From Paradise Restored, by David Chilton.
For them, Jesus was not “God” in some upper-story, irrelevant sense; He was the only God, complete Sovereign in every area. No aspect of reality could be exempt from His demands. Nothing was neutral. The Church confronted Rome with the inflexible claim of Christ’s imperial authority: Jesus is the only-begotten Son; Jesus is God; Jesus is King; Jesus is Savior; Jesus is Lord. Here were two Empires, both attempting absolute world domination; and they were implacably at war.
It was necessary for the churches of Asia to recognize this fully, with all its implications. Faith in Jesus Christ requires absolute submission to His Lordship, at every point, with no compromise. The confession of Christ meant conflict with statism, particularly in the provinces where official worship of Caesar was required for the transaction of everyday affairs. Failure to acknowledge the claims of the State would result in economic hardship and ruin, and often imprisonment, torture and death.
Some Christians compromised: “Sure, Jesus is God. I worship Him at church and in private devotions. But I can still keep my job and my union status, even though they require me to give technical homage to pagan deities. It’s a mere detail: after all, I still believe in Jesus in my heart….” But Christ’s Lordship is universal, and the Bible makes no distinction between heart and conduct. Jesus is Lord of all. To acknowledge Him truly as Lord, we must serve Him everywhere. This is the primary message of the Revelation, and that which the Christians in Asia desperately needed to hear. They lived in the very heart of Satan’s throne, the seat of Emperor-worship; John wrote to remind them of their true King, of their position with Him as kings and priests, and of the necessity to persevere in terms of His sovereign Word.
I am not going to be as well-read or as knowledgeable as David Chilton was.
But I can at least strive to imitate his ferocity, courage, and integrity.
And to use such gifts from God, such weapons, to extract the maximum benefit for Christ and His Kingdom.
“In time, and on earth.”