State of the Union
Not too long ago, the President delivered the State of the Union Address. This yearly speech highlights the successes and reiterates the direction he wishes to take the country. At the beginning of the speech, presidents typically say, “The state of the Union is strong.” Whoever the president is, this speech touts great platitudes about the condition of the United States of America.
I wonder what would happen if Jesus gave a “State of the Church” speech to us today? We really do not have to wonder. He gave such a speech in Revelation 2-3 when he evaluated the seven churches of Asia. Some churches were doing good but had some problems. Ephesus had stood against false doctrine but left their first love. Smyrna was spiritually strong but about to be tested. Pergamum did not deny the name of Jesus under persecution but allowed the false doctrine of Balaam to enter. Thyatira’s latter works exceeded their first, but they permitted Jezebel to commit immorality among them. Sardis had a living reputation but was actually dead; there were a few who had not spoiled their garments. Philadelphia had an open door, was faithful, and would be spared from the hour of trial. Finally, Laodicea was lukewarm, thought they were rich, but were actually poor, blind, miserable, and naked. My guess is that even our congregation would fit in among these descriptions somewhere. What would Jesus say about the state of our congregation? Do we have immorality among us? Do we tolerate false teachers? Are we lukewarm? Do we have a good reputation, but are actually dead? My guess is that Jesus would find something of which we need to repent, and that’s good because he said, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19).