Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“On the Lord’s day, I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, What you see, make into a book and send it to the seven Assemblies: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamon, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
Jesus, in Revelation 1:10-11
When Paul was an old man, he lamented to Timothy that every congregation within the Roman province of Asia had turned away from the truth that he had taught them (2Tim. 1:15). In his lifetime as a servant of Jesus, Paul traveled extensively in the province of Asia, and he established a number of congregations in the cities and towns along his route. However, just a few years after Paul’s last visit with saints from that area, Jesus visited the elder apostle John and revealed to him that God recognized only seven congregations as belonging to Him. The rest had either completely fallen apart or so perverted the faith that God refused to even acknowledge them as being His.
Most of those congregations, if not all, would have continued to worship, even if God no longer acknowledged them as being “in the faith”. In fact, the seven congregations that God recognized may have been considered illegitimate by the backslidden congregations, and they probably were small in comparison. But God is not impressed with numbers and does not consider them when making His judgments. Only what is of Him is accepted by Him.
There are millions of congregations in this world today, some of them very large, that claim to be serving Jesus Christ. I wonder how many of them God would acknowledge as His?