If you wanted to manage individuals employing worry and dark threats, you could grow to be a Sith Lord, or you could take the very good promises of Jesus, turn them inside out, and use them to terrorize God’s kids. Let me give you an instance:
Unless you repent, I will come to you and get rid of your lampstand out of its spot. (Rev. two:five)
What does that imply? It sounds scary. I’d much better do what ever the man of God tells me. And bam, there goes your freedom. Hi ho, hi ho, it is off to perform we go.
In the investigation I did for Letters from Jesus, I study dozen of commentaries and was frequently horrified by how this very good guarantee was interpreted. What does it imply to get rid of your lampstand? Apparently it implies Jesus is going to close your church or kill your pastor. Yes, I really study that.
“How dreadful are the punishments of Christ!” stated a particular Victorian minister. “He may perhaps take away your minister and he may perhaps also take away the light of his word.”
(Assume about that for a second: If you do not repent, the man up front gets whacked by Jesus. Tends to make best sense.)
Sadly, this was par for the course. The lovely letters from Jesus are routinely interpreted in such a way to make us afraid of the 1 who sent them. That is why I wrote my book to show you that every thing says and does is lovely and beautiful and that he cares for you.
What does it imply to get rid of a lampstand?
Modify is coming. If the Ephesians do not alter, Jesus will alter them. If they do not return to him, he will come to them and carry them to a new spot.
A lot of interpret the lampstand passage as a vague but dire warning to the Ephesians. “God will get rid of the light of his word. Their lamp will be snuffed out.” But Jesus does not say he will punish or extinguish them. He does not even say he will get rid of them, with all the adverse connotations that implies. A literal reading of his words indicates he will move them out of their spot. Considering the fact that they are in a poor spot of loveless exhaustion, how is this not a very good issue?
Image a loving husband whose wife is buried with perform. Miserable, exhausted, and close to burnout she tells herself, “I’m undertaking this for us,” but there is no us, not when she’s operating 100 hours a week and sleeping at the workplace. Her husband misses her terribly and is concerned for her overall health. He reminds her of the easier occasions they enjoyed at the starting and hopes she will return to him. But if she does not, he plans to come to her workplace, sweep her off her feet, and take her away. He’ll sell the property and move to one more town if he has to. He’ll gladly give up every thing for her.
That is the essence of what Jesus is saying right here. “I am coming to you.” If they do not return to their very first really like, their very first really like will come to them. This is very good news, not poor news. It is sweet relief for the weary who cannot obtain their way dwelling.
So what specifically will Jesus do if they do not repent?
He will take them to a quiet spot. When the disciples got as well busy with ministry, the Jesus of the Gospels would say, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet spot and get some rest” (Mark six:31). He’s saying the similar issue to his disciples in Ephesus. “Come away with me.”
The invitation was there, but the Ephesians had to respond. If they did nothing at all, probably due to the fact they had been as well tired to move or as well invested to alter, then the Lord-amongst-the-lampstands would come and lead them himself.
To these who have recognized the crushing weight of unholy expectations, these words of Jesus are a breath of fresh air. I envision the weary Ephesians wept with relief when they heard them.
If you liked this, you are going to really like Paul Ellis’ new book, Letters from Jesus: Getting Great News in Christ’s Letters to the Churches. Different ebook versions are out there now, and the paperback comes out at Easter 2019. Patrons are receiving their copies in the subsequent week or so.