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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Putting First Things First
The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (Revelation 1:20)
The churches are lampstands. They were prefigured by the golden Lampstand of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. Christ is the Light of the world and His churches are the light of the world because He is in them.
Being the light of the world means that the purpose of the churches is to reveal the Person, Kingdom, way, will, and eternal purpose of God in Christ Jesus the Lord.
The churches are in the world but not of the world. The highest, most impenetrable wall in the universe is that between the Church and the world. The eternal expression of the division between the Church and the world is the wall that surrounds the new Jerusalem.
There is a trend in the American churches of our day to view the churches as hospitals for sinners. Now, a light is one thing and a hospital is another.
Are the churches to be lights that reveal the Person and will of God or are they to be hospitals for sinners? We would submit that of necessity they must be both but their primary role is that of the light of the world. This is important to emphasize because the need for spiritual hospitals is so all-consuming that the role of light-bearer can be minimized or become non-existent.
I have been a preacher of righteousness and have sought to make disciples. My message has not been an easy one to listen to. But a while back I saw that a person who was all broken up emotionally was not strong enough mentally to be a disciple. It was like asking someone to wrestle when they had a broken arm.
So we invite Dr. Dianne McIntosh come to our church on a regular basis to assist people who can use a little help along the way in becoming a sturdy disciple. We think Dr. Dianne is the best there is with her academic background, extensive clinical and church experience, devotion to Christ, and spiritual gifts.
Our purpose is not to solve all the problems of the community but to assist those whose discipleship is being impaired because of deep-seated problems of bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, or some other factor of personality.
We think there is an important balance to be maintained. We can easily get so involved with the needs of the dysfunctional American people of our day that there is not time to fulfill our first role. Our first role is to be the light of the world.
But some will say, "That is how we light the world—by meeting the needs of people." We would answer that this is humanistic thinking, not Kingdom thinking.
The world always has had enormous social, economic, and emotional problems. The world is under the curse of God. God has not given us the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit to relieve society but to bring the believer to spiritual maturity. The mature believer is a light that points the way to the solution of the world's problems. The solution is the crucified and risen Christ. When we address the problems of the world instead of the discipling of the believer we are attacking endless symptoms rather than the cause.
The coming of the Kingdom of God will end all social ills. The Kingdom of God will not come to the earth until Zion has been built up, that is, until the saints come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. The ascended Christ has given gifts to men for the purpose of building us up to full maturity in Himself. When this has been accomplished we can return with Him and put an end to the social, economic, and emotional problems.
And we can do a great deal of good today in helping people as we learn to walk hand in hand with Jesus and not get carried away with trying to repair the world according to our own notions.
Some short-term solutions are necessary. But if we become preoccupied with Band-Aids we never will get at the root of the problem.
To be continued.