Monday, August 29, 2011

Looks alive but is DEAD!

I read the first part of Revelation 3 early last week, however I am taking until now to blog about it.  I didn’t want to be hasty in my initial comments about verse 1 because often times our initial knee jerk reaction is off.  Whereas I am not certain I am right on, now, a week later I am still thinking the same thing…..so here it goes. Verse 1 talks about a church that has a reputation of being alive, but is dead:

Revelation 3:1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: 'The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. "'I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

The first thing I thought of when I read that last week was three of our modern day American churches.  Whereas there are definitely others, these are the first ones I thought of….probably because I was deceived by all three at some point in my life:

Catholic church, ELCA Lutheran churches, Word of Faith churches

All of these churches either add to, take away, or preach a completely different gospel. The message to them today, is the same as the warning Jesus gave to the church in Sardis…repent:

Revelation 3:3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.

Yes, the catholic church preaches about Jesus, but where do they get the other doctrines they have added?  Yes, the ELCA churches preach about Jesus, but who decided they have the authority to leave out Scripture they don’t like? Yes, the Word of Faith churches use the name of Jesus, but where is their reverence for the King?

Some of you reading this might be part of these churches and are born-again; the Sardis church had the same thing going on:

Revelation 3:4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.

Whether God is calling you out of those churches is between you and God; however, I do not see anywhere in the Word where light can have fellowship with darkness. To conquer we need to have fellowship with Jesus, we need to be encouraged by other Christians, we need to hold fast to the end…how can this happen in a church that is dead?

Revelation 3:5  The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.


Recap Jesus messages to the churches so far

Some items done well:
-works for Him
-patience
-don’t bear those who do evil
-test those claiming to be apostles
-labor for His name sake
-do not become weary in laboring for Him
-hate the works of those practicing and teaching false religions and perverting the Gospel
-work in the face of tribulation
-work while in poverty
-do not be swayed as those around are being killed for the faith
-do not deny faith in Jesus at any cost
-Love
-Faith
-Service
-Patient endurance
-Increasingly zealous for good works

Some items that need repentance:
-left first love
-not doing the works done at first
-allow false doctrine
-not rebuking those in the church practicing sin
-not separating themselves from false religion
-do not tolerate those teaching false religion, idol worship and sexual immorality

“Characteristics”, “descriptions” of Jesus:
-Holds seven stars in His right hand
-Walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands
-First and the Last
-Was dead and came to Life
-Has the sharp two-edged sword
-Son of God
-Eyes like a flame of fire
-Feet like burnished bronze
-Searches the mind
-Searches the heart
-Has the seven spirits of God
-Has the seven stars

Call to action:
-return to the love you had at first
-overcome
-do not fear when suffering for Christ
-overcome the testing of evil by being steadfast in the faith
-be faithful unto death
-repent of sexual immorality
-repent of idol worship
-conquer
-keep His works
-hold fast until He returns

Rewards:
-Eat from the Tree of Life
-Crown of Life
-Not hurt by the second death
-Eat from the hidden manna
-given a new name
-authority over nations
-walk with Jesus in white
-name will be in the Book of Life
-Jesus will confess our name before His Father and the Holy Angels

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