Summary: Revelations letter to the seven churches and how they apply to us.
He that Has an Ear
God cares for the church. Just as the Lord knew about each of these seven churches and their precise situation, the Lord knows and cares about you current spiritual state. In the second thru third chapter of the book of Revelation, Christ praised believers about their success and how to Correct their failures.
Just as God cared about each of these churches, He cares for you. He wants you to reach your greatest potential. This group of believers we call A Place of Mercy is Gods vehicle for Changing the world. We must take it seriously- God does.
Ephesus: The loveless church
• The Church at Ephesus was a Hard working Church.
• They did not compromise themselves with the World.
• They were able to discern those who were false prophets and teachers
• They had persevered and not become weary.
The definition of Persevere is: To persist steadily in an action of belief, over a long period of time and especially despite problems or difficulties.
But they lost their first Love:
Paul had once commented the church of Ephesus for their love for God and others, but by time of the letter in Revelation Many of the church founders had died and the second generation lost it’s zeal for God.
They were a busy Church, a Church of many works, doing many things for themselves and their community, but they were acting out of the wrong motives. The work of God must be motivated by Love for God or it will not last.
Vs. 5 I will come quickly and remove your lamp stand from you.
The lamp was used to give light and direction to the world.
Although the church of Ephesus was sound in doctrine and works, Christ warns that they would lose their effectiveness to be a witness to the world. If we are to be effective we must “love the Lord with all of our hearts strength and might and love our neighbors as ourselves.
Smyrna: The Persecuted Church.
The church at Smyrna was suffering persecution, not just from the world but from some of those who claimed to be of the household of God. The Jewish population in Smyrna was opposed to Christianity. How many times have you experienced criticism not just from those outside the faith, but by those who claim to be of the faith? To what lengths are you willing to endure persecution?
VS.10: You will endure tribulation 10 days.
God’s message to the church at Smyrna was to remain faithful during their suffering because God is in control and his promises are reliable.
• Jesus never said that by being faithful to him we would avoid troubles, suffering and persecution. Only in our suffering will our faithfulness be proven. “You will have tribulation 10 days”. God wants you to know that although you suffering may be severe, it has a beginning and an end ordained by God. Through trials and tribulation God is in complete control.
Pergamos: The Compromising Church.
The city of Pergamos was the center for heathen worship. Christ describes it as “where Satan’s throne is”. The church at Pergamos stood strong even to a point were some were martyred.
Even though the church was able to withstand the frontal attack of the enemy, Satan reformulated his plan and entered the back door. That back door is called compromise (Is your back door unlocked?).
Satan doesn’t have to get you to stop coming to church or deny your faith. He just has to get you to compromise.
The definition of compromise is: to undermine or devalue somebody or something by making concessions, or agreeing to accept less than was originally wanted.
Vs.15: The Nicolaitans.
The Nicolaitans where people who compromised their faith in order to enjoy some sinful practices of Ephesian society.
When we want to take part in activities that we know are wrong, we make excuses to justify our behavior; It’s not as bad as it seems, It’ doesn’t effect my walk with God or even worst; I don’t think it’s wrong. God’s Word says in Proverbs 14:12 “there is a way that seems right unto man but the end is the way of death”.
Christ has Strong words for the Compromiser: “Repent or I will come quickly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth”
The sword is used for cutting and separating bodily members. Christ is saying to the compromiser that he will permanently separate them from the body of Christ.
Thyatira: The Corrupt Church
The church at Thyatira was a church commended for growing in good works. However they not only allowed, but tolerated an evil person or persons who Christ calls Jezebel, to seduce the saints.