Meditations From the Heart
I am meditating in the Book of Revelations and I am currently reading in chapter 3. As I read the various statements our Lord Jesus made to the seven churches, I wondered what He would say about my church that I attend. If I were brave I would ask. Then, who am I that the Lord Jesus would entrust His message about my church to me? I can ask Him about myself. How am I doing?
I have noticed that the Lord Jesus made pronouncements of Himself to each church as they were related to the needs of the church. He stated who He is, signifying He knows the issues and He is capable of correcting each one.
He started with the church at Ephesus. The Lord Jesus said, “These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:” The Lord Jesus is saying He holds the seven angels of the seven churches (ch 1:20) in His right hand. His right denotes strength. He walks among the seven churches. In other words, He is seeing all that is going on in the churches. He is observing the happenings, the activities in the churches, and He is looking closely at the hearts of the individuals which make up each church. When He speaks, He knows about what He is talking. He is speaking from firsthand knowledge – what He has observed, seen and heard in the churches. I am sure the Lord is doing the same today – walking amongst the churches (the church gatherings).
In the church of Ephesus, the Lord Jesus saw their works, their labor, their patience, their intolerance for evil, (Oh, how we need that today.) their diligence to the faith, their perseverance. He saw how they labored for His Name sake; how they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans. However, He did not see love for Him among them. They had lost their first love they had for Him. He tells them if they do not repent, and do the first works (which they did when they first believed). He will remove their church from its place. He is walking among the churches. Think of the things you did when you first got saved. What motivated you to do those things. Love for your Lord? Are you doing those things today?
To the Church of Smyrna, the Lord Jesus said, “These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:” The Lord Jesus is walking in the midst of the churches, so He knows the Church of Smyrna. He knows their tribulation, their poverty, (but they are rich spiritually). He knows the fake ones among them. He knows the trouble that is ahead of them. He tells them not to fear. Some of them will be thrown into prison. He assures them their tribulation is temporary. He challenges them to “be faithful unto death”. Why should they be comforted and not be afraid? The first thing He said to them was He is “the First and the Last who was dead, and came to life”. They can trust Him for their eternal life. He lives and they will live also.
To the Church in Pergamos the Lord said, “These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword”. In Hebrew chapter 4:12 The Word of God is described as being “…….sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. Walking among the churches, the Lord knows their works, and He knows where they dwell. He knows they are dwelling in the midst of the enemy’s territory. He knows they have held “fast” to His Name. He knows they have not denied His faith. He also knows there are those in the church who taught and practiced false doctrine. Such as eating foods sacrificed to idols, and practicing immorality. The Lord Jesus has the Word of God in his mouth. He called on those ones to repent, or else He will fight against them with the Word of God. Notice that the Lord will not fight against all of the members of that church, only those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. (Do a search online of the Nicolaitans.)
This is a warning or encouragement for us today. If there is false teaching or practices in your local church, do not adhere to the false teaching. Do not partake in the evil practices. Stand firm with the Word of God, pray for your fellow members and speak out against the evil if you can. It is the Word of God that will correct false teaching and wayward practices within the churches.
Let us place more value on the Word of God in our living and in our churches.