Sunday, January 29, 2012

An unimpressive church

If it seems to you that the church is unimpressive, may I suggest that this is the way that God intended the church to seem. Jesus, too, was unimpressive by worldly standards. He has now been exalted, and the promises he makes to those who overcome guarantee that exaltation will follow humiliation.

We see in 2:7 [Revelation] that the overcomers will eat at the tree of life;
in 2:11they will they will not be hurt by the second death;
in 2:17 they are promised hidden manna and a new name on a white stone;
in 2:26 they are promised authority over the nations;
in 3:5 they are promised white garments and Jesus' acknowledgement before the Father;
in 3:12 they are promised the right to a place in God's temple with the name of God written on them;
in 3:21 they are promised the right to sit with Jesus on his throne.

Are you suffering? Are you persecuted? Do you feel that Christianity ruins your reputation? My friend, as a Christian you follow Jesus, who was humiliated before he was exalted. That sequence will be your sequence: first humiliation than exaltation. God is going to make the wisdom of the world into foolishness and will reward those who trust him; which is to say, God will display his glory when he saves his people by condemning the wicked. Endure the cross, scorning its shame, empowered by the joy set before you in thesepromises of future exaltation. (Hamilton Jr., James M. Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. Print. 22-23. line breaks mine)

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