Should we ignore what God says to the churches? If the shoes don’t fit, we don’t have to wear them. But what if they do fit?
With the pandemic, I wonder if many people who call themselves Christian have embarrassed themselves because their faith has been tested and found to be false. Of course, there are countless exceptions—like the thousands of Jews that Elijah didn’t know had not bowed to Baal. But generally speaking, the judgment in Revelation might be appropriate for some Christian organizations. We call them nonprofit ministries, but I wonder how many times God will say in judgment, “I never knew you.”
I’m afraid that some have not stood for what is right and have yielded to social pressure and official declarations made without laws being passed. Have we behaved like cowards who don’t know God, acting upon human discretion instead of hearing God’s voice? In our great desire to please our congregations, paying salaries, and meeting expenses, we might have missed the target of pleasing the Lord.
Have our ministries improved so much that we don’t deserve what God said to the churches 2,000 years ago? Just possibly, or maybe probably, some of the words in Revelation could apply to the church establishment today.
You have abandoned the great passion you had for me in the beginning. Look up, and see how far you have fallen (Revelation 2:4–5).
You have embraced the pursuit of fleshly pleasures like Balaam (Revelation 2:14).
You allowed that woman Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess, to teach, enticing my servants to commit prostitution and eat the food of idols (Revelation 2:20).
I know what you have done, that you have a reputation for being alive, but actually you are mostly dead. Wake up and nurture what little life you have, which is close to death, for your deeds have not been in complete obedience to what God wants (Revelation 3:1–2).
Since you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth like vomit. While you say, “I am rich, my business is thriving, and I have everything I could want,” you don’t realize how pitifully poor, blind, and naked you are, spiritually destitute (Revelation 3:16–17).
Remember, God is addressing church people with these words, not outsiders.
If the shoe fits, we might ask why.
On Judgment Day, many will say, “Lord, didn’t we prophesy, cast out evil spirits, and do many wonderful deeds in your name?” Then I will tell them, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you disobedient lawbreakers.” — Matthew 7:22, The Discussion Bible