God's Lampstands Revelation 1:10-20 Introduction: 1. Jesus is the Revealer and the revelation is about Him and His church. Revelation 1:1 2. First vision of John on the Isle of Patmos - Revelation 1:10-20 A. The churches are represented as lampstands ( candlesticks KJV ). - 12, 20 B. Jesus stands in the midst of His churches. - 13 C. He has the angels of the churches in His right hand . - 16,20 3. This description of the Christ should get our attention as it reveals components of the church that we need to implement if we are going to be a church that gets things done for Jesus. 4. The body of Christ will grow anywhere when these components are present. I. The Church Needs To Remember The Mission of the Church A. Lampstands ( candlesticks ) = Instruments of light 1. How ? Not light themselves but holders of the light giving material 2. Where? Not hidden under a bushel but out where it can illumine darkness. B. Let's examine what Jesus said elsewhere about His lampstands - Matthew 5:14-16 1. The church is to be in the world but not of the world.- 14a - " Ye are the light of the world " 2. The church is elevated above the world so the Light can be plainly seen.- 14b " a city set upon a hill cannot be hidden. " 3. The church that hides in their buildings will not let Christ be seen. - 15 " Nor do men light a lamp, & put it under a peck-measure, but on the lampstand; & it gives light unto all who are within the house. " 4. The church that just invites people to the assembly is not on the go. 16 (cf. Matthew 28:18-20 ) Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, & glorify your Father Who is in heaven. C. Christians ( the church ) are information centers providing the Light of Knowledge 1. We know the Truth ( don't we? ) It has set us free from sin and death! 2. The church is to be the pillar and support of the truth - 1 Timothy 3:15 a. This has to do with behavior -15a "how one ought to conduct oneself in God's household " b. This is the church of the living God - 15b 3. Lampstands share the light that they have with those in range of the light. a. Your contacts b. Your sphere of influence. II. The Church Needs To Remember The Exemplary Nature of the Church. A. Pure gold lampstands - fashioned by God of made holy and excellent material. 1. Demonstrates the high standard set by the Maker - 1 Peter 1:16 " You shall be holy because I am Holy " 2. Hand-crafted with every piece being different - 1 Peter 4:10 " each received a special gift employ it in serving ..." 3. Each has the same admonition -Eph. 5:1 " Be imitators of God ... don't let immorality or impurity be named among you. " 4. Commanded because of the cost of the church - Acts 20:28 " Purchased with His own blood. " a. More priceless than your money could ever buy b. More precious than your works could ever atone. 5. We are made holy by our accepting His holiness and His righteousness. Philippians 3:9-16 B. Therefore, Christians are demonstration centers providing the Light of Holiness. 1. Darkness is represented by all that is wrong with our world ( sin and all sorts of evil ) 2. The church is to set the standard of living for the world by example. 3. God sets the bounds of decency by His standards revealed in His Word. 4. Christians are to be the Jesus models for society not self-righteous judges. 5. The recycled soul is made durable like gold with implanted material, the Holy Spirit - Eph. 1:13,14 a. The quality of the Spirit is our down payment on eternity. b. The qualities of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:16-24 ) help us demonstrate a life of holiness. C. Christians are demonstration centers providing the Light of Benevolence 1. We are our brother's keeper because we know how God values people. 2 Peter 3:9 "wishes none to perish" a. Socially - All barriers cultural and environmental are broken down by Jesus - Gal. 3:28 "no male nor female" b. Economically - We work so we will have to share with those who do not have. Eph. 4:28 "steal no more but" c. Spirituality - We have learned the secret of reclamation & want others to have it too. " Seek & Save " 2. How will the lost know of Jesus if they don't see Jesus in us? Colossians 1:27 " Mystery of the ages " III. The Church Needs To Remember It's Source. A. John's underlying purpose of the gospel - John 20:30,31 1. Things written about the words and deeds of Christ are selective and for a given purpose. 2. that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and that in believing you may have life in His name. B. Christians need to remember the source of their power. 1. The Son of Man stands in the midst of the churches - accessible to all 2. The Son of man has the messengers of the church in His right hand - accountable to Him C. Jesus is the Source of our knowledge - He is Truth D. He is the Source of our purity - He is sinless - We have His righteousness not our own. E. He is the Source of our benevolence - He is Love F. He is the Source of our durability - He is Life. G. He is the Source of our guidance - He is the Way. H. He is the Source of our power - All authority has been given unto Him. Conclusion The world views the church and its values with scorn and contempt. God expects the church to be His light and bring glory and honor and dominion to Him. Some Christians view the church as weak and ineffectual. Problem: They have quit being the church. - ashamed to speak up or speak for Jesus - ashamed to speak for righteousness. They have become spectators instead of participators. - It essential to the promise - Matthew 28:18-20 - Go-make disciples- baptize and (then) " Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the ages. " God's view of the church is one active and powerful. Matthew 16:18 - Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God - The gates of hell will not prevail against us. Our responsibility as lampstands is to point out the source of light in our midst. He said to make disciples as we go. Remember: His word will not return to him void. Contend earnestly for the faith - Jude 1:4 Build yourselves up, pray in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, await the coming of Christ anxiously, have mercy on doubters, save others ( snatching them out of the fire ) have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by sin. Jude 1: 20-23 Preach the word - Live the Life - Share the faith - Do good!