Summary: Message 4 or 7 in a series about the practical things we can learn from the 7 church in Revelation
We are in the 4th week of a series called Revelation. Here is the first chapters of this book we have Jesus final words to a grow of seven churches. And I believe what He said to them has meaning for us. The correction & instruction He gave them can help us grow & mature & succeed in our faith journey. So far we have learned we need to CHOOSE JOY; CHOOSE HOPE; & CHOOSE INTEGRITY.
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I’ve share this story before, but some of you have not had the pleasure of enjoy the depths of my stupidity, so I will share again. :)
When I was 6 or 7 I was hanging out with my older brother Jim & his friend Michael Sullivan. These guys were 8 or 9. And we were at Michaels house goofing off in the driveway riding bikes. Mike & Jim started playing in Michael’s mom’s VW Bug. And in the glove box they found several books of matches. So what do young boys do? They play with matches :)
So we were striking them & blowing them out, and then it progressed to lighting them & throwing them at each other, to lighting them & then lighting the book of matches. Anyway Jim & Mike had used up all their matches so they jumped on their bikes & started to ride off down the hill to where we lived. So I was in the midst of lighting my matches and being the little kid not wanting to get left behind. I just throw my matches & chased after them.
Did I mention it was autumn & there were leave piles near by? Yeah needless to say a few minutes later we heard the sirens of fire trucks. Did I mention my uncle was a fireman? Needless to say it quickly became apparent which kids were responsible for the fire & which kid threw his matches in the leaf pile. There was also a pallet of asphalt shingles near the leave piles, which was next to a wooden fence.
So what started very innocently as just having fun turned very destructive & dangerous very quickly.
Needless to say I have been much more careful with matches since then :)
You see fire IS a wonderful thing. When it is used properly:
It can keep us warm when it’s cold
It can be used to cook food to sustain us
It can light our way in the dark
It can even protect us from an attacker or wild animal (or walker)
Fire is a wonderful thing when it is used properly. When it is handled with care and respect, It can be a real powerful tool & a real blessing.
BUT as wonderful as fire can be when used properly it is equally dangerous & destructive.
Fire destroys people, property, possession
Fire can quickly turn on you if you don’t respect it & handle it properly
What is a blessing can quickly become a curse when mishandled.
Are you with me?
There are things in this life that are very similar & can quickly get away from us & put us in danger.
TRUTH: I think this was the case with our next church, in Revelation chapter 3, Thyatira.
Thyatira was known for its dyer, they worked with wool coloring it. Which is kind of interesting as we look at what Jesus says to them. Because they take what is plan & clear & color it & it gets them into trouble.
Jesus says in verse 19… “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.”
Jesus says, you guys are doing great, your love, your faith, your service, your patient endurance in difficulty are all growing. He even says I see “constant improvement” in these things.
So on the one hand they are doing awesome but Jesus continues…
“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 teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols…” Revelation 2:19-21
Even though they are doing great & constantly improving in love, faith, serve, & patience they are failing MISERABLY on the morality front!
They had become INDIFFERENT, DESENSITIZED
Allowing themselves to be lead astray & falling into sin that is dangerous & destructive.
On the surface everything looked great, but behind the doors of the church everything had become jacked up. And they were giving into sexual sin. Sacrificing the purity of their relationship with Jesus for a cheap substitute that would destroy them.