Although I plead that I do not know much about ancient Jewish wedding customs, I have been told by reliable sources that the bridegroom would arrive at an unspecified time, usually during the night, to gather his bride and proceed to the wedding ceremonies.
Assuming this is true, and I believe it is, then truly, our holy Bridegroom may come at any time, like a thief in the night. (Reference I Thessalonians 5:2.)
Does this passage signify the end of the world? Quite the contrary! The Bridegroom comes like a thief in the night to gather his bride to Himself, and He has another mission while he is retrieving her!
My Jewish sources tell me that during the binding engagement period, the bride would ready herself for their new life together. Just as the brides in ancient times readied themselves, and were also watchful in anticipation for the arrival of the bridegroom, we are readying ourselves for our new life. The Bridegroom is with us in Spirit helping our every move!
Jesus, our Bridegroom, is helping us prepare for the marriage by taking away our sins, any thought, word, or action that would come between His Bride and God. As we reflect on our sins, anything outside the will of God, and confess them with a true heart, our Bridegroom “steals” them away through the Spirit of God. He helps us overcome the sources of our transgressions. Our Holy Bridegroom helps us to build a better life, with Jesus Christ as our spiritual Bridegroom.
Jesus performs this holy ritual to each individual and to the world as a community, in spirit, as we relinquish our sinful nature to His care. It does not matter how many sins we have committed, or when we decide to make a commitment to our Lord. He is ready to help us overcome this world’s sin. Together, the Bridegroom and His Bride are preparing themselves for a new and better life together. Does that mean the end of the world? Or does it signify the end of the world as we know it?
How do I know this? This is not specifically spelled out in the Bible, after all. It is embedded in scripture, and it has been happening to me. Think about it! Has it been happening to you?