Christ's Sovereignty and the Church

Earlier this morning, I published a “guest post” on my blog that I thought would be interesting to the people involved in this site. The post was written by Mark from “Sheepfold Ministries” and is called “The Sovereignty of God Over Us and His Church.”
Here’s a snippet from the post:

Christ demonstrates both His Sovereignty over the Church, and His love to the Church in the seven messages He dictates to the Apostle John in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. I shall let you read these in your own copy of the Bible, but we can see in these prophetic letters that Christ does have the power to expel individual members and even whole congregations from the Universal Church. No, I do not believe that if one is truly a saint, chosen by God, that salvation can be lost. At times, however, excommunication can occur (such as when Paul advised the church in Corinth to excommunicate the member engaged in sexual immorality), yet we can see Christ’s love for His people and His Church in that He gives the chastised believers and churches the required response to the chastisement, and ends each letter with the comforting and exhorting promise that “whoever overcomes will be rewarded”.

Jesus warned the Jewish leaders of his day that “the kingdom would be taken away from you,” and in Revelation, he warned several churches that their lampstand (church, from a previous explanation) could be removed.
Is this possible for churches today?

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  1. Alan
    I certainly think so. 1 Corinthians 5 gives us the model as Mark stated. The greatest joy in the church is the fellowship of the saints including the sharing of meals. A professed Christian who is in open sin and refuses to repent must be denied that fellowship until they are ready to repent and be restored to fellowship. The Anabaptists called this “The Ban” and while it has been taken to an extreme (like the Amish practice fo shunning), it is the closest we see to the Biblical model.

  2. Arthur,
    I think the 1 Corinthians 5 passage (as well as a few others) are definitely applicable to this discussion. These passages seem to refer to treating individuals as if they are not in Christ (i.e., not Christians). In Revelation, Jesus says that he will remove a church’s “lampstand,” which apparently refers to the church itself. That’s the part that I was referring to with my question. Does Jesus still remove the “lampstand” (i.e., “church”) from a group of people?

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