Summary: Our greatest problem in the church is not money or resources but our commitment to our mission, which is often compromised by our desire to be popular and acceptable to as many people as possible.
Our Last Mail
“Choose Your Direction”
ARE YOU GOING NORTH OR SOUTH?
Six Characteristics of South-bound Churches
1. The Church in Pergamum
a. Strong in PERSEVERANCE
12 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live -- where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city-where Satan lives.
b. Weak in PEOPLE PROBLEMS
14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
2. The Church in Thyatira
a. Strong in DEDICATION
18 "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. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.
b. Weak in DISCERNMENT
20 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.
24 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): 25 Only hold on to what you have until I come.
3. The Church in Sardis
a. Strong in REPUTATION
1 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive…
b. Weak in CORRECTION
1 … but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.
4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.
A sobering truth:
“We all tend to compromise our MISSION when it comes to giving PERMISSION.”
In other words, we tend to succumb to the temptation of pleasing people rather than pleasing God. We tend to allow people to undermine our mission because we are afraid to confront them. We permit them to go on with their sin of commission or omission because we’re afraid of losing them.
SO WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE? (NEGATIVE MOTIVATIONS)
1. If we don’t judge ourselves, the WORD OF GOD will judge us.
16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
2. If we don’t deal with sin, INNOCENT people will suffer (as well as those who are guilty).
21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 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. 23 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.
3. If we don’t do anything now, we might not have a CHANCE to correct it later on.
3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
BREAKTHROUGH STATEMENT NO. 3
“DON’T COMPROMISE OR YOU’LL PAY THE PRICE!”
SO WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE? (POSITIVE MOTIVATIONS)
1. This will prove that we have FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD today.
17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
2. This would prove that we will be the FUTURE JUDGE of tomorrow.
26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations - 27 ’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. 28 I will also give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.