Jesus restores sight to the blind many times in the gospel accounts. Each time the person sees normally. No one was given X-ray vision or 10x optical zoom like our smart phones, but restored to normal vision. The same is true for lepers that he cured, they were restored to normal skin. Jesus said to a man with a withered hand, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.” (Mat. 12:13). Each eye or hand that Jesus healed was restored to the way God originally designed it to function. No extra modification was needed. The original is after all God’s design, his original intent.
If Jesus would restore a church, how would he restore it? Of course, I’m not speaking of a church building, but Christians organized into his local church. Would he not restore it to it’s original design and function?
There were seven churches in Asia, and five of them needed to be restored in some way to match the design that Jesus had for the church.
Restoration of love. After Jesus praised this church for it’s willingness to examine false teachers (Revelation 2:2-3), but their love was inadequate, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place — unless you repent. (Rev. 2:4-5). How quickly love is restored by “doing” those acts of love towards God and fellow man.
Restoration of sexual morality. Two of the seven churches had some teachers who thought it is ok to “practice sexual immorality” (Rev. 2:14, 2:20). Jesus says, “Therefore repent” (v.16, v.21). God’s original intent for sex was between one man (Adam) and one woman (Eve) in marriage. Sex before marriage, or outside of marriage, or of the same gender is sexual immorality. Jesus seeks to restore these churches to the true teaching on sexual morality. Jesus warns the church that opposes his original intent, “Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.” (Rev. 2:16).
Restoration of walking with God. This church said, “I am rich… and have need of nothing” (3:17). A church focused upon wealth, Jesus seeks to restore them, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (Rev 3:19). Two churches of the seven needed no restoration, but five of them needed changing. If Jesus was here on earth again, walking among us today, what would he seek to restore in this church? Dan Peters