As Jamera eluded to yesterday I too was sometimes afraid to read the book of Revelation. I find the close connection the book has with our lives to be fascinating. We can actually see John's vision coming to past in our society today! This is both exciting and scary for me because I always wanted to experience more of my life (i.e getting married, having children, ect)however, the end could be very near " But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven..." Matthew 24:36 today's reading of Revelation depicts God's love for his people even when we stray away. He does command that we repent.
In John's letter to the churches we see several illustrations of churches who were doing somethings right and some wrong. God required that these churches repent ( Webster's definition of repent: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life.) When we sin we must remember that it is important to repent turn away from sin. God is just and will forgive us of our sins, however if we do not repent and turn away we will be judged by our sins.
1. First church- The Loveless Church
Positives: I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil:
Negatives: Thou hast left thy first love.
Message: God sees all of our works, do not get frustrated when doing good deeds God appreciates your patience. As Christians we must accept what God says is evil. God's opinion not our own or society's opinion is what matters. God should be our first love. We should do deeds for God out of love not just something to do. If you are involved in ministry don't get caught up in the routine that you forget why you are doing it.
2. Second Church- The Persecuted Church
Positives: I know the works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich)...Message: God encourages the church because they were being persecuted. Living for God is not without suffering. We may be going through our own tribulations but it is important to remember that we are RICH as our church says " I am rich, I am filthy rich, rich in health, wealth, love and peace..."
3. Third Church- The Lenient Church
Positives: Thou holdest fast my name, and has not denied my faith
Negatives: Idols and fornication
Message: This church was faced with pressure to deny God, however they stood firm even when one of their members was killed because he would not deny God. We should never deny God even in the face of death. As a result, of the pressures that this church faced they participated in idol practices and engaged in fornication. God does not want us to worship any idol. An idol doesn't have to be a statue it can be money, a person, possessions anything that we dedicate our lives to. Furthermore, God discuss the sin of fornication, God takes sexual sins seriously and it is important to turn away.
4. Fourth Church- The Compromising Church
Positives: I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works
Negatives: Listening to a woman who taught that sexual sins were not serious to God.
Message: God is pleased when we do deeds of service for others, out of faith, love and patience. He is displeased when we believe lies that people say about immorality. The bottom line is sexual sins go against God's will. Therefore we must turn away from it.
Each of the churches had positives and negatives much like our churches today. We have positive deeds that we do for Christ and may be strong in many aspects of our Christian faith. If we are weak in any aspect or involved in a sin it is vital that we repent and turn away.
Stay Blessed and Continue Warring for Christ!
Warrior Wednesday: Brittney