Today, Saturday February 05
“I Will Remove Your Lampstand” Revelation 2:4-5
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent.”
The church at Ephesus was warned by the Lord that if they didn’t respond to His message and repent that He would quickly come and remove the lampstand. This should be a warning to every church today! When we lose our witness and testimony as a church it is possible that the Lord Himself will put the light out. The building might still be standing. The preacher might still be preaching. The choir might still be singing. The people might still be coming. The programs might still be going on! But the Light has been put out.
No one is getting saved anymore. There is no viable and effective witness in the community for the Lord. This for sure is the sad commentary for many churches today! And many more have shut the doors and the buildings are up for sale! And this can happen to any church!
I can remember years ago that some young believers, who were on fire for the Lord and had become very active in the first church I was pastor of, begin to notice that in the summer time many of the mainline Protestant churches in our community did not have services in the summer. They mentioned to me how sad it was that they didn’t meet in the summer. My response was that I thought it was even sadder that they were open the rest of year because they didn’t preach the gospel or care about lost souls. They had become a social club for people meet at and because they didn’t believe that the Bible was the Word of God they sat around and discussed the social, cultural and economic issues of the day.
I believe that the Lord would rather that a community be without a church and be in the dark than to have a group of people who called themselves a church but did not have the life and power of the Holy Spirit living in and through its members!
You can also see this same basic message to the last church at Laodicea. When Jesus looked at that church, He noticed that they were neither cold nor hot but were lukewarm. Jesus said this made Him sick, so much that He would vomit them out of His mouth. Jesus said He would rather that they were either cold or that they were hot. In other words, that they were so cold as far as spiritual things were concerned no one would even think that they were Christians. They would have no identity with Jesus Christ! Or He wished they were so hot spiritually that it would be obvious to everyone that they genuinely were followers of Jesus Christ and loved Him with all their heart.
The greatest obstacle between a lost person and Christ is not false doctrine but is someone who says they are a Christian but doesn’t live like it! We call these people hypocrites! They keep more people from coming to Jesus than anything else! I have read, as a young man, Mahatma Gandhi said that after studying all the religions of the world seeking the truth, that he would have become a Christian until he met some. How sad!
It is so important that the believers and our churches have bright lights shining forth the love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to the world around us! This is the message that John is giving to the seven churches in Asia but is as crucial for us today! The Church is the body of Jesus Christ in this world. We are His hands, His feet, His mouth, His love, His grace, His mercy, His kindness, His generosity, and we are His message to the community around us. Jesus said that the world would know that we are his disciples because we love one another!
Today, Jesus is asking us to repent so we can be filled with His Holy Spirit and show the world Who Jesus really is! May the Lord help us!!!!!