Read: Revelation 3
More churches. More evaluations. Got to get these performance reviews done and turned in before the beginning of the new year. Chapter 2 of Revelation presented us with the first 4 reviews. Chapter 3 contains the last 3.
How come only 7? There were more churches than that at the time, right? 7 is sort of the magic number in this book. 7 is said to be a number that represents completeness; as in 7 days in the week. Try not to get too hung up on the details.
Each church is given its own, individual report. Each church’s strengths and weaknesses are unique. Their particular struggles and successes are interesting to read about. You even might find something that is applicable to your own congregation. Does your congregation have a stance in regard to the Nicolatians? Do you even know what a Nicolatian is?
How helpful is it to read somebody else’s report card?
Maybe we shouldn’t get too hung up on the details. Maybe the point is simply to illustrate the continued involvement of the Savior in the affairs of the local churches. He doesn’t want them to simply go on cruise-control. That’s too easy to do; to get into a groove, which is dug into a rut. Churches are not renowned for the ability to reevaluate and readjust. The old formula of doing things the same way that they didn’t work before is sort of a notorious characteristic.
I don’t think that Jesus wants to make us nervous. He just wants to keep us on our toes.
We as individuals, likewise, have a tendency to go on auto-pilot and to stop thinking about what we do or why we do it. Inertia takes over our lives too easily.
This doesn’t mean that we have to be in a constant state of change either. Novelty becomes a sort of habit too; a rut you can fall into. If one proceeds thoughtfully and prayerfully, then hopefully a lot of things will remain consistent because they were not begun unreflectively. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. But other things change. To be reliable and consistent and yet flexible in a hard balance to strike. Our Lord is constantly throwing paradoxes at us. At least that can keep us from getting dug too deep in our ruts. He makes life interesting.