Summary: Christians are citizens of Two Worlds and need to be Committed to Jesus Christ, the Author of Heaven.
Commit yourself to God and the Brethren
The sin of the church of Thyatira was compromise…
The great menace to the church was the numerous Trade Guilds. Their meetings began and ended with prayers to the gods, and they became centers of drunken orgies and lax morals.
In the church at Thyatira there were those who asked: "Why shouldn’t we join the guilds?" "Why sacrifice good business by remaining out of them?"
In this church there was no commitment. There was only compromise. Don’t get me wrong, there were good people in that church, but the bad outweighed the good.
(Here in lie’s the problem) The Christian is the citizen of two worlds!
In Christ, we have been raised to a new life that looks to a city whose builder and maker is God. But we have to live that life here, and that means positive qualities of love, patience, mercy, meekness plus the standards of Christian morals and conduct.
The Christian’s greatest contribution to the welfare of this present world is to live as a citizen of Heaven, and that means committing our lives to Christ and His church.
The Christian, who finds better fellowship in his lodge or legion, VFW or Ball Team than he does amongst his brethren in the church, should seriously examine his relationship to Jesus Christ and his brethren. Conformity to this world’s standards is no mark of the committed Christian.
Studdert Kennedy tells of an explorer who brought back a chameleon which his household affectionately named Billy the Lizard. The explorer left Billy in charge of his butler who showed him to his many friends and associates. When the explorer returned, he asked how Billy was. "Well, sir," said the butler, "it was like this. We put Billy on the green rug he turned green as Ireland. We put him on the red rug he turned as red as Russia. Then some fool put him on a patchwork quilt, and poor Billy burst, into a million pieces.”
Says Kennedy: "The world we live in is a patchwork quilt, a bewildering complex . . . patched with the colors of the rainbow, and we madly try to adapt ourselves to its complexities. We change our characters according to the company we keep." And because we choose to be this way, we can not commit to anything.”
Anyone walking into the church at Thyatira would have thought it surging with life. But there was too much world in the church and not enough church in the world.
As a young man Joshua Harris’ attitude toward the church reflected many peoples attitude today.
He considered the church secondary, outmoded, inefficient, a hindrance. It wasn’t that he didn’t love God or God’s people. It just wasn’t as important as some other things and besides, there was more fun in other things.
Joshua is not alone! Many people today, Christians, Church Members, think and act the same exact way. Regular church attendance is a relic designed to hinder our freedoms.
There are reasons why some Christians think this way…First some are just indifferent to committed church attendance. In other words, they could take it or leave it. One man told me one time that his parents go to church for something to do on Sunday morning. Besides, there’s really nothing on TV until noon anyhow.
Another reason is because they are ignorant. They are uninformed. They’ve never considered the Bible’s view on committed church attendance, or the consequences of neglecting it.
Other persons are Indecisive. They can’t make up their mind if church is important or not. But the church is usually the first stop at the sign of tragedy.
I’ll never forget what my sister Marsha told me once, she said,” People aren’t going to leave the church because you made them mad; people leave because they want to leave and they’ll use any excuse that works.”
Last but certainly not least are the independent Christians, called Lone Rangers, who don’t want to be saddled down with the burden of church commitment. These Christians don’t want people in their business. They want to come when they want, get what they want, and leave unattached, when they want. They’d rather play than pray. Getting up is a bummer. Giving is a burden, unless of course, I enjoy it, although I enjoy shopping more.
God’s intent is for the Local Church to be central in the Life of His people. Committed church members become healthy Christians who understand that such a commitment is precisely how God intends His people to live out the faith, work out their salvation, and experience Christian love. Some day your world, as you know it, may fall apart. Will your extra curricular activities be enough to pull you through the traumatic trials and tribulations of this evil world?