About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
According to Revelation
2:1, Jesus walks among our churches.
That verse reads:
"To the angel of
the church in
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
"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
"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
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
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
Church belongs to Jesus.
It's His building project and He will do as He pleases to protect what
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