Summary: We are to lean on Christ and live an overcoming life, in the midst of the troubles of this world. For the Lord is reigning upon His throne and sovereignly in control.

We have just finished the messages to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. And I was all ready to move away from Revelation.

• I was thinking about what to preach. I sat down on Thursday night and received through the email a newsletter from SermonCentral, which I subscribed to.

• And the article for this issue was about the seven churches in Revelation. I read it and was prompted back into Revelation.

• I believe the Lord wants me to end with his note.

So here I am, back into Revelation, and a final look at the seven churches.

• The Lord says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

• Here in Rev 2-3 we have seven messages, given specifically to seven churches, according to the situation and needs.

• Yet somehow the Lord wants us to know that these aren’t just letters for them alone, and completely irrelevant to us.

• At the end of each letter, He added this emphasis.

o To the church in Ephesus - 2:7.

o To the church in Smyrna – 2:11

o To the church in Pergamum – 2:17

o To the church in Thyatira – 2:29

o To the church in Sardis – 3:6

o To the church in Philadelphia – 3:13

o To the church in Laodicea – 3:22

We are to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. It’s in plural.

• All the messages are relevant to us. They serve as an encouragement and a warning.

• These are real churches in Asia Minor, and real issues. In order words, problems in these seven churches are the problems we can see today in churches.

• Their strengths can be our strengths, and their weaknesses can be our weaknesses.

• Our church life, and in a narrower sense, our Christian life, are mirrored by these churches.

We see another line repeated in all of these seven messages.

• Each of the churches is called to overcome.

o To the church in Ephesus in 2:7

o To the church in Smyrna – 2:11

o To the church in Pergamum – 2:17

o To the church in Thyatira – 2:26

o To the church in Sardis – 3:5

o To the church in Philadelphia – 3:12

o To the church in Laodicea – 3:21

In order words, there will be this overcoming you need to be doing; there will be challenges in the Christian life.

• Like these churches, you may face problems from without – persecutions, false prophets; or from within, you own sinful flesh and weaknesses.

• The same John wrote in 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

• Jesus says to His disciples in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

• That’s what Revelation is trying to drive home to us: “You are going to have trouble in this world.”

So we are called to overcome. But how do you do that?

• The answer is found in chapters 4 and 5. [Read Rev 4:1-11, 5:11-14]

• Having led to see what’s going on in the churches ON EARTH, he saw heaven!

• Not just heaven but “a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.” (Rev 4:2)

• He saw the enthroned God and the Lamb, Jesus Christ.

• You take your eyes off your earthly situation and gaze into heaven, and you will see what true reality looks like.

No matter what is the world’s problem, or for that matter, what is the church’s problem, or what is your problem, the most important and needful thing, is for you to look up, and see God in all of His glory.

• It is no coincidence that the problems of the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3 are followed by a majestic vision of Him who sits on the throne in chapter 4 and the Lamb who was slain in chapter 5.

• The vision of God in chapters 4 and 5 is the answer to the problems posed in chapters 2 and 3.

• You can overcome, because God is on the throne, and the Lord Himself has triumphed (5:5).

The vision does not just tell us we can overcome; I believe it is telling us HOW we can overcome.

• We are to follow the example of those in the throne room, and worship Him. Everyone worship Him!

• In order words, we will find the love, the strength, and the hope we need to overcome the challenges of this world when we WORSHIP God.

• They were doing that continuously, with songs of praise. Everything is centred on the throne in the midst of the room.

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