Belief of a Bride

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mackenzie McKassey, a bride whose groom she knows not, is led by the Lord to a born-again believer named Flanders Nickels..Side-by-side, sitting upon the top of the red-carpeted stairs inside the hallway outside his apartment, bride and believer talk. And she comes to see her need for the Saviour. The Christian man leads her to salvation. And she finds out why she is dressed in this wedding dress--she is a symbol of the bride of Christ, which is New Jerusalem in time to come in Heaven.

Submitted: January 19, 2019

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Submitted: January 19, 2019

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BELIEF OF A BRIDE

 

(By Mr. Morgan McCarthy)

Looking into the glass door, she saw her reflection and beheld herself dressed in a beautiful white long-sleeve wedding gown. Turning away from the window, she looked down upon herself where she stood and felt the feel of this material in her hands. So feminine she did feel, covered in this rich white silk. Looking behind herself, she found also that this bridal dress had a long train of silk. Then she turned back to herself in the reflection. This young woman then asked herself, “Whom is it that I am marrying?” This room that she was in was an entrance-way with a red carpet and a bright overhead light. Beyond her reflection was the dark of night outdoors in the city. To her left and to her right were two office doors. She then turned around to see if she could find out where she was here.

There she saw a wooden door with a window and a sign that read, “Private,” And she saw also two extensions of hallways to the left and the right of this door. Thinking upon reflections still, the woman came up to this window of this private door to look upon her face. Therein she saw a young woman with straight red shoulder-length hair with bangs and eyes of brown and teeth with an overbite. “I’m pretty enough for a girl,” she did say to herself. “I am a beautiful bride, at that.” And she spun in place. “But whose?” Then she found her little red pocket New Testament in her hand, and she turned again to that strange and fascinating Bible verse Revelation 19:7, and she read it silently to herself again: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” She did not know what the Lord was saying to her here. She thought upon the dream that she had had this morning, and she blew on her bangs in misgivings about her life. In that dream, she had found herself in a land of gray. Color was no part of that strange world.

The smell of stagnation came up from the very ground and filled the air. Here, spirits were stale, and souls were spoiled. Other living, breathing life could not be found here. There was no grass of green or tree of leaf or tree of needle or flower of petal or even weed of wilderness anywhere around here.

There was no animal of the wild nor animal of the house anywhere here. And there were no other people here in these grays. Under her feet were little gray pebbles and fine gray sand. Above her head was a sky of no sun and no moon and no stars. And it was neither day nor night. This was a dull world of no church, no Bible, no prayer, and no hymns. Maybe even God Himself was not here. Her heart could feel no emotions here. Then she heard a great voice speak from Above, saying unto her, “Mackenzie, Mackenzie, remember me? I died for you. Where did you go?” She looked up and around with great hope, but saw no one. Then she woke up. Yet, when she woke up, lo, beside her bed was this wonderful wedding dress and this little red Bible opened to that Scripture verse and underlined with a pencil line. At once she put on the bridal dress and it fit. And at once she picked up this Bible

and read the verse. And now here she was in a strange old hallway, led here by God’s Holy Spirit for a reason only He knew, and she was now excited about the future. Life was not going to be like that sad dream anymore. She put her hand to this door marked “Private,” opened it, and saw a long staircase of red carpeted steps that led upward to a lighted hallway above. She proceeded for and with God. And when she got to the top, she counted twenty-four steps. Up here were five doors—three to the right and two to the left. This second floor was an apartment complex. This first door to her right had a number “5” upon it. This was the first door she noticed. This must be where God wanted her to go. And she knocked on the door to apartment five.

A man opened it. He was a real cute guy—he had teeth just like hers! And he had bangs, too; his hair was brown. And he had a mustache and a beard, both of which needed some growing yet. He was short for a guy, maybe not quite five feet eight inches tall. And he was thin for a fellow, too, maybe a little more than 130 pounds or so. He had on blue jeans and a plaid long-sleeve shirt and a vest. And his feet were bare. In his right hand he held a yellow pencil with a worn-down pencil cap eraser and with a quite sharp point of lead and with scratches upon its paint done by one’s fingernail maybe. She wondered what this man did write with that pencil. “Hi there,” this man said, breaking the silence.

“Hi there, sir,” she said back. He smiled, and she knew from his smile that he was a man that she could trust. Maybe he were a man of God. If he were, he could help her.

He said, “Hi, Miss.”

And she explained her visit to this strange man, “I seek my bridegroom.”

“You’re a bride,” he said to her in great approval in his tone.

“I think I am at that, sir,” she said, raising her long-sleeved arms to look at them and to show them to this man.

“I was just now writing a story about a fiction bride, and, behold, a real bride comes to my door,

ma’am,” he said in evident glee.

“My name is Mackenzie,” she said. “Mackenzie McKassey.”

“And I am Flanders,” he said. “Flanders Nickels.”

“Glad to meet you, Flanders,” she said,

“I’m glad to meet you, Mackenzie,” he said. “Is that a little Bible you hold in your hand?”

“Uh huh. That it is,” she said.

She could see his dining room two rooms away. Therein a ceiling lamp was pulled down closer

to a dining room table in the center of the room. Three like chairs and one unlike chair surrounded this table. Perhaps the unlike chair replaced a broken down like chair for the table. Eleven other pencils just like the one he held in his hand lay side by side upon his table. What looked to be a Holy Bible lay beside this pile of pencils. Also she saw a black-faced, white-numbered wind-up clock and yellow sheets of paper and a pad of yellow paper and a yellow envelope and a manila filing folder and an unmounted metal pencil sharpener and what looked to be a dictionary—all of this—also upon his table.

Perhaps this Flanders Nickels was a writer. Then she saw a cross on his far wall off in that dining room. This Flanders had to be a born-again believer. He must be a Christian writer, perhaps. He was surely the one God had brought into her life today who could help her in her walk with God. “Thank You, God,” she prayed in silence and gladness.

He spoke again, “I believe God sent you to me this night, Mackenzie.’”

“Are you a real Christian, Flanders?” she asked to make sure.

“I am,” he said. “I found my Saviour some years ago.”

“I need to find my Saviour again,” she said.

With a spirit of chiding, he said in compassion, “One cannot lose the Saviour. Mackenzie, once saved, always saved.”

“I guess what I’m saying, Flanders, is that I have backslided on God,” said the seeking bride.

“One can almost say about me that I seek Christ again.” Miss McKassey then sat down on the red carpet here at the top of the stairs, and she spread out her bridal dress about her where she sat.

“Our Lord will help, fair Mackenzie,” promised Flanders.

“I believe you, Flanders,” said Mackenzie. 

And Flanders sat down beside her on the carpet of this hallway just outside of his door. “What happened, Mackenzie?” he asked her with the care of Christ. At once this man won all of her trust and her confidence. And she began to tell him the story of her life: “I had religion and God in my life, and then I lost it. The Lord never came back for me. I miss Him so.”

“What did you used to do with the Lord that made your life good, Mackenzie?” he asked, listening.

“Oh, I used to pray, Flanders. And I read my Bible. And I went to church. I sang hymns. I even went knocking on doors with the women of the church one Thursday night to tell others of the love of Christ,” exclaimed Miss McKassey.

“That sounds like lots of fun to me,” he said.

“Yeah. For me, too, Flanders. But only for a little while. Now all that religion is boring to me,” she confessed. “And now my whole life is boring without God.” As she sat there she nervously played with the skirt portion of her wedding gown with her fingers. “Do you think that you can figure out what is wrong with me, Flanders?” she asked.

“I think that I can see some things wrong already that the Word of God might have some answers to for you, Mackenzie,” he told her. “Let me go and get my Bible.” He got up, went to his dining room table, and came back with the Good Book. “The King James Version—the only perfect Bible!” he declared in a sure wisdom. “What version is your Bible in your hand, if I may ask, Mackenzie?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “I hope now that it is a King James after what you just said.” She opened her little red pocket New Testament to its opening page for him to evaluate.

“Good! Good!” he said. “You’ve got the right Bible. Any of the modern versions of the Bible are counterfeits that add to and take away from the Word of God.”

“When I had God and religion I saw the letters ‘N.I.V.’ on my Bible cover underneath the words

‘HOLY BIBLE,’” she said to him. “That was my Bible all the time I had the Lord in my life.”

“The N.I.V.! The New International Version!” he exclaimed. “I can see more of why things have come to this in your life, Mackenzie.”

“That’s bad, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Men of the Devil wrote that version so that the Devil can cause doubt and confusion about God’s Word,” Flanders said.

“This is good, isn’t it?” she asked, holding up her little red K.J.V. New Testament.

“It is truth,” he averred.

“I think that you were going to show me in your dining room table Bible why you thought that I lost my fun in the Lord,” she said.

“Yes. You’re right, Mackenzie,” he said. “You got me thinking about John 8:31.” They both searched this Scripture in their respective Bibles. And as he read this verse in his Bible out loud, she read this same verse in her Bible in silence with him: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;”

Mackenzie asked, “What do you think that God is saying here?”

He preached to her this verse: “He’s saying that if you keep on reading your Bible and doing all those kinds of things with God that you love to do with Him, then you’re truly saved. And He’s saying that if you lose interest in reading your Bible and doing all those things that you enjoyed doing with Him, so that you quit your Bible study and your prayer, then you were probably never really saved after all.”

‘Oh, Flanders,” she lamented, “how I loved religion in mountaintop and how I long for religion in valley.”

“Religion,” he said. “There you said it again. You say you found religion, and you lost religion.”

“That happened to me,” said Miss McKassey.

“Religion is not the way to Heaven. Only Christ is the Way to Heaven,” he told her.

“But my religion is what saved me, Flanders,” she said.

With his most unique wisdom of Jesus, he said to her, “No no no. Mackenzie, all religion is the way to Hell. Only Christ is the way to stay out of Hell. There are over 1,500 different religions in the world. There is only one Christ. Religion is ‘salvation’ by works, which is not salvation. Christianity is salvation by grace through faith, not based on works. And religion is man seeking God. But Christianity is God seeking man. Religion saves none of its people. Christ saves all of His people.”

“My my, this is an awful lot to learn about false religion and true religion all at once like this, Flanders,” said the pretty bride in white.

He paused and thought what to say next. Then he asked, “Mackenzie, who gave you that nice little red Bible?”

“Pastor did,” she said.

“He’s a good man,” said Flanders.

“He did not like my religion Bible that I brought to church, either,’” she said.

“He’s a good pastor,” said Flanders.

“Mackenzie,” he asked.

“Yes, Flanders?” she asked.

“Were you ever born again?” he asked, still looking for answers for her.

“My pastor told me I was,” she said. “Pastor led me down the Romans’ Road, and he led me line-by-line through the sinners’ prayer. And right after that, he said, ‘Congratulations, Mackenzie. You have just been born again into the family of God.’”

Flanders Nickels was at a loss for words for this moment. The testimony that this comely bride had just given was sound Biblical proof of her salvation in Christ—how she had accepted His free gift of eternal life, lock, stock, and barrel.

“What are you thinking right now, Flanders?” she asked.

“It sure sounds to me now that you got saved, Mackenzie,” he said. “And it looks like you went to a good church. Maybe you are a backslid believer and not a person lost in her sins yet.”

“Do backsliders go to Hell, Flanders?” she asked.

“No, Mackenzie,” he said. “Only the lost go to Hell.”

“Then I am a backslid believer going to Heaven,” she said. She sighed, both in relief and in longing.

“I can see that you pine for Jesus,” he said.

“And that is why He brought you and me together here at the top of the steps,” she said, with happy hopes.

In further thoughts out loud, Flanders Nickels said, “I know that Jesus promises His children that He will never leave them nor forsake them. And I know that Jesus promises the believers that He is with us always, even unto the end of the world.”

“I must have done something real bad to make a Saviour leave His daughter like He did,” said the bride in white.

“I did not want to presume before, Mackenzie, but now I must ask you, ‘Is there a sin in your life that you do not want to confess to Jesus and repent of?’” asked Flanders.

“All I know is that I want Him back, and He will not come back,” she said in despair. “I thought that you wanted to help me, Flanders.”

‘I am trying,” he said, sorry.

Then, from out of the blue, this. mysterious bride said, “I did not mean everything I said with Pastor when we prayed the prayer together. You might need to know about this, just in case.”

“You mean that you prayed the prayer of salvation, and you did not mean it?” he asked, now comprehending her situation greatly.

“Most of it I did mean when I said it,” she said in attempt at retraction.

“But some of it you did not mean,” he said.

“Only one thing there was that I did not mean, Flanders,” she said in apology.

“You blasphemed the Saviour with a pretend sinners’ prayer?” he asked, agitated.

“I feel self-conscious for having gotten you angry at me,” she said, nervous.

“I am sorry, Mackenzie,” he said. “I’ll be calm now. Forgive me.”

“I can see that you are holy—like Christ is,” she said.

“Tell me where you disagreed with your pastor and God when you prayed and asked for salvation,” he said, once again with compassion and gentleness.

“In my prayer, Pastor said for me to say to God, ‘I’m trusting You—and You alone—to save me.’ Of course, I said after him, as I was supposed to, ‘I’m trusting You—and You alone—to save me,’” said Miss McKassey.

“That must have been what you said and did not mean,” said Flanders, so greatly enlightened to her spiritual malaise of these days.

“I believe that God alone cannot save me free. I believe that I have to do my part to keep myself saved. I believe that it is up to me to keep from losing my salvation,” confessed the unbelieving bride her theology.

Very meek and very steadfast, Flanders Nickels said to her, “I believe that the Bible has something to say about just that kind of thing, Mackenzie. Are you ready to have your life’s beliefs challenged by the truth of the Word of God? Could I show you a Bible verse that might change your mind about all of these things in your head? I care for your soul, Mackenzie.”

Humbled by his demeanor, Mackenzie said, “The verses in the Bible cannot do me any harm.

I’d like to listen to what you have to say to me. I’m all yours, Flanders. And I am all God’s now, if He would give me a second chance.”

“Galatians chapter three verse three,” said Flanders. And he read to her from his open Bible: “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”

“What does that say, do you think?” asked Miss McKassey.

“It duly says in paraphrase, Mackenzie, ‘Having begun your salvation with the grace of the sinners’ prayer, are you now going to finish your salvation with the law of works?’” he edified her.

“That verse says that I am foolish,” she said. She began to play with her bangs in her hand.

“Do you believe this Bible verse?” he asked her. She answered not by way of spoken word. Then she nodded her head. Then she shook her head. Then he asked her, “So what was it that you tried to do with works to keep from losing your salvation all this time?”

“Read my Bible and pray my prayers, Flanders,” she said.

“Both of which you cannot do anymore, Mackenzie.” he said.

“Both of which I cannot do anymore,” she confessed. “And according to you, I have not lost my salvation, but instead I had never really had salvation all along in the first place.”

“You have to trust all in Jesus and none in your self when it comes to salvation,” he said.

“You make it sound all so easy,” she said. “It cannot be that easy.”

“The Devil wants to make it hard. He makes it hard for people to believe. Jesus wants to make it easy. He made it easy for all of us. Only believe, Mackenzie. Only believe,” urged Flanders.

“The Devil lies. The Lord tells the truth,” said the girl.

Flanders then asked her, “Now if you had any part whatsoever in your own salvation, then why did Jesus go and die for you on the cross?” To this she said nothing, but her silence gave evidence to serious soul-searching within. Flanders then opened up his Holy Bible to her again, and he read to her the following: “’When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.’ John 19:30.” She said naught again. He asked, “Do you believe this verse?” She nodded her head. She did not now shake her head.

She said, “I know what that verse is telling me, Flanders.”

“What’s it say to you?” he asked.

“It says that when the Lord Jesus declared, ‘It is finished,’ He meant, ‘It is finished’ indeed,” confessed the woman. “Right after He said that, He died on the cross. This Saviour of the world thereby finished His work of salvation for all the earth of all the times. Nothing can be added to the cross and nothing can be taken away from the cross when it comes to so great redemption for mankind.

As all you born-again believers walk around and say all the time, Flanders, ‘Jesus saves.’ And as I confess now, ‘Only Jesus saves.’ I now believe.”

Flanders recited now in the joys of this so happy moment, “’My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.’ John 10:27-29, girl!”

“That verse tells me that I cannot lose my salvation,” said the pretty redhead. “And now I believe it so.”

“Quite God’s promise of the eternal security of the believer,” said Flanders Nickels.

“Once saved, always saved,” said Mackenzie, “just like you told me back in the beginning of our little date together.”

“A date with another man’s bride at that,” flirted Flanders.

“A date with a bride who has no groom,” flirted Mackenzie right back at him.

“I do not know which is more beautiful—the bride or the dress,” he said.

“My wedding dress has no soul,” she said.

“The bride has a soul, though,” he said.

“Maybe it is time for the man to finish the Lord’s work for him upon that bride’s soul, O Flanders,” she said in fun, yet also in focus of her great need this day.

“Yes! Let’s!” he agreed.

For one last jest, Mackenzie said, “I must warn you, Flanders. My husband is on his way here, and he’s extremely jealous, and he’s a professional wrestler. He twists his opponents into pretzels.”

In tease, and yet in good faith, Flanders said, “I’ve got a powerful God Who will keep me safe from this all-star wrestler husband that you suddenly have, Miss McKassey.” Both laughed. Then the Christian man went on to finish his work on this attractive bride’s lost soul, to make it a saved soul.

In a quick silent prayer, he petitioned God that no interference come upon them two now that he was about to lead her sincerely through the sinners’ prayer. The wily and diabolical Devil could see what was going on now here in this hallway at the top of these stairs. He could see that a young woman was about to become a born-again Christian. He could see that he was about to lose one of his lost souls. He could see that his enemy the Good Lord was about to gain a soul. This time right now, the lost sinner bride about to pray and get saved, was right now a very most tenuous thread. Satan could so easily cut this tenuous thread with a scissors and damn her with an interruption in the midst of her sinners’ prayer. That is, the wicked one could throw a monkey wrench upon these two here in this imminent and quick little prayer of salvation, and she might begin and never finish this prayer, and she would leave here, still his own. And indeed the Devil, the prince of the power of the air, was looking down upon this second floor hallway, and he was not liking what he saw, and he would want to stop it from happening. Nothing did more glory to Jesus his enemy than the salvation of a lost soul. And only Jesus could prevail over Satan in Satan’s wicked work of damnation. The Devil sought to work fast now upon the searching and finding soul of the bride alone with Flanders. He decided that he would send an interloper wild and vicious and savage like himself. And Satan smiled with himself.

There upon the red carpet, under the comfortable yellow light, between the two walls, their feet resting upon the third step down, Flanders and Mackenzie began her sinners’ prayer, her heart now right about trusting Jesus, and Jesus alone, for her own salvation. At once she began: “Dear Father, Who art in Heaven:” Just then she thought that she heard the sound of sirens from somewhere outside

from far away. She paused. She pondered. Maybe she was just hearing things. Then she continued:

“Dear God, I come before Your throne this day a wicked lost sinner.” There were sirens out there. She could hear them. They were coming closer. And there were many of them. Fear stirred in her heart.

Were they fire trucks? Were they ambulances? Were they police cars? Where were they going? Distracted, the bride in white silk went on ahead in her sinners’ prayer: “I am sorry that I have sinned, O Lord. Please forgive me.” Lo, the sirens were here! Flashing blue and red lights she could see through the window of the door at the bottom of the stairs. The police were all here. Clamor and chaos filled the outside here just out back of this building.

Flanders, calm in the Holy Spirit, bade her, “Do continue, Mackenzie.”

Mackenzie continued, “O Lord, work Thy Holy Spirit within me to help me to turn from my sins. I am changing my mind and my heart about sin in my life. Help me to repent, O God.” Just then utter destruction crashed into this building down below. It was as if a car had driven right into the brick walls. Bricks were falling down there. Dust filled the entrance-way down there. She saw two bright headlights shining through that inside door with the window. Indeed a car had crashed into this building! And many law officers were down there in a great battle against a great adversary.

Flanders said, “Mackenzie, attend.” There was a tone of panic in his voice for her.

She attended. And she resumed her prayer: “Thy gospel, O Lord, I now claim as my own personal saving gospel. Verily Thy Son—God the Son and the Son of God—died on the cross for me.

And verily He also arose the third day back unto life forevermore.”

Just then a raucous voice yelled out up at her in a racket, “Little Sister!” And this man’s ugly voice then hurled a curse up the stairs to her. Mackenzie jerked herself up to her feet in fright. There at the bottom of the twenty-four stairs was her big brother Burleigh, himself in the midst of several police officers and himself prevailing against the numbers.

With the authority of God and with the compassion of Christ, Flanders Nickels said to Mackenzie McKassey, “Do sit back down.”

She sat back down and resumed her prayer: “It is the blood of Christ Jesus that He shed for me that saves me now, O Father God. There is nothing that I can do or try to do that needs to make sure of the salvation that Thy cross gives me now. No one can lose the salvation that You give.” She paused. It was time now for her to say the line that she had lied with in that first sinners’ prayer. This time she believed, though. Now she knew. That line was perfect truth. She would say it now without hesitation.

Just then Big Brother yelled out more curses. He then said, “Little Sis,’ they’re after me again! Didn’t I tell you to stay away from Jesus? Follow me and let us find Beelzebub the prince of the devils! Little Sis’! Little Sis’!” Behold, burly Burleigh broke free from the group of policemen down there, and he began to run up the stairs in a frenzy of fury! He was a veritable demon. He was a demon-possessed man. He had come from the Devil.

In fear for her life, the bride in white, standing again, began to backpedal a few steps to get away from crazy Big Brother. But in so doing, she also took steps backward away from the place where she had been praying.

Not knowing what else to do, Flanders took one step down these stairs and hoped to shield the girl from the wild man with his own little thin form in between.

Miss McKassey saw all of this happening all at once, and she knew now what she needed to do the very most of all the things she needed to do. She came back to her sinner’s prayer and prayed in truth the line that she had been running away from in her old life of false religion: “O Good Lord Jesus, I hereby trust You—and You alone—for this my so great salvation.”

She dared to look now at the bedlam. And she saw big Burleigh throw himself ferociously right at little Flanders where he stood. The girl could not look. She turned away. She choked on her breath.

She resumed prayer, “I ask Thee, O Jesus, to save my soul.” With a gasp, she turned back around to dare look. Behold, the squad of policemen now had the mastery over the mighty wild man. Flanders was yet intact, now standing there just a couple steps down. An act of God must have kept him from being knocked back up these couple steps and landing upon his bottom or worse up here in this hallway. The police were now overpowering the raving giant, and they were dragging him back down the staircase. And now Big Brother was halfway back down the stairs. Burleigh yelled out, “They’re hauling me away again, Sis!’”

She and Flanders looked at each other in this pandemonium. She came back to her prayer now.

And she said to God, “Please become now my personal Saviour.”

The police squad then had Burleigh at the bottom of the stairs, and they got the handcuffs out.

The burly man yelled out to Flanders, “I’m coming after you, little man!”

And Mackenzie McKassey gloriously finished her sinners’ prayer, “In Thy name I pray. Amen.”

And now the police had Burleigh handcuffed—indeed with three handcuffs. The demon-possessed man was a danger no more. And the De Pere police hauled him away in a wagon.

The bride and her spiritual mentor were now all alone again in this second floor hallway, and all was again quiet in the Lord. “Whew!” said Flanders.

“Yeah. Wooo!” said Mackenzie.

“That was something,” he said.

“I lied when I said that I had a jealous husband, Flanders,” she said.

‘It is a jealous brother that you have,” he said.

“He escaped from Brown County again,” she said.

“Brown County Sanitarium,” he said. She nodded. “Woe,” he said.

“Whoa,” she said. “I’m sorry for that trouble he brought here, Flanders.”

In joy Flanders Nickels said, “But I do believe that I heard you pray the sinners’ prayer—all of it, girl.”

“I did. Didn’t I, Flanders?” she said, in victory in the Lord. “And that was even with the devil here with us.”

“The Lord is more powerful than the Devil,” said Flanders.

“I’m on my way to Heaven now and not on my way to Hell now,” she said.

“You’ve become a born-again believer now, Mackenzie,” he said.

“I’ve got the Lord back in my heart again,” she said. “Only this time it is for real and for good and for ever.”

“Indeed, woman, not only for the rest of this life, but also for forever in the life to come,” said Flanders Nickels.

She looked upon her most pure white wedding gown that she could scarcely remember having put on and that she did not know from where it had come. And Mackenzie McKassey said, “I can only say, Flanders, that it must have been Jesus Who dressed me in this. I am somebody’s bride today. Am I the bride of Christ?”

“Praise God for the belief of a bride,” said Flanders Nickels.

He then sat back down upon the red carpet at the top of the steps, and he proffered a space to his left for her to sit back down there again and join him in fellowship. She sat down beside him in fellowship here in this hallway. She said, “Flanders, it was a most peculiar Bible verse that brought me here at your door.”

“Do I know it?” he asked.

“I was hoping that you could explain it to me,” she said.

“Which verse is it?” he asked.

“It’s the verse Revelation 19:7,” she told him.

He recited this Scripture with great wisdom: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

“You know it,” she said.

“And I can explain it to you,” he said. And he preached eschatology to her: “Fair Mackenzie, you are indeed the bride of Christ. You are a bride of Christ. So am I. All the born-again Christians—those believers who make up Christ’s New Testament church—are the bride of Christ. And that makes our Christ our Bridegroom, Mackenzie. The Lamb Who is mentioned here is, of course, Christ, the Groom of His church. What is this ‘marriage of the Lamb’ going to be like? We are not told anymore about this in the Bible. We are just told that it will happen in Heaven. You and I will have to wait to get There to find out how good it will be. And what God means in this verse where it says, ‘And his wife hath made herself ready,’ that means that she has been judged by Jesus at the Reward Seat, and her works were judged righteously as gold and silver and precious stones. And His wife’s wedding gown will be adorned by this gold and this silver and these precious stones.”

“How good it is to be saved now, so that I am to be the bride of the Lamb,” Miss McKassey praised the Lord.

“Bridal dresses become a woman so beautifully, Mackenzie,” he said. “I always had a crush on women in bridal gowns.”

“Like mine, too, Flanders?” she asked.

“Especially like yours, Mackenzie,” he said.

“Like me, too, Flanders?” she asked about whether he had a crush on her as he did her wedding dress.

“Like you especially, Mackenzie,” he said.

She stood up, spun in place in the hallway, and declared herself, “Fairy princess bride!”

“Would you walk with me this night, Mackenzie?” he asked her.

“How can I turn down the cute guy who led me to salvation?” she said.

“I can show you off to everybody as my bride, but you won’t be my wife,” he said.

“This girl would be honored to pretend to be your bride, O Flanders,” she said without hesitation.

He now also stood up. He proffered his right arm to his “bride,” and his “bride” gave him her left arm. “Shall we go out together into the night?” he asked.

“We surely shall, Flanders Nickels,” said Mackenzie McKassey.

“Praise God for my new girlfriend,” he said about his bride for the evening.

“I’m just glad that my big brother did not make it all the way to the top of the stairs,” she said.

“I’m just glad that he’s not your husband,” said Flanders.

“This single life is a blessing,” said the woman.

“It is a proper gift of God,” said the man.

“Amen, Flanders,” said the believing bride.

“Amen, O bride of Christ,” said Flanders Nickels.

 


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