Last week we took a quick glance at John the Baptist’s role as the “friend of the bridegroom” [John 3:29 1611 KJB] {from which we adopted the European role of “best man” in our version of weddings}. This week let’s peel back another layer of this incredible Bible truth. Good old John wasn’t much of a ‘seeker sensitive’ lovey dovy kissy huggy kind of preacher. In fact his preaching against adultery got him tossed in prison and beheaded in his day. Like it or not, I’d go so far as to say if he preached against adultery in our time, most protestant churches would soon ‘feel led to hand him his pink slip and seek a new pastor’. Perhaps even many Baptist churches (which long pre-date the protestant ‘reformation’ and the Catholic church) would send him packing. What has this got to do with the Bridegroom and the bride (Christ and the Church)? Glad you asked – Christ doesn’t commit adultery against his betrothed wife (the church) and the betrothed wife doesn’t commit adultery against her husband (which is Christ) [Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery]. This commandment of God to Israel tells us how God the Father feels about the sanctity of marriage. I am sure many of you remember when most Christians and even the majority of lost people held adultery as a defilement of contempt and shame. In our days they’re having defilement parades whilst waiving defilement flags for adultery and all manner of reprobation. But enough, let us consider Christ. Why did John name himself “the friend of the Bridegroom”?  Because a wedding is coming. The Bridegroom is even now preparing a home for his bride. [John 14 “in my father’s house are many mansions {some fake bibles read ‘rooms’}. “I go to prepare a place for you”. Why prepare a place for the bride if the bride isn’t going to be {watch these words} “CAUGHT UP TOGETHER with them in the clouds to “meet the Lord in the air”? [Did you notice that at this part of the 2nd Coming – Christ does not set one foot on the ground at the Mount of Olives? You may remember that at the 2nd Coming, God said, in Zechariah 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. Some teach this is a contradiction – which is kind of funny if you know your Bible. There is no contradiction at all – simply TWO completely different parts of the 2nd coming are in view. Part 1 is of course ‘the rapture’ or “catching up” or if you understand it, the “calling out of the bride” by the bridegroom in preparation for the wedding of the church [Ephesians 5]. When the Bridegroom “calls out His bride” and “receives her unto himself” – “that where I am there ye may be also” [John 14:3] then begins ‘Jacob’s time of Trouble’ [Jeremiah 30:7]. The calling forth of the bride is next on the prophetic clock. Paul said ‘don’t worry about Anti-Christ. Focus rather on doing what Christ said – be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not”.