In Revelation 2-3, the glorified Christ confronted 7 pastors of 7 literal first-century churches in Asia Minor. We learn many truths from His dealings with those leaders and their churches.
The following paragraphs treat three such truths.
What Churches are “Biblical” Churches?
Of the 7 churches, Christ did not have any rebuke, condemnation, or other negative remarks for 2 of the churches. His dealings with the other 5 varied in their intensity concerning the problems in those churches.
Even though He strongly condemned some of the things that were taking place in some of these churches, Christ still referred to them as churches in exactly the same manner that He spoke of those churches for which He did not have any negative assessments. The notion, therefore, that only certain churches are “biblical” churches because they do not have any serious sin problems among the people in the church or in the leadership of the church is not a biblically supported notion.
All 7 churches were “biblical” churches even though some of them had leaders in the churches who were either tolerating serious sins or promoting them themselves. Remarkably, this was true even for a church that had in it at least some people and some in leadership who had come to know certain so-called deep things of Satan!
It is not necessarily true, therefore, that a church is a “biblical” church only if it is without any (serious) sin problems in it.
Which Pastors Are “Biblical” Pastors?
When Christ confronted the angel (that is, the pastor) of each of these churches, He addressed all of them in the same manner. Whether He had strong condemnation for what was taking place in the church or not did not change how He addressed the top leader of each church.
From this aspect of Christ’s dealings with the pastors of all 7 churches, we learn conclusively that a pastor is not a “biblical” pastor only if everything in His life and in His church is exactly what God wants it to be. Christ still addressed the pastors of some very compromised churches as “the angel of the church” even though very serious sin was being tolerated in his church.
It is not necessarily true, therefore, that a man is a “biblical” pastor only if both he and his church are free from any (serious) sin problems.
Is Confronting Compromised Pastors by Name Always a Necessity?
Christ addressed each of the 7 letters to the 7 churches to “the angel” of that church. Remarkably, Christ did not name any of the pastors of the 5 churches that He confronted concerning problems in their churches.
This was true even when the sin problems in the church were very serious. Christ, did not, therefore, deem it necessary or appropriate to call out such pastors of such churches by their names.
It is not necessarily true, therefore, that we must always warn people about sin problems in churches by naming the names of the pastors of the churches when we speak about the sin problems in the churches.
Revelation 2-3 reveals to us Christ’s perfect dealings in His confronting 7 pastors of 7 literal churches late in the first century AD. From His dealings with those pastors and those churches, we learn that both churches and pastors are not “biblical” churches and pastors only if they and their churches are free from all sin.
Furthermore, it is not always a necessity that we must make known the names of pastors of churches with serious sin problems in them in order to properly warn others about those matters. In fact, based on Christ’s not naming the pastors of the churches that He confronted about their sin problems, we should learn that we should be very careful about doing what Christ Himself did not do in such matters.
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