Summary: Message 5 or 7 in a series about the practical things we can learn from the 7 church in Revelation
We are in wk 5 of a series called Revelation. I know most people think “End of The World” “Dooms Day” when they hear The Book of Revelation, but in the first chapters of this book we have the final words of Jesus to 7 church much like our own. And from Jesus affirmation, correction, & rebuke of these churches I believe their are principles that we can learn & really grow from.
If you have missed any of the messages in this series they are all available on our FB page, iTunes, & our Website.
I don’t know about you but I have a lot of experience with FAKE people.
They come to me presenting themselves one way, but before long their true colors come shining through. :)
I had a woman who came in for Finacial help a couple months after I got here back in 1996, she didn’t attend the church, but claimed to be in real need, spent 30 minutes listening to her story, I took about 15 minutes and offered counsel, encouragement & prayed with her & then she said very bluntly, with an annoyed tone as info had been wasting her time "are you gonna give me money or what?"
She didn't want counsel, she didn't want help with changing her situation, she was faking it, she hoped to play on my sympathies & manipulate me.
I wish I could say this was an isolated incident & nothing like that ever happened again. I wish I could say that….but I can’t….because it has happened a lot.
I’ve had other situations where people come to me & pretend to be really Godly & Spiritual, and try to use that to manipulate & get their way, they are FAKING IT. Being disingenuous. Wearing a mask, playing a part, pretending to be something they are not, like it were Halloween or something.
I wish I could say, I’ve never been like that. I wish I could say I have always been secure in who I am, but I can’t.
I too have played the game, I spent several years of my early ministry FAKING IT, afraid to be myself, to be honest, to be vulnerable. So I wore a mask, I held back my true self. I kept up appearances. Going through the motions. Pretending, no passion, no heart.
Can anyone one relate to what I talking about?
Have you been there? Hiding, playing the game? Sometimes with a selfish & wicked heart manipulating people; sometimes with a fearful heart, afraid of people? Sometimes just going through the motions, keeping up appearances, hoping no one finds out. Simply, not being REAL?
I think this was the struggle of our 5th church, the Church in Sardis
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again” Revelation 3:1-3
Jesus, starts with “I know ALL the things you do” Here is the funny thing, we call fool people, we can even fool ourselves, but we can never fool Jesus. Because He knows ALL the things we do. ( And loves us anyway)
He says, “You have a reputation for being alive” you have everyone around you convinced, but the truth is you are DEAD.
**WAKE UP!!! Jesus tells the to WAKE UP! Telling them your living in a fantasy, it’s time to come back to reality. It’s time to stop playing games. It’s time to get real!
You’ve been slipping, strengthen what LITTLE remains. You are holding on by a thread.
Jesus says to them GO BACK to what you first heard & believe. Get back to the innocence of your faith.
Go back to that place where you loved Jesus with a pure heart. Go back there and hold on to it. REPENT (We’ve heard that word before) Align yourself with the truth.
They started off GREAT & ended up faking it! It’s a slow fade from REAL FAITH to FAKE RELIGIOUS BEHAVIOR.
They were fooling themselves & faking it for everyone around them. Pretending, playing a part for whoever is in the audience at the moment.
I wish I could say I’ve never seen it happen, in 20 years of ministry I have seen this too many times. People wearing one mask at church & then behind closed doors the mask comes off & what’s beneath is scary.
Sardis somewhere along the way TOOK THEIR FOCUS OFF OF JESUS & PLEASING HIM & BECAME FOCUSED ON PEOPLE PLEASING!