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What Jesus is saying to the church in Canada
The book of Revelation has something very important to say to Canadian Christians at this hour. Chapters 2 and 3 contain Jesus’ message to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Some of those churches receive words of commendation, others receive words of condemnation and others receive both. But as one reads those two chapters, one can feel the sense that the storm clouds of persecution are beginning to rise in the background. The Roman Emperor Domitian was then on the throne in Rome, and he would unleash the most brutal persecution against the church that she had up until then endured.
In chapter 4, the scene changes dramatically. It begins with these words: “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’” With those words, we might expect an answer to the question the seven churches would have been asking. “What is going to happen next? Where is this rising threat of Roman hostility to the church actually going to lead us? What will the next few years bring?
Those questions are not unlike the questions so many Christians are asking in Canada. In the recent years, it seems as if all decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada and from the House of Commons are turning against us. I am thinking specifically of the Supreme Court decision that opens the door to euthanasia. I was recently engaged in a conversation with the mayor of Winkler, Manitoba. He told me that the city council has a long standing tradition of opening council meetings with a reading of scripture and prayer. Recently, the Supreme Court gave them an order that they are to cease and desist in this practice.
More examples can be given. Canada is but one of only three countries on earth that has no law restricting abortion. We might think of the laws concerning sexuality, which seem to put Christians on the defensive. Where is all of this going? What is going to happen next? Where will all of this eventually leave the church of Jesus?
In Revelation 4, the seven churches are told what must happen next. Instead of being given a series of visions as to where all of this is heading, Revelation 4:2 reads, “At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.” With that, John describes the scene around the throne room. The one who was seated on the throne had the appearance of brilliant precious stones, and around the throne were 24 thrones with 24 elders, probably representing all of God’s people from all times. On and on the scene goes.
And then, the 24 elders cast their crowns before the throne and say, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God to receive glory and honour and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.”
And so, to our question: Where are all the events of Canada leading us? Where are we going? The answer is most encouraging: there is One who sits on the throne, and all things that exist and occur exist because He who is King permits them for an hour. He is the great Ruler. Not the Supreme Court or the House of Commons, but He who rules all things is to be feared. When His judgments are pronounced, all the earth will fall to its knees and fear Him.
Be encouraged, Canadian church. Our God is seated on His throne.