Following Jesus 101

Following Jesus: What kind of church are we?

“But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.”  (Revelation 2:20-23 ESV).

When God rebukes the corrupt church He focuses His attention upon the false teacher and the false teachings belonging to the heretic or the apostate. God is not impatient in His rebuke but rather gives the false teacher time to repent of their sin.

However, what happens when the false teacher corrupting the church of God refuses to repent? God will judge. It may be through physical illness, but one should be careful in attributing all sickness as a judgment from God (John 9). However, it is true that the false teacher will encounter difficulty that is directly, or indirectly, from God.

Even in this state of condemnation, God’s graciousness is on display. If the false teacher repents, God will forgive and restore. Otherwise, the judgment will be swift and it will be striking as indicated by the phrase, “I will strike her children dead.” God will bring judgement upon the next generation of false teachers.

The ultimate purpose of this is so each and every individual and church will know that God knows everything and He recompenses or return to man what man sows.

This judgement from Jesus Christ is not based upon an impersonal God who decides to impulsively or unpredictably decide to punish or reward at will. Jesus Christ is a covenant making God who establishes a covenant relationship with sinners. When followers of Jesus continue to compromise with sin unto corruption, this offends the one, true personal God of whom these people and church are in a covenant relationship. He promises to discipline and punish but also to forgive.

Such is our gracious God. 

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