And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
I have often heard that the Great Controversy between God and Satan is about whether we can keep God’s law, and that God is wanting to produce a people who perfectly obey His law before He comes. However, in my own personal study of God’s Word, and the Spirit of Prophecy, while I find more than plenty of promises to help us obey His law, I do not find that is what the Great Controversy is all about. What I find, is that the Great Controversy, or the Conflict of the Ages, is about whether or not God is love. As a matter of fact, if you have ever read the 5 volume Conflict of the Ages, Series from the Spirit of Prophecy, have you noticed that the first line of the first book is “God is love,” and that the very last line of the last book is “God is Love”? That is what the conflict is all about!
Many are familiar with this passage from Christ Object Lessons page 69, “When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” While nothing changes about the truth of that statement, I believe we need to change how we apply that truth. Have you ever heard the phrase, “trophy bride”? That is when a man who wants to impress his peers shows up at a party with his beautiful, perfectly proportioned, flawless-complexioned wife to show off for all to see. There may be no depth to their relationship but he likes to show her off to everyone.
Friends, I don’t believe God is looking for a trophy bride. I don’t believe He wants a perfect church to show off to the universe. I believe He wants a deep and meaningful relationship with His bride, the church. By God’s grace we can live victorious overcoming lives, but that is not what it is all about. God wants to remove sin, not so that He can show us off as some sort of trophy bride, but so that He can restore His relationship and dwell right inside us. While God dwelling right inside us will solve the sin problem, more importantly to Christ it restores the relationship. Meanwhile, with the relationship restored, the perfection of love is seen between God and His church and in the members of the church, thus letting the world see that God is love, so they too can make an intelligent decision to have or not to have a relationship with God.