August 10, 2015


Yesterday I tried to attend a Baptist church that was listed in a church directory, but when I finally found the building it had been absorbed by another denomination. Thinking the Baptist had moved to another location I tried the phone number, which I discovered had been disconnected. I now have an inkling of how the Lord feels when He knocks on the door of an individual’s heart and finds no one home and no forwarding address. The Lord said to the church Laodicea, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Your situation made a good object lesson, especially when you consider your every thought and feeling is being known by the Lord. “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Mat 25:40b) No one answered your knock. The Lord experienced that experiencing you.
-----The Word of God also has an object lesson in your situation. And in this case, I think it’s a pretty good one. It’s metaphor comes from the Lord’s addressing the angel of the church at Laodicea, and also His addressing the angels of the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia. He didn’t address the angel of the church at 16430 Caesar Ave, Smyrna, or 5381 Vesuvius Cr, Philadelphia, 819b Apollo Ct, Sardis, or 264 Seneca Dr, Sardis, or 348 Seneca Dr, Sardis. Yet, you’ve knocked on the doors of the church at 1598 E Niagara Rd, the church at 1681 E Niagara Rd, the church at 1855 St Mary’s Dr, and the church at 1840 E Niagara Rd. But you haven’t knocked on the door of the church at Montrose. That’s sad, because it doesn't have a door, because it isn't.
-----We don’t think of ourselves simply and innocently enough to recognize our church identities by location only, as the Bible does. That is not good enough for distinguishing our differences. We must more certainly show “my church” is not the same as “your church” by using titles: Presbyterian, Baptist, Adventist, Episcopal, Reform This, and Reform That. We even have Unified ones and Unified others, and so then Unified Reformed ones and Reformed Unified others. Distance and proximity lay behind the divisions the Bible recognized, and that’s about all the “disunity” the Lord is willing to accept amongst us. Yet, what we do and don’t believe lays behind our recognitions. Shame on us.
-----I would be joyful to gather with the church at Montrose. I would do this at E Niagara, or E Main, or at the corner of Park Ave and N 1st. They’re all worshipping our Everlasting Father and rejoicing in Jesus Christ. And I know that every group at every location in Montrose has theologies and beliefs different than every other one, and that amongst all these differences every group is wrong about some things and right about some things. That’s a part of being imperfect humans. We are wrong and right. “Let every one be fully convinced in his own mind,” (Rom 14:5b) where the Lord knocks upon the individual heart‘s door. The relevant matter is that we are all righteous through being forgiven, not through our own being it nor through our theological ingenuity. All who call upon the Lord are the same. “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” (John 17:20-21)
-----But the world doesn’t believe, does it? In fact, it’s getting pretty persecutorily sure He didn’t send Him. And I don’t wonder why. Yes, the world who hates Him hates His followers, too. But loving your enemy effects your enemy, and Jesus prayed for our unity to effect the world in a way that it would have believed had we actually lived by unity more than by knowledge (I Cor 8:1.) Love for the lost first needed love for one another. But we didn’t really return to that, did we? And our lamp stand is yet out of its place, isn‘t it?
-----Let’s stop just shining on, brothers and sisters, and start shining bright for a change. Let’s return to that first love. Let’s become the church at Montrose, not the First Church at Montrose, but just a church there, and let our unity identify us.

Love you all,
Steve Corey