In John’s vision of Christ, John sees that Christ is standing “in the midst of the seven candlesticks”. Later in John’s vision, we learn that the candlesticks represent the seven local churches to which Revelation is addressed.
If we could picture John’s vision in our mind, it would be something like this. We would have the seven candlesticks (churches) forming a circle with Christ standing in the center of that circle. This simple understanding of the vision teaches us that He enjoys a close relationship to His churches and has direct access to each church and vice-versa.
Nothing stands between Christ and His local church. He can directly intervene and work within them. Likewise, each church can directly approach Christ and enjoy fellowship with Him. This very principle is presented to us when the Bible says…
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Anytime we meet together in His name (meet together under His authority) He promises to be present in our midst. Think about it, every time we meet as a local assembly, the Lord meets with us and we enjoy a unique level of communion with Him. This is just one of many reasons why we should never take membership in the Lord’s local church for granted or forsake it. Although all Christians enjoy fellowship with the Lord, those who are members of His assemblies can enjoy an enhanced type of fellowship with Him.
Another great blessing of church membership also involves fellowship with the people of God. Certainly we can enjoy Christian friendships and acquaintances apart from church membership, but nothing can be compared to be a part of a group of Christians that meet together to worship the Lord and are unified in a desire to glorify and honor Him. It is when we serve side by side for His glory, unified in our desires and ministries, that we enjoy a very special sharing relationship with our fellow laborers.
“ Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people.
And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
May we always take local church membership very seriously, enjoying its many benefits and being faithful in its many responsibilities.
May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation: