"A new commandment I give you: Love one another, as I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 (NIV).
Contrary to the emphasis placed on end time events, the Book of Revelation isn't about that at all. It is, "The revelation of Jesus Christ..." Rev. 1:1.
Chapters two and three of Revelation contain messages to seven specific churches. Jesus as depicted here is very involved and well informed about each church's situation. He sent all of them this targeted message, "I know..."
Jesus knew all about their hard work. They'd tracked down and exposed heretics and suffered slanderous accusations leveled against them. He was not only aware of the opposition they faced, but also the sin that they tolerated. He was cognizant of their wishy-washy commitment too; hot or cold He found preferable to being lukewarm.
He considered the church as
vibrant life a facade...they were really dead. Only to the church at Thyatira
did He mention their love, but it didn't top the list. The one key defining
element of Christianity, love, wasn't the first priority in any of the seven churches.
"...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8.
Silly Jesus! In the post-cataclysmic chaos of Rapture theology, He'd be sure to find a few stragglers (they have all the Left Behind books to figure out what happened and what to do) after the rest of us flew the coop. Find faith? Everybody believes something. Those who claim they don't really have faith that there's nothing to believe in.
In God's throne room is a sea that is so still it appears to be made of glass. When God looks down, He sees His refection on the surface. This sea is made up of believers around His throne. (In the bible, the sea is a symbol of humanity). I believe what Jesus was wondering in Luke 18 is whether or not, upon His return, would He find a reflection of Himself.
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" 1 John 4:8.
When Jesus examined the seven churches, none had love as their defining characteristic. It's hard to know if He was more disappointed or heart broken. Did He still love them? Absolutely! Was He giving up on them? Never. He was one hundred percent behind them, expecting them to succeed. Once they shifted their emphasis back to love, everything would work out.
How about you? If Jesus showed up to share what He knows about you, what do you think He'd say? Where would love be on your list? Don't feel rejection or condemnation if it isn't Number One. Draw close to Jesus and ask for His help. Follow His directions and you will be a living reflection of your One True Love.