Still the light of this world
by Norbert Restrepo
Revelation 12 provides a prophetic description of the great controversy. With vivid imagery, it summarizes the conflict of the ages. This imagery is reminiscent of the gospel prophecy of Genesis 3:15. It clearly points out that God’s people triumph over the dragon “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” Then it concludes with the final remnant church: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.
God’s church is entrusted with a message and a mission that vindicates His character. As a body and community of believers, it is organized for more efficient service. The early primitive church grew with this vision: “And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.” Acts 16:4, 5.
But as the primitive Christian church grew, heresies crept in and tares grew together with the wheat. This has always been the case. Notwithstanding this fact, the church is still the depositary of God’s truth.
God’s church today is the church militant, not the church triumphant. Two opposing influences are continually exerted upon its members. One influence is working to purify the church, and the other to corrupt God’s people.
“Although there are evils existing in the church, and will be until the end of the world, the church in these last days is to be the light of the world that is polluted and demoralized by sin. The church, enfeebled and defective, needing to be reproved, warned, and counseled, is the only object upon earth upon which Christ bestows His supreme regard.”1
Through faith in God, let us seek to work in harmony and cooperation with our brethren, without compromising principle or yielding biblical truth. Our heavenly Father can bestow upon us humility, grace, and wisdom to do so.
1 White, Ellen G., Counsels for the Church, p. 240