About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Jesus Shuts Down Church


According to Revelation 2:1, Jesus walks among our churches.  That verse reads:   


"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands."   


Revelation 1:20 defines lampstand to be church, and thus, Jesus strolls among the church.  Have you ever wondered what crosses Jesus' mind on His walks?  Revelation 2 and 3 answers this question and it's not necessarily pretty.  Revelation 2:4 reads:


"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first."


Jesus can hold things against church.  On this occasion He did not like this church loosing its heartfelt love it once had for Him.  It sounds like church got routine, and routine can kill passion.  This church needed to repent or else face its demise, as seen in Revelation 2:5.


"Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place."


Removing their lampstand means that Jesus would cause this church to cease to exist.  It might well exist organizationally as a shell of a lifeless church, but a shell of a lifeless church is not a church. 


In Revelation 3:20 we see Jesus standing outside of the church, trying to get its attention by knocking on its door.  Outside of church is not where Jesus should be.  The verse reads:


"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."


Jesus did not appeal to this church but to individuals in the church.  He would restore fellowship with repentant individuals before He spit the church out of His mouth.  After shutting this church down, He would birth a new church with the repentant believers.


Church belongs to Jesus and so He will do as He pleases to protect His interest in church.  Revelation 2:10 reads:


"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor's crown."


Jesus can use satanic persecution as a test to purify His church.  We must, then, be very careful who we blame when church is persecuted.  It could well be a test from Jesus Himself, so we must respond appropriately.    


Church belongs to Jesus.  It's His building project and He will do as He pleases to protect what is His.  He is not so insecure that He is afraid to painfully renovate church, or if necessary, shut it down and rebuild a new one in its place. 

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