In this letter let’s review the Churches spoken of in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. Jesus was not only speaking to the Church (the people) of that time but He is speaking to us, today. What did Jesus have to say to the Churches? Which Church (which people) are we?
I will elaborate toward the later part of this letter on The Church of Laodicea, the seventh church. This church is what I would consider to be the attitude of the modern-day church.
Also, we will consider what must be done individully to avoid and heed the warnings of God to the church, the people. I will be presenting several questions you may want to use as a self evaluation as to where you stand in obedience to the Word of God and your growing relationship with God.
Now would be a good time to evaluate the attitudes of all seven churches and see if we measure up to God’s Holy plan for our life.
1. The Church in Ephesus: “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.”
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!”
2. The Church of Smyrna: “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the slander of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they really aren’t because theirs is a synagogue of Satan.”
3. The Pergamum Church: “I know that you live in the city where that great throne of Satan is located, and yet you have remained loyal to me. And you refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you by Satan’s followers.” And yet I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you who are like Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to worship idols by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In the same way, you have some Nicolaitans among you—people who follow the same teaching and commit the same sins.”
4. The Church of Thyatira: “I know all the things you do—your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.”
“But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman— that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She is encouraging them to worship idols, eat food offered to idols, and commit sexual sin. I gave her time to repent, but she would not turn away from her immorality.”
5. The Church of Sardis: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive- but you are dead.”
6. The Church of Philadelphia: “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can shut. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. Look! I will force those who belong to Satan—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.”
7. The Church of Laodicea: “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! verse 16: But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth! verse 17: You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. How do you line up with Christ’s praise and approval in your life as stated in the scriptures above?
What would your answer be to these questions?
1. Do you examine and compare what is told you with the Word of God (work hard at finding the truth) and then when the truth is revealed have nothing to do with those that are false/liars?
2. Are you a quitter or do you wait patiently after you have done all that you could do even thru suffering?
3. Are you remaining loyal to Christ and His teachings not denying His truths even though times look tough advancing in His wisdom and knowledge?
4. Do you have a reputation of being (alive) a born again believer; obeying/applying His Word in your life?
5. Do you recognize and go through the doors that Christ opens; as He speaks to you, obeying His Word and not denying Him?How do you line up with Christ’s disapproval in your life?
Christ disapproval as stated in Revelation 2:
1. Do you love Christ and others? Do you have a daily intimate and personal relationship with Christ; are you in love with Christ and do you show love (characterized by the fruit of the Spirit) to those in your life?
2. Do you accept (put up with) socialize with those who compromise (give and take) with that of the world’s ideals? Are you separate from the world not mixing your life (mind, actions or deeds) with the world?
3. Do you permit those in your life to live a life style of ungodliness by not standing strong and boldly proclaiming God’s righteousness living a lifestyle of holiness and purity IN ALL you do; every moment of every day, even when you think no one else is watching.
4. Are you self-satisfied (content) with what you have not needing a thing? Are you comfortable in your own little world; not helping those around you to grow (mature) in Godly ways? Are you in or part of organizations, programs, committees, activities, but have NO POWER within your life?
This was that of The Church of Laodicea: Revelation 1 “…but you are dead.” (Salvation does not guarantee consistent obedience to the Holy Spirit… for steadfast, consistent obedience, is a result of a day-to-day submission to the will of God.)
- Verse 15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other!
- Verse 16-17 “But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
This church has the very description of the modern-day church. They are sickeningly lukewarm and are deceived about themselves. Apostle Paul warns of these things in the last days.
- 2 Timothy 3:5 They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.
- Are you willing to heed the warning of Christ in Revelation 2:5 …Turn back to me again and work as you did at first. If you don’t, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.”
- A well known author once wrote, “Christians need to repent. We need to break the shell of self-sufficiency, the crust of conceit, the shield of sophistication, the veneer of vanity, get rid of the false face of “piosity” and stop the business of everlastingly polishing our halo as if we were some great saint. “Repent”
- Verse 10:“Don’t be afraid…Remain faithful…” even when facing death and I will give you the crown of life.
- Verse 16: Repent, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” Yes, unless we are willing to repent of our sins or our violations of the stated Word of God, and return in obedience to the Word, WE WILL BE JUDGED BY THE WORD, “the double-edged sword.”
OBEDIENCE is the key to God’s blessings and favor! As this age draws to a close we see apostasy; deadness and coldness, lack of interest and concern. Jesus is asking of this age, where is your faith?
- Luke 18:8 “I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when I, the Son of Man, return, how many will I find who have faith?”
Although the letter to the Laodiceans is filled with warnings, Jesus concludes His last letter to the churches with a promise of eternal salvation and glory for any that will turn from their spiritual pride and give themselves totally to Christ as their Lord and Savior. Are you paying attention to the Lord’s warning?
What will you receive by obeying and observing Jesus’ words? Stated in:
- Revelation 2:17, Everyone who is victorious will eat of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it”.
This “hidden manna” symbolizes the spiritual food provided by God in His Word. This is an individual feeding and not a church function. Just as the Israelites had to go individually and gather the manna in the desert, so the child of God is dependent on God for his or her individual spiritual supply. “Hidden Manna” is that of the person of Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, as reveled in the Word of God.
- Verse 25…hold tightly to what you have until I come.”
- Revelation 3:5, All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.
- Verse 10: “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.
- Verse 12: All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write my God’s name on them, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And they will have my new name inscribed upon them.Verse 28:They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!
STAYING IN the right RELATIONSHIP with Christ Jesus is the very key to God’s favor and our guarantee to Eternal Life with Him. We as Children of God need to LISTEN to what the Spirit is saying…
- this message is repeated to every church. Revelation 3:22 “Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”
TODAY’S Church and Christian’s, places their entire focus on their present life and problems. It’s time we trust the Lord God as our provider and endure, be faithful in His work in all that we do.
Their must be found NO COMPROMISE within our lives. We must begin to believe and apply His promises for TODAY, for our families, friends and our self.
In conclusion let me say, Revelation 3:21 gives us HOPE and a PROMISE TO ALL WILL HEED TO HIS WORD, “I will invite everyone who is victorious to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.”
Love in our Lord Christ Jesus,