Comfort from Revelation, of all places!
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I can't hardly open the bible to any location in the Old Testament or the New, and not find comfort. It's comforting to read of His hatred for evil, His love by sending Jesus, His intellect, power, holiness...it's all good stuff. So I turn to the letter in Revelation from Jesus via John to the church at Ephesus. It's fascinating.
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In Revelation 2:2 we read this:
"I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false."
Does that speak to us now in this evil, fallen, corrupt world, or what?!
The evil that men do makes us want to close our eyes! It makes us grow tired of outing one false pastor or teacher after another. It's enough to make us want to throw up our hands and say of false doctrine, "what's the use? People believe it anyway."
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Jesus said He would be with us even unto the end of the age. As He was preparing to ascend, he told the Apostles, "And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Amen." (Matthew 28:20.)
And so he is. We see in the Revelation verse above, Jesus said "I know..."
The Ephesians were sharing the Gospel and working for Christ and part of that work was testing false
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He said in the next verse, "I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary." (Revelation 2:3)
He knows! Every day we bear up patiently, every time we are mindful of His name's sake, every time we keep moving and not grown weary, He knows. Isn't that comforting!
I find it comforting in the first place that He is so involved in the church. When He said I am with you always, He meant it. He knows what's going on. I know we often examine the disapproval verses in Revelation, looking at why Jesus was disapproving of this or that in a particular church. However, the commendation is important too.
The most comforting thing of all, I find, is the fact alone that Jesus came to John to tell John specific items about specific churches. Jesus is highly involved in His church.
Sometimes it feels like a curse to see the vividness of false doctrine where wolves drag off the unwary and the weak. It is hard to watch the numerous souls who are headed for hell. How did Jesus stand it?! It is like I'm on the playground, and outside the chain link fence of where children are playing is a ring of child molesters, leering, drooling, fingers entwined in the chain link, waiting their moment to grab a careless child. And I know that because the bible says so, some will be carried off by false doctrine or false teachers. Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he will devour.
One reason I'm longing for redemption of the body is so that I'll finally be in the place where sin will destroy no one anymore... oh what a day that will be!
So do the full work of Christ, which does include testing the ones who call themselves apostles but are not. Love what He loves, and hate what He hates, and keep doing it until the Day he calls us home via death or rapture. He knows, brethren, He knows. He knows you, by name, and all your works for His name's sake. What a comfort.