Summary: You cannot judge someone else for your own tolerance. What have you been tolerating? Isn't it about time to say, "ENOUGH!" Jesus thinks so. To overcome you must repent which means to do CHRIST’S WILL to the end. How?

Revelation 2:18-29: “Dealing With Church Problems”

Problems. Does anyone here have problems?

I asked a man recently which years of a marriage are the toughest. He told me that the first 30 years were the toughest in a marriage. I asked him, well how many years have you been married? He said, “30 years.”

Jesus said: “In this world you will have tribulation—problems.”

Peter said, “Don’t let it surprise you when you have persecution--problems.”

James said, “Count every instance of trial—problems, a joyous occasion.”

Jesus tells, “Don’t worry about tomorrow—why bring the problems of the future into your today? Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I was pulled over for speeding this past week, by a very good looking, handsome, quality of a man, who just might receive a gift basket from me this Christmas (is he here?); I didn’t know what I did wrong…but I was in trouble. He was gracious, very kind, treated me respectfully—he was a man among men. If you are wondering why I am talking like this about him it is because he is here today! I thought I’d try to smooth over any problems we might have.

I don’t want to add to the problems of the church. I don’t want to add to your problems and I don’t want to make more problems for me. I grew up on a farm as the youngest in a long line of innovative family members--brothers and cousins; and where the barn and the machine shop and hay mows and wagons were places not only LABS for learning but for solving problems.

Problem solving is a lost art. Most people just want to start problems and drama or spend a lot of time talking ABOUT the problem. I think solving problems for some people would give them less to do.

I grew up in a congregational church. I have seen Pastors fired and members leave because of conflict. I heard powerful messages about the sin of divorce and the most godly couples unable to resolve conflict in their marriage. I have watched as people, believing they were right, wanted to solve problems their way only later to hear them say they were wrong—but it was too late—the damage had been done.

Why do we judge people so harshly for the sins we ourselves have or are committing? One of the last churches I was in had an outstanding Christian youth who got a Christian girl pregnant. He was the son of church leaders—his dad a Sunday school teacher and mom a women’s bible study leader. A friend of mine said, “His sin is no different than mine—I just didn’t get caught.” And how many of us sitting here today could say the same thing?

What we need is someone who is so refined and so pure and so on fire for God help us, tell us the truth, and give us the solutions to our problems.

I went to a minister’s conference Thursday at Rainbow Camp in Converse and heard a wonderful reminder from the former pastor of SECC in Louisville that preaching the word of God still matters. Don’t adopt it, adapt it, make it cute or clever, JUST preach the word.

We have someone who is refined and pure and on fire for God speaking to us today—Rev 2

18 …These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

If you haven’t gotten it by now—after six letters, let it be known in this seventh letter that it is JESUS who is speaking to the church. If the Son of God clue isn’t enough, flipping back to 1:15-16, John tells us it is Jesus—the one whose eyes are flaming fires and feet like bronze.

Thyatirans were bronze metal workers. Do you think they’d know a thing or two about fire and bronze? Fire heats up for use and bronze was strong and lasting. They would have to look into the fire to see that the bronze is fit for use. But here, the one who is speaking to this church, IS the fire and the bronze and is now looking back at the ones who are working and seeing if THEY are fit for use.

v19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

Thyatrian church was busy—their love SERVED and their faith PERSEVERED in ways now more than ever. And even though this church loved and believed and worked more than ever there was SOMETHING going on that caused this church to not be what Jesus wanted them to be in the community within which they served. Maybe it was a secret. Maybe you have a secret too?

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