By Leslie Diestelkamp
The purity of the church is a matter of vital concern to every true Christian. Many New Testament passages emphasize the necessity of such purity. The letters to the seven churches of Asia (Rev. 2 & 3) are most significant in portraying the Lord’s desires for the churches. Yet, in searching those seven letters for lessons in admonition and in commendation to the churches, we may often miss another important item. Before he closes each letter, Christ puts the final matter on an individual basis.
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life”–2: 7.
“He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death”–2:11.
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna”–2.17.
“He that overcometh . . . will I give power over the nations”–2:26.
“He that overcometh . . . shall be clothed in white raiment”–3:5.
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God”–3:12.
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne”–3:21.
There must be a great and a consoling lesson for us here. Surely we must determine that the church shall be kept pure and true, but if this fails, we can still be saved as individuals. There is then a double lesson herein: (1) I shall not be saved at last just because I was a member of an active, faithful church, but only if I am true and faithful myself. (2) Likewise, I shall not be lost at last just because the congregation of which I was a part was not altogether pure and true, but only if I fail in my own duty to the Lord.
Truth Magazine VI: 6, p. 1a