Summary: 5 out of the 7 churches in revelation are addressed by Jesus and warned to wake up! We will look at three of them today.
The 7 “Be Happy” Blessings of Revelation pt 3
Open with video of the Rapture from YouTube – Are you ready?
Revelation 16:15: "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."
This scripture text reminds us of how blessed the Christian is. This text also reveals one the core teachings of this book. The point behind Revelation and the New Testament is that we as Christians must stay awake and be ready to go with Christ at any moment. We as Christians do not have to know when we are going! We by the way will never know even with all the detailed elaborate calculations and predictions out there. I want to be very frank with you today. Nobody knows when Christ is returning nor when the Rapture of the church will take place it could happen today, tomorrow, next week, next year, the next decade, or even the next millennium. The point to grab a hold of is this, "...stay awake and be ready at any moment!"
Story of Rapture Joke gone bad:
Herbert Washington, whom co-workers at Significant Plastics Inc. say was unduly concerned with the rapture and the second coming of Christ, suffered a serious heart attack when co-workers pretended they’d been caught away in the Rapture without him.
On Tuesday July 12, 2003 of this normal work week, they laid their work outfits on their chairs and hid in a supply room, and when Herbert came back from the restroom, he thought the rapture had occurred. The janitor, an outspoken Muslim, pretended to have witnessed everyone disappear and ran around the office feigning panic. Herbert fell to the ground clutching his heart and screaming, "I knew you’d forget me, Jesus! What did I do wrong?" He was taken to a local hospital. The employees emerged, sobered, from the supply room and gathered up their extra clothes.
"We didn’t mean to scare him to death," said one woman. "He’s just always talking about it, so today we decided to turn the tables on him."
Washington underwent bypass surgery and is recovering well and "digging into the Bible like never before," says his wife.
Paul talks about the Rapture in his writings to warn the Christians to be ready at any moment:
I Thess. 5:1-11:
1Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self–controlled.
7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
8But since we belong to the day, let us be self–controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
If you explore revelation’s messages to the churches you discover that two churches had committed themselves to staying awake and being ready (Smyrna, and Philadelphia). Know we will explore some of the churches revealed in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 that have fallen asleep in Christ. Each church is at a different level.
One church is sleeping all night with the enemy (Thyatira).
One church is sleepwalking and they are moving away from Jesus Christ as they are sleep walking (Sardis).
One church is sleeping all the time from Christ day and night (Laodicea).
Thesis: Each of these 3 churches are addressed by Jesus and warned to wake up! We will look at the three of them today.
I. The church of Thyatira - The church that slept all night with the enemy (Rev. 2:18-29):
"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. (Rev 2:18 NIV) I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. (Rev 2:19 NIV) Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (Rev 2:20 NIV) I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. (Rev 2:21 NIV) So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. (Rev 2:22 NIV) I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. (Rev 2:23 NIV) Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): (Rev 2:24 NIV) Only hold on to what you have until I come. (Rev 2:25 NIV) To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations-- (Rev 2:26 NIV) ’He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’ -- just as I have received authority from my Father. (Rev 2:27 NIV) I will also give him the morning star. (Rev 2:28 NIV) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Rev 2:29 NIV)