Summary: As Jesus walks in the midst of His local churches, He personally protects them.
1. Jesus personally protects His local churches by holding His messengers in His hand
2. Jesus personally protects His local churches with the all-sufficient power of His Word
3. Jesus personally protects His local churches with the permeating power of His presence
In World War II, one of the most effective weapons the Germans had was their submarine fleet. They were known as U-boats and they struck terror in the hearts of allied sea captains everywhere. It was so bad that Winston Churchill later wrote that the only things in the whole war that really frightened him were the U-boats. They were so frightening to civilian ships because they were silent. They were invisible. And they were deadly. A story is told about a passenger ship that set sail from Britain to New York during the height of the war. The captain was terrified of the U-boats. So before he left port, he checked with the Navy Admiral. The Admiral calmly told him that no matter what happens, “Don’t take any detours. Sail straight ahead. Continue onward. Head straight toward your destination.” That didn’t really help the captain’s nerves, but he set sail anyway. Every day on the water, he got more and more nervous. He just knew that the water was full of those silent killers. He imagined subs and torpedoes and all kinds of German evils in the water. Then it wasn’t just his imagination. Off in the distance, he saw an enemy destroyer headed toward him. In a panic, he grabbed the radio and called for help. A calm voice came back at him over the radio: “Don’t take any detours. Sail straight ahead. Continue onward. Head straight toward your destination.” A few minutes later, the German destroyer turned away. After a couple of more days of nervousness, the captain finally guided his passenger ship safely into New York harbor. As the crew was making ready to come ashore, the captain looked back toward the horizon. All of a sudden, coming over the horizon into view was the largest British battleship he had ever seen. And then he knew. Even though he hadn’t seen it, that battleship had been there the whole time providing his protection. Isn’t that the way Jesus protects us? Isn’t that the way He protects us both as individuals and as His church? We can’t always see His hand of protection. Most of the time it’s just out of our view. Sometimes we come across something and key our mike of prayer in a panic. And then we hear His calm voice: ““Don’t take any detours. Sail straight ahead. Continue onward. Head straight toward your destination.” Our passage this morning continues John’s vision of Jesus on the island of Patmos. According to verse 10, there on the Lord’s Day, Jesus appears to John and tells him to write down what he sees and send it to the seven local churches located in Asia Minor. John sees Jesus walking in the midst of His local churches. It’s significant that all this happened on the Lord’s Day. Ever since the church actually began on Pentecost, Christians have gathered together in local congregations on Sunday. Whereas the Jews of Jesus’ day met in synagogues on the Sabbath according to the Law… the earliest Jewish Christians gathered together on Sundays. They gathered on Sundays to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. So, from the earliest Christian times, Sunday was known as the Lord’s Day. And the Lord’s Day was known for one thing and one thing only. It was known for gathering together in a local congregation with other believers and worshipping Jesus. When we come to the book of Revelation, John was prevented from doing that. By the time we get to Revelation, John was an old man. He had been serving as the pastor of the church at Ephesus when the Roman authorities under the Emperor Domitian came and arrested him. Since neither John nor his church would worship the emperor, Domitian had him banished to the small deserted island of Patmos. The Apostle John was no longer physically able to be with God’s people on the Lord’s Day. But he was with them spiritually. Verse 10 says that he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. And that’s when Jesus came to him. As John was there by himself, unable to worship with his church on the Lord’s Day… Jesus came to him and showed him how important the local church is to Him. Last week we looked at how Jesus showed John His intimate involvement in His local churches. This morning we’re going to see how Jesus is personally protective of His local churches. Did you know that Jesus is personally protecting us here at Brushfork Baptist Church this morning? As He walks in our midst this morning, He is personally protecting us. I want us to recognize His protection this morning. But not only do I want us to recognize His protection. I want us to cling to His protection. I want us to be comforted by His protection. I want us to be confident in His protection. Confident enough to fearlessly go about the work that He’s called us to do. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three ways Jesus is personally protective of Brushfork Baptist Church. The first way is that He protects us by holding His messenger in His hand. Notice the first part of verse 16.