Question: Many are teaching that the church must be united and purified before Christ can return. Is that biblical?
Response: It is neither biblical nor logical that the small fraction of the church that is alive on earth at the time of the Rapture must have attained to a status that was unknown by Christians who have died in order to join them at that heavenly marriage to our Lord. Yes, the Bride is made ready and robed in white linen (Rv 19:7-8)—but the Bride is the entire church. If this purification is a prerequisite for being raptured, then what about those who died before the Rapture? Clearly, they must be “made ready” after they get to heaven. Then why wouldn’t this happen to all Christians up there, rather than on the earth?
Surely this final cleansing can only take place at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor:5:10) when we give account to our Lord, our works are tried in the fire (1 Cor:3:11-15) and we are rewarded or suffer loss. There is no biblical basis for a “last-days revival” that will make Christians worthy to be raptured to heaven. We are worthy of heaven through Christ’s finished work alone. Moreover, the Bible speaks of the last-days church as apostate (2 Thes:2:3). Christ even questions whether He will find faith on the earth when He returns (Lk 18:8). Even the wise fall asleep while the bridegroom tarries (Mt 25:5). Hardly the “last-days revived church”! Let us therefore watch and be ready for our Lord!