Remember therefore from where you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your candlestick from its place, unless you repent.
— Revelation 2:5
The letters to the seven churches in the first three chapters of Revelation tell us what Jesus thinks of the church. Because of the sin of certain members of the church, God said he would take away their lampstands.
I have been to many of the places mentioned in this passage and those churches are no longer there. I wonder how many there are in church who, in secret sin, are impeding the progress of the church in the world.
I think back many years ago and recall a man in my own church who was engaged in adultery—a man who had been a minister and had left the ministry, but a man who seemed to be a godly man, a man who seemed to be a Christian. Only God knows the heart.
He became involved with a married woman. He was going to have her divorce her husband and marry him. I admonished him and urged him to repent. He was brought before the discipline committee and they admonished him to repent. He was suspended from the sacraments, but he did not repent. Finally, the Session (the governing body of our church) determined that since he remained impenitent, they would have to excommunicate this man from the church. Just before that took place, suddenly that young man died.
God sees all, and we should not take His mercy for granted.