Summary: 1st in a series on the seven Churches in Revelation. Looking at characteristics that help us have a positive presence in our community and in our church.
EVERYBODY IS KNOWN FOR SOMETHING
A Study in the Churches of Revelation
INTRODUCTION: “Corporate Identity” is a much sought after commodity in the business world today. It is something really very few obtain to a great degree. Two companies stand out in this area though – The Coke a Cola Company and the Kodak company. These two institutions have succeeded in marketing their name to the point that even world wide, people associate the name Kodak with camera, and Coke with soda. In fact some languages use these corporate titles as their words to describe “camera” and “soda”
Here in the Book of Revelation, Jesus gives these seven churches advice and encouragement on what it is they are and should be known for, as well as what they should NOT be know for. Each of these seven churches is representative of churches in general, even to the point that every church today fits into the mold of one of these prophetic seven churches.
Yet, these churches teach us that any church, regardless of situation can have a positive identity, and SHOULD have a positive identity in the world today.
So that’s the goal of this series; what do we need to do in order to develop a positive identity in our community and in the world. What should we be known for? Simply put, though, we will need to develop what is necessary for a positive identity individually, so that we can have a positive identity corporately.
Nobody can say it better than Jesus
Nobody can do it better than Jesus
I. THE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS
A. The word “know” appears in 7 verses, and a total of 10 times in Revelation chapters 2-3.
1. Revelation 2:2,9,13,19
2. Revelation 3:1,8,15
B. Jesus is aware of what it means to HAVE a positive identity
1. Jesus knows of its existence
2. Jesus knows that there is a means of positive identity
3. Jesus knows that there is a lump of knowledge in order to have a positive identity
C. Jesus understands what it will take to ATTAIN a positive identity
1. Jesus is aware of the function of what He knows
2. Jesus knows that when this knowledge is put into place AND working, it will produce a positive identity
D. Jesus is willing to INSTRUCT us in developing a positive identity
1. Jesus knows how to incorporate what He knows so that we can develop a positive image
2. His desire has always been for us to shine
a. Jesus has always desired us to be illuminated testimonies for Him
b. Jesus has always wanted us to shine in the world
c. Jesus always meant us to shine where we are.
3. The same word used for “Lampstands” here in Revelation is the same word used for “light” in Matthew 5:15.
a. In Revelation the word is plural
b. In Matthew the word is singular
II. WE SHOULD BE KNOWN FOR:
A. Working to the LIMIT of our ability
1. A Work grounded in commitment
2. A work CONSISTENT with our relationship to Christ
a. Jesus is AWARE of the energy we expend
1) Jesus knows when we are spent
2) Jesus knows when we are not
AS A CHURCH WE NEED TO BE KNOWN AS A CHURCH THAT WORKS FOR CHRIST
AS A BELIEVER WE NEED TO BE KNOW AS ONE WHO HAS CHRIST IN HIS WORK
B. Not TOLERATING Sin
1. Not tolerating a “living for the world” lifestyle
2. Not yielding to what sinful living could do
3. Recognizing that there is a time to say enough is enough
C. Persevering through HARDSHIPS
1. You have not given up
2. Idea of staying power
3. Remained faithful
4. Faithful in spite of false prophets
5. Realizing that something is not right and working through it.
a. Through changes
b. Through struggles
1 Cor. 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
We will always be tempted to:
Ø Shortchange our relationship with God
· Spending time with God’s people
· Spending time in God’s Word
· Spending time with God’s message
OUR CORE TEST WILL ALWAYS BE WITH WHO JESUS IS – IF HE IS GOD, OR IF HE IS NOT!
III. CHANGING WHAT WE ARE KNOWN FOR
A. Jesus says the Church was known for forsaking their first love
1. Defining the term
a. Term does not mean “to lose”
b. Term does mean “to leave”
2. Identifying the focus
a. Losing our love for Christ
b. Losing our love for each other
B. How we lose our love – A Core Value for believers
John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."