In the Book of Revelation, Jesus addresses the seven churches and in so doing, we see Him following a unique pattern. In each letter there is an encouraging affirmation, a corrective censure, an eternal-refocusing, and then a partial revelation. Naturally, the application for us is that when we address like-minded believers, we should follow the same recipe. Our conversations should affirm when affirmation is appropriate and reprove when correction is fitting, with the desired outcome to move others along their spiritual paths, and with the focus and purpose towards all things eternal. Jesus did it and so should we.
Conviction, Not Condemnation
In the passage above the spotlight is on correction; Jesus rebukes His church, but He does not condemn it. His desire for this church (then) and us (today) is that we get back on track. One of the first things we might take note of is that (this church) did not ‘lose’ anything, they left it; that thing of course being their passion and love for Him. If we find ourselves similarly positioned, we need to know nothing has been lost, but rather we have moved away. John 10:28-29 confirms this ‘nothing-lost’ doctrine.
And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
So What Do We Do
2 Kings 6:1-7 paints a wonderful picture of the remedy. A bunch of guys go out with borrowed axes to expand an area in the woods where they might reside. As one of the men is hacking away at a tree, the ax head flies off into the water and the guys goes into panic-mode, screaming for Elisha’s help. Elisha’s solution is so uncomplicated; we’re embarrassed that we didn’t think of it.
He simply asks, “Where did it fall?”
And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float. Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it. 2 Kings 6:6-7
Jesus is telling us the very same thing. Turn around (repent) and go back to the place where you have fallen and ‘pick up’ right where you have left off. If we are not on fire for the Lord as we once were (lost that ‘loving feeling’), all we need do is to go back to the place where the fire last burned brightly and be warmed by its glow.