“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write “‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 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.” Rev. 2:1
The Lord in His crystal clear, stern, emphatic, and powerful warning to the churches in the Bible’s Book of Revelation does not focus on the expense and beauty of their church buildings, how elaborately and attractively their stages were set up for their choirs, whether their songs hit the top 10 in the Christian music charts, how many studies they did and companies they hired to help them with church growth, who cooked what for their church picnics and who showed up, which coffees they should and shouldn’t sell at their church coffee shops, which pastors were making the most money and which ones needed a raise, how they did at their latest car wash to raise money for missions, or which churches joined together to start up the latest movement or denomination and which churches left which denomination over all the in-fighting over should they or shouldn’t they stick to the Bible or make up their own rules to live and play by, etc. But isn’t this what so many churches and congregants are caught up in today?
Please take the time to read through the Lord’s words to the churches in the Book of Revelation. Please take the time to read the Bible in its entirety. Study it daily, diligently, and devotedly. Not merely to read it. But to live by it. For the glory of God.
Jesus’ words weren’t to one group of people in one church building. They were to the Body of Christ, to His followers, to believers in Him, location by location. But His words weren’t just to them. They are also to us. Words of love! Words of warning! Words of we-better-get-or-acts-together or else!
What matters to the Lord, friend? What matters concerning His church? His Body of followers? Is it possible that far too many of us have become far too consumed with the things the Lord never told us to concern ourselves with while we’re neglecting the things that really matter to Him?
God cares about our thoughts. Our hearts. Our feelings. Our words. Our actions. That we have turned from our sins, believe in Jesus as Lord who died to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, truly turning our lives over to God and His ways. God’s ways aren’t about what flavor coffee we serve to entice people through the door of churches nor how many lights, how much smoke, and how many videos we play on video screens to excite and engage and delight the people in the pews.
In fact, is it possible much of what we’re doing in modern day churches is actually dishonoring to God? That it even offends Him? That it sickens and repulses and even grieves Him? That He might even call it sin? Is it not time that we humble ourselves before the Lord and seek His face about what we’re doing in the churches? And in our own individual lives? In our families? In our communities? In this world? In this life?
I can’t speak for God, but He can speak for Himself in His Word. And His Word shows us what matters to God, what is right, what honors and pleases Him – and what does not.
Read the Bible, friend. Continually. Live by it. And as for what’s going on in the churches, love, honor, and obey God. Even if that means walking away from the church you’ve been attending and going to the one to which He is calling you. Let His Spirit lead the way. His Spirit who always leads in line with His Word.