Summary: The Book of Revelation gives us warnings and instructions about what the church should be.
March 26, 2017
Text: Revelation 1:1; Chapters 2-3
Subject: Lessons From Revelation Part 3
Title: Warnings to the Church – Get it Right
This is our third sermon in the series Lessons from Revelation. If for some reason you have always deemed the Book of Revelation as one that is too difficult to understand you may need to rethink that.
First of all it is given to the church to tell us of things that must soon happen.
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John…
Secondly, there are blessings to be received from reading and hearing this prophecy. Revelation 1:3 (NKJV)
3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
By the time that John had written this Book the church had already been established for 60 plus years. Christianity had been established throughout the Roman Empire no longer as a sect of Judaism but as an independent viable religious movement. It was taking the Empire by storm.
The Roman army had destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. Jews and Christians alike had been scattered around the world to avoid persecution beginning with Nero that would last into the fourth century.
The seven letters written to the churches of Asia by the hand of John but through the anointing of the Holy Spirit and direct words of Christ show us that the churches were not perfect. As a matter of fact there were many areas where the churches had missed the will of God and now He is calling them back with words of warnings.
Revelation 2:1-4 (NKJV)
1 "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
2 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary.
4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
I believe this is God’s word…
I believe it is for me…
I accept it as mine…
I will appropriate it to my life today…
These letters written from Jesus through John to the churches contain important information for all of us. Now let me preface what I want to get to by saying this. These letters are to the churches that are representative of all the churches of the world from the beginning of the church till Jesus comes back. So this first letter is not only to the church in Ephesus, but also to all churches of all time that identify with this church.
Do you see how the Lord begins each letter?
I. The Lord is identified as the One who speaks… 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2:8, "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, 'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 2:12, "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, 'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: Can you see how each letter is connected to verses 13-18 in chapter 1? There is no doubt that it is Jesus who is talking and that He is challenging them about the activity of the church.
If Jesus is the One speaking, and we say that these letters are written for us today as well, then does that not mean that the Lord still must be speaking to us today? Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV) 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…
1) He speaks to us by His Word…. Hebrews 4:12 (NIV2011)
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. You can look at Psalm 119 and see how the word speak to us. Psalm 119:24 (NIV2011) Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors. Joshua 1:8, 8Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.