We Are Asleep

| A review of Wake the Bride by Jeff Kinley |

  • 216 pages (including notes)
  • Published by Harvest House in 2015
  • A book everyone should read – whether you believe in God or not.
  • Especially encouraging for the church!
Who is the bride? The Theme and an Explanation of the Title

The love story between Christ and His church is structured just like a traditional Jewish marriage. There’s a betrothal, then the groom goes back to his father’s house to add on a home for himself and his bride (John 14, anyone?), then at an undisclosed time he comes back for his bride and there’s a ceremony, making the marriage official. In the church’s relationship to Christ, we’re at the point where He’s back at His Father’s house building a home for us, and when He’s done, He’ll come back for us – at any time. (Check out chapter 5 in this book for more amazing detail about that!)

The church – the Bride – (those who trust in Christ alone for salvation) is falling asleep, forgetting Who it is we love and that we need to be looking for Him to return. And this book points us to God’s call in His word to wake up because our Bridegroom is coming!

Jeff Kinley writes this book for those who want to know what’s going on these days and how they can live their lives when it looks like the world is nearing its end: “Chances are you’re one of those curious souls not satisfied with being left in the dark, imagining, guessing, hoping. You’re hungry for some concrete confidence concerning the last days of planet Earth and the return of Jesus Christ. [P] This book will help satisfy that hunger. It fills that void where your voyeuristic curiosity dwells, replacing it with knowledge and truth” (pp. 10).


My general {short} opinion: Like his book The Prophecy Pros Illustrated Guide to Tough Questions about the End Times written with Todd Hampson, it’s written with unique clarity and a laser focus on the truth of God’s word. There’s no padding out with “nifty illustrations” or flippant funny stories. It’s to the point, going through the book of Revelation, promise by promise, warning by warning, exhortation by exhortation for the church – from Christ to His bride – all with the same purpose: to be ready and looking for Him to come back for her. He points this out in the introduction: “Revelation was written to the church and for the church.”


The Long(er) Review

{If you want more quotes and details on structure and content, read on.}

Jeff Kinley structures (and introduces) the book as a mountain climb up the peak of Revelation: it won’t be a breeze, it will require preparation and research, and the top is attainable if you just take it step by step. End times prophecy can be intimidating, but this book proves that understanding it isn’t out of reach. “You think if you try, you might not make it to the top and comprehend God’s prophetic plan. [P] But others have been there and know the way. You won’t walk alone on this journey. Together, we’ll make the climb, and Scripture will be our personal guide…” (pp. 22).

Like in his book with Todd Hampson, he makes the subject accessible – acknowledging that there are hurdles and complications to make it through, but that it’s God’s purpose to reveal truth: “Yes, Revelation can be a foreboding mountain… But you can understand it. This book will be somewhat of a hike, one that involves exploring the clues God has scattered throughout Scripture and history” (pp. 23).

And, beginning in chapter two, we really dive into the book and start climbing the mountain!

The first leg of the climb (chapter two) introduces us to the Bridegroom, described in Revelation one: “…in the midst of the seven lampstands [was] One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire: His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” Each description in these verses is unpacked and cross-referenced in this chapter. When we look at this, we realize that He’s not the baby in the manger anymore, and we need to wake up and remember! Jeff reminds us that our Bridegroom is God – even John, who knew Him in person on earth, falls at His feet “as dead” when he sees Him – so I think we probably will, too… “our first reaction upon seeing the glorified Christ in heaven will be to fall on our faces in profound wonder and worship” (pp 35).

This is our Bridegroom – our Savior and God – the most glorious and only perfect being in all of time and space (and outside of them)! It’s hard to believe we have such wonder awaiting us – such love and glory.

In chapter three of the book we pass by and examine the letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3, especially Laodicea – the lukewarm church, who was definitely drowsy – and why this problem begins with individual Christians falling out of love with their Bridegroom. “Travel to Laodicea today and all you’ll find are rubble and ruins. But far worse than their landscape is their legacy. Jesus didn’t care about their banks, wool, or medical school. He cared about her–– the apple of His eye. The love of His heart. The church. His bride. [P] As we prepare ourselves for the return of the bridegroom, we must guard ourselves from living like lukewarm Laodiceans. Instead, let’s clothe ourselves with the Wedding Dress of pure love for Him” (pp. 55).

Then we lift our eyes to The Blessed Hope: the Rapture, and climb a bit further in chapters 4 and 5 of the book. What’s coming next for the church, and why does it matter? “‘Is what we have come to know as the Rapture legit or not?’… [P] The answer to this question is of monumental importance. If the events depicted in Revelation 6-`19 are still future, and if there is no rapture, then believers are destined to endure the horrible judgments and plagues God sends upon the earth during the… Great Tribulation. So it is not a belief to be easily dismissed” (pp. 57). We take a close look at what the Bible says about Christ coming back for His church, just why He’s doing it, and what it will be like – defying gravity!

Here’s a quote from 1 Thessalonians 4 – the classic Rapture passage: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Jeff writes, “You can mock or dismiss the Rapture, but you cannot deny that when it occurs, it will send the world into mass panic… [P] However, for believers, it will be just the opposite experience. There will be peace instead of panic. Transformation instead of terror. Celebration, not confusion. Those Christians who are caught up will meet Jesus face-to-face, the mere thought of which brings us rapturous joy” (pp. 80).

Amen!

Examining the Rapture matters, because: we need to know it’s the next thing coming for the church, and, because of that, the judgments of the Great Tribulation in Revelation 6-18 are more briefly examined in Wake the Bride in chapters 8-9. Jeff’s focus is on what awaits the Bride.

The next stop on the mountain brings us to the glorious future of the Bride in chapter 6: rewards at the Bema seat. But the book focuses on the important, central theme of even our rewards, and that is Jesus Christ – those rewards are for His glory – and it inspired me as a reader, rather than dragging me down with regret. It’s a chapter of correcting perspective: “When considering how great our God is, and Revelation’s vision of His regal glory and infinite worth, we are naturally captivated with awe. As a result, bringing honor to this God becomes our greatest passion and pursuit. Seeing who Jesus really is produces wonder, admiration, respect, amazement, astonishment, reverence, esteem, and worship. And the practical ‘so what’ of that filters down into our everyday lives in tangible ways” (pp. 96).

Then in chapter 7 it’s back to Revelation chapters 4 and 5, and the Throne! That’s the most jolting call to wake up, realizing that this glory of God is real, and that one day the Bride will be there singing, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” I get goosebumps thinking about it!

In chapter 10 we continue to look into our glorious future as we gaze in wonder at Revelation 19, the Return of Christ to earth in power and glory at Armageddon. “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns,” is how He’s described in verses 11-12. This is when the earth is cleansed in judgment by the Son of God – and His Bride will be with Him: “Mere words and human emotion are insufficient to describe what we will be feeling on that day. But this we do know. Unlike past military heroes who have… ridden furiously into the face of the enemy, there will be no apprehension or fear for us. Descending from the sky that day, our fright will have long been replaced by confidence and holy zeal” (pp. 159).

We won’t be disturbed by the unrelenting justice He portions out to the condemned, as we’ll be glorified ourselves and understand His perfection, even in His judgments. But if the instant death and damnation of millions of souls at Armageddon doesn’t motivate us to share the gospel now, then we’re definitely asleep.

Then we reach the top in my favorite two chapters: heaven and hope. Chapter 11 in the book examines our eternal future, being in the presence of God, and how it could never compare to anyone’s personal idea of heaven. People try to make heaven a place filled with their greatest desires – golf courses or ice cream or cats – but how can we improve on the actual promise of God that we’ll be in His perfect unveiled presence? “Even Heaven itself is described this way: ‘the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.’ [P] But imagine for a moment that this was the only thing we knew about heaven––that God is there and that we’ll be with Him. [P] Would that be enough for you?” (pp. 175).

Jeff finds (and quotes) many references from Scripture which describe heaven, and the reality is mind-blowing.

All of these truths are here to WAKE US UP! Chapter 12, ‘The Beauty Awakes,’ is about Christ’s Bride remembering who she is, and living like it – now. We’ve made it to the mountain top and see what God’s plan is for the church, and it’s a truly glorious plan, filled with victory, peace, joy, and the love and presence of God! The time we spend on this fading planet is short – so short in light of the eternal joy that awaits us – we need to spend it being alert and active… not asleep.

“You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.'” Revelation 22:20

“Jesus’s voice today trumpets reveille to a drowsy bride… The voice is a familiar one. We’ve heard it thousands of times before… It’s that same voice calling to us right now, awakening us to a new day in our life with Him. Wake up. Rise up. Look up! And it’s a voice we will hear again, maybe soon. A voice calling us skyward. Beloved, behold, your bridegroom comes. Wake up bride! Make yourself ready!” (pp. 197).


My Takeaway

Reading this book did help wake me up. But not in the unpleasant sort of way, like when your alarm goes off in the morning and you have to drag yourself out of a warm, soft bed. It’s more like this: you’re having a dream – an okay dream, where you get to do a lot of fun things, but it’s hard sometimes, and you feel like something’s missing, like there should be more to your life, more meaning – then you suddenly jolt awake and realize that Jesus could literally be coming any second! Your brain whirls with joy, excitement, thankfulness, and feeling of, “I don’t have enough time to do what God has me here to do!”

Waking up to the reality of what Jesus Christ has promised for His Bride, for the church, and of the eternal joy that awaits us, is the greatest comfort and motivation possible. It gives me courage, hope and joy, no matter what life brings.

This book is for “those curious souls not satisfied with being left in the dark” – for us members of the body of Christ, and for anyone who wants their days on this earth to count (just put your faith in Jesus Christ alone and join us in waiting for Him)! And I hope you’ll pick it up, and be amazed and jolted awake by the promises of God examined inside it’s pages.

You can find Jeff’s book anywhere books are sold – I recommend Harvest House Publishers or ThriftBooks. And you can find him on Instagram @jeff.kinley and @prophecyprospodcast, or on his website jeffkinley.com.


Thanks for reading! And remember you can find me at Generation 23:00 on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor, Rumble, YouTube and Telegram, and Anna.gen2300 on Instagram to keep up with me and the truly amazing promises I find every day in God’s word!

I’ll catch you next time – unless the Rapture comes first.

Published by ambassadoranna

My grandpa went to be with the Lord – My family's always been interested in Bible prophecy – So we all looked for hope in the rapture of the church, when we would see him again. And, boy, do world events seem to be lining up with Bible prophecy more than ever before! (Except when Jesus came the first time, 2,000 years ago.) It was always my mom who was interested in Bible prophecy and Israel and the events of Revelation and Daniel. In my Bible study, I've always focused almost exclusively on the New Testament truths of how free is our salvation through faith in Christ alone, and the unshakable identity we receive in Him. And, honestly, other things have claimed my attention throughout most of my Christian life... But now! The future promises of God to Israel, the Church and the world are MIND BLOWING – and they are just on the verge of HAPPENING! I can't get enough of Middle East news and what the Bible says about it, and what God tells us about His chosen witnesses: Israel and the Church. The "last hour" of 1 John looks like it is in it's last few minutes... Are we ready?

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