Has America Lost Her Lampstand
Has America lost her lampstand? One may think that is a rather strange question. It is a reference to Revelation 2.
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”
Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are warnings to seven churches in Asia. I have always wondered how America would fit in this apocalyptic literature. There are seven churches mentioned in this story, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
Many are lukewarm
Smyrna was warned that suffering was coming, but they are described as in poverty but are rich. Laodicea seemed to be the opposite of Smyrna. They thought they were rich but were truly poor in spiritual matters. They are described as being a lukewarm church that God wants to spew out of his mouth. Indeed, many congregations in America may be considered guilty of being lukewarm. Pergamum has issues with some following the teachings of Balaam. Thyatira had some that tolerated Jezebel. Sardis seems similar to Ephesus, and Philadelphia had little strength but was faithful. There are reasons to argue for and against churches in America resembling Asia’s seven churches. Yet, the one that haunts me personally is Ephesus.
It is easy for conservative political activists to fix what is wrong and evil while paying less attention to what is good. We have the zeal to expose evil. Where is our passion for promoting righteousness? We see the irony of children invading a nation that has aborted untold millions. We look for political solutions, but we need help from above.
Descriptions of Jesus from Revelation 2 & 3
We need help from Him, who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands, who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again, who has the sharp, double-edged sword. Yes, we need help from the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze, who holds the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars. The one who is holy and true, who has the key of David. What He opens, no one can shut, and what He closes, no one can open. We need help from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.
Oh, Son of God, forgive us for killing more babies than Balaam and for performing more lewd acts than Jezebel. To the holy and true Jesus, forgive us for tolerating political leaders that lie, cheat and steal. Oh, ruler of God’s creation, please forgive us for letting unjust judges remain on the bench and forgive us for hiding under steeples and sleeping in pews. You are our first love, our only love. We did not mean to forget you. Please help us live above our circumstances while living on this cluttered plane of life. God, please bless America. Bring us back from the brink. Strengthen your children to face the hostilities that are about to come. If it is your will, blow away the war clouds forming on the horizon.