Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Candlesticks without light and candles

In some places church buildings have been converted in homes, storage facilities, community centres, antique shops and other retail outlets.  While this is often a sad indication of a decline in faith and the desire to worship God, in some cases it is a sad indictment of a loss of vision and power by a Christian fellowship.

Where there is no vision the people perish.

Ichabod, the glory of the Lord has departed.

The candlestick or lampstand has been removed.  The witness of the Christian fellowship has been so weak that God has left the building. The weak and dying body has lost its reproductive power, and God has not granted them offspring, growth and vitality. The testimony to the living reality of the Lord no longer shines brightly, but it has become dim and dead. The candlestick has no candle. No flame shines or warms those nearby. The lampstand is no longer fulfilling its purpose. It is no longer fit for purpose when it is without the means to bring light. Lights have gone out, sometimes for good.

Let us look at the first chapters of the Book of Revelation, the Apocalypse.  The Risen Christ warned the Ephesian church:

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your candlestick/lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

In some places they are still polishing the candlesticks.  They look very attractive, but they give no light.
They are antiques. They have value, but they are no longer bringing light in the darkness.

Some churches have manifestly lost their reproductive powers.  They are both sterile and impotent.  God grants them no children.  God has literally left their buildings. Some churches are in ruins, left to others, and left to decay.
If the Lord is not in the building then the owners are working in vain.

Where the Lord is at work there is life, spiritual birth and growth.  We reap what we sow, but God gives the growth.  Some churches have no harvest because they did not diligently sow good seed and work hard enough at bringing the harvest in.

In some places the soil is hard and the going tough.  But God wishes us to bear much fruit and to see labourers thrust out into the harvest fields of the world.

No comments:


River Stour