Summary: God is calling us to be overcomers and has given us a plan to accomplish it.
March 16, 2008
Text: Revelation 3:14-21
Title: Survival of the Fittest
I want to share with you today about a scientific concept that is predominant in the world to day – Survival of the fittest. This is a phrase that is spoken of by evolutionists but is more often referred to as “natural selection”. The meaning of the phrase Survival of the Fittest is, “Natural selection conceived of as a struggle for life in which only those organisms best adapted to existing conditions are able to survive and reproduce.” Now, obviously, I’m not going to stand here today and give a lecture on evolution, especially when I am sure that evolution is still a theory not based on scientific proof but on the theological basis that there is no God.
What I do want to speak about today is “Survival of the Fittest” in a supernatural or spiritual sense. This is the life that is set before you if you are a Christian. John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water unto repentance, but there is one coming after me whose sandal straps I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire. The apostle John who wrote the book of Revelation gives us a message from Jesus Himself.
14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
And the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches the battle of the survival of the fittest belongs to the one who overcomes.
And the only way to overcome is to keep your spiritual fire burning.
I. WET FIRE. (14-18) The first thing I want you to see here is that these words come from Jesus. It’s not from some delusional apostle on a prison island somewhere. These are the words of Jesus himself given to the apostle. These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. Listen to me now. You may think that you are doing pretty good in your relationship with God, but John 2:29 says that Jesus knows what is on the inside of a man. He knows what you are really about. Now remember He is the one who baptizes in fire. He wants you to be on fire. But too often He looks at His church and sees that there in fact is no fire. The fire has gone out. How could that happen? Could it be that the church has spent so many years gaining control over spiritual matters that it has forgotten how to release its control to the Comforter? 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. I think the NKJV describes this very clearly when it says Jesus is about to vomit this church out of His mouth. In other words, a church that is lukewarm makes Jesus sick. Oh but Pastor Mike, you don’t want church to get out of control. We have to maintain some sense of sanity don’t we? Listen, Peter said it best when he stood before the Jewish council, Whether it is right to obey God or man, you be the judge. He was going to obey God. He was on fire and was not going to let the fire go out. That wet fire we have in churches today is not a church problem. It’s an individual problem. Just as revival begins in the hearts of believers, so quenching the Spirit – the fire of God – begins with what a person is willing to let the Holy Spirit do in their own lives. I kind of get a sense for what Jesus was saying here because I am so sick of hearing ministers from our own fellowship tell me that the gifts of the spirit don’t have to be in church today. The manifestations of the Spirit aren’t relevant. We don’t need signs and wonders in the church today. Look at the world today and tell me that we don’t need Holy Ghost power in our churches. Do you know why the church doesn’t think that it needs the Holy Spirit? Verse 17, You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. That’s OK God. We’ve got it all under control. We’ll let you know when we need something. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing…