (due to 2 weeks of laziness)… Anyway, I was feeling miserable for myself and was taking it out on my poor socks. Suddenly I thought about how I could use what was bad (which today was laundry) to create something that was good.
I remembered that in Malachi 3 is says that when God sends his messenger (Mal 3:1) he will be like a launderer’s soap (Mal 3:2)! Here I was being all miserable, when I should have been using my physical state (that of “master launderer”) to remind me to work on my spiritual state (using God’s spiritual laundry soap to launder/wash my spiritual clothes).
But what is the spiritual soap that I should be using on my spiritual clothes? What does soap do? It cleans! John 15:3 says, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” God’s word and the words of Jesus are the soap. Which leads to the next question, what are my clothes that need to be cleaned?
Well, Revelation 19:8 makes it pretty clear, “Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)” This verse is talking about Jesus’ bride (at the wedding banquet of the Lamb). I know I want to be part of the group of Jesus’ bride, which means I had better make sure I have the right clothes on, otherwise I will be thrown out of the banquet (Mt 22:11-13). My clothes had also better be bright and clean, otherwise I do not fit the description of Jesus’ bride (which means I am not…I’m just an intruder hoping no one notices I have the wrong clothes on).
But wait, what are these clothes? I know I have to be wearing the proper wedding clothes which are bright and clean, but what are they? Rv 19:8 says the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints. So what exactly is righteousness in God’s eyes? Short answer:
In Hebrews 11 it tells us how much faith Abraham had in God’s word and God’s promises to him. Romans 4:3 says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Having faith in God’s promises and believing God would fulfill them is what was credited to Abraham as righteousness. We cannot only believe in the promises, we have to believe in their fulfillment as well, this is what God views as righteousness.
At the first coming the Pharisees knew God had promised to send a Messiah, but knowing was clearly not enough, because when Jesus came they could not believe in the fulfillment of those prophecies. In fact they ended up killing their own Messiah because of their refusal to accept the fulfillment.
So what are our ‘righteous acts’? What do we have to have faith in? Jesus promised many things in the New Testament, and there are many prophecies that need to be fulfilled in order for the Bible to be completed and God’s work to be finished. We have to make sure that we have done our laundry! We must cleanse ourselves with God’s word and Jesus’ words, and when the fulfillment of the New Testament prophecies are explained to us, we must be sure to have faith in them, knowing that God is not a man that he should lie, when he speaks he will act, and when he promises he will fulfill (Numbers 23:19).
The Jews were not expecting Jesus. Are we sure of what we should be expecting when he returns?