About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Knocking On Church's Door


Revelation 2 and 3 record some important things that Jesus told seven specific churches in the Roman province of Asia Minor near the end of the first century.  I would like to connect something He told the first church with what He told the last church.  I'm not saying Jesus had this connection in mind when He said these things, only that it has recently crossed my mind.


Revelation 2:5 reads:


"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."


The community of believers at Ephesus to whom the above statement was written had drifted far away from the love they once had for Jesus.  Church, although doctrinally pretty good, became routine, and routine can easily kill heart-felt devotion.  If this laxity did not change, Jesus would remove their lampstand, which according to Revelation 1:20 is their church.  They would remain as an organizational shell of a church, but that's not a legitimate church.  This leads me to what Jesus told the last of these seven churches.


Revelation 3:20 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."


The above verse portrays Jesus standing outside of the church in Laodicea , knocking at its door.  He was not inside where He belonged.  This church morphed into a self-sufficient shell of an organization so Jesus was asking anyone inside who wanted to be with Him to come out before He spit the church out of His mouth. 


Here is the relevant question for today's western-world church.  Has church become an organizational shell of a church, so routine, so self-sufficient that it has pushed Jesus outside of its door?  Knocking on the church's door is no place for Jesus to be.  Like any local expression of church in your city that has become an organizational shell of a church, sooner or later that shell crumbles away until it is buried in the obscurity of an ecclesiastical graveyard.    

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