Recently I have been reading a pretty incredible book that outlines the breadth of God's story through out history highlighting the ultimate purpose of God and man. I encourage you to read it if you have trouble understanding the relationship between the bride and bridegroom. If you are a guy considering being with a women one day and maybe even a Father, these huge themes that scurry there way from Genesis to Revelation will be a wonderful place to start understanding your role.
1. What is it about the way that the average Christian reads the Bible that we miss these paramount themes that run throughout from creation to revelation? How can we be more aware of these themes as we go about reading the Bible to experience God?
I think part of it that we approach the Bible in piecemeal. A book here, a verse there, a story here, a parable there, etc. We use the cut and paste approach to Bible study. In many cases, we don’t read it as a cohesive narrative. So we miss the big, sweeping epic that ties it all together.
As to your other question, once the grand narrative is brought out, you can’t help but see everything tied into it. It’s like those pictures that you stare at and then an image emerges that was once hidden. Once you spot the image, you can’t help but see it every time you look at the picture again.
God’s eternal purpose is a lot like that.
2. If you could challenge the church in just one way to change what would it be?
To actually make the Lord Jesus Christ the living, breathing, functional Head of the church and explore what that means practically and corporately. To learn what makes God’s heart throb. To discover what He’s really after above all else. That’s what the eternal purpose gives us.
3. What are some by products of viewing the church like you portray it in your book (a body of believers, a bride, a prostitute, etc) rather than church as a place to meet, where a preacher preaches and their are stain glass windows and pews?
Lol. I actually don’t call her a prostitute. She’s not. She’s holy and blameless. But in the fall, she became dirty and damaged. But Christ has taken care of that. And she’s pure again.
In God’s eyes, she’s pure and holy for she is in Christ and has been in Him before time. Once we see the church from the Divine viewpoint, it changes everything else. And it does touch how we see the church and one another.
I’ve made the statement that no church should exist except to stand for, express, and fulfill God’s eternal purpose. Any other reason is to miss the target. I stand by that statement.