11.28.2021 | Revelation - Week 12 - To The Church In Laodicea :: YouVersion Event
Dover Assembly of God
11.28.2021 | Revelation - Week 12 - To The Church In Laodicea
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  • Dover Assembly of God
    4790 Carlisle Rd, Dover, PA 17315, USA
    Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Dover Assembly Online
    Sunday 10:30 AM

Welcome!

Welcome to Dover Assembly of God! We're glad that you've joined us this morning. If you're on Facebook, we encourage you to take a moment to check in at Dover Assembly.

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Weekly Bulletin
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November 28, 2021

Welcome to Dover Assembly!
We are so glad you have chosen to attend Dover Assembly this morning. It is not by accident that you are here. We believe that God has allowed you to be here so that you might receive all that He has for you. We pray you are blessed as you allow the Lord to work in your life.

THIS WEEK

Sunday
9:00 am ~ Coffee & Donut Fellowship
9:30 am ~ Sunday School
10:30 am ~ Worship Service
10:30 am ~ R.O.C.K. Children’s Ministry
1:00 pm ~ Spanish Service

Wednesday
6:30 pm ~ CAROLING AT PROVIDENCE PLACE

Thursday
6:30 pm ~ Men’s Christmas Dinner

Friday
6:00 pm ~ Women’s Christmas Dinner

Saturday
6:30 pm ~ Spanish Service

UPCOMING EVENTS

Christmas Caroling
We will be going to Providence Place Nursing Home on Wed. Dec 1 to sing to the residents and bless them with a small gift from our church. Meet at the church at 6:30 and we will leave as a group. Please sign up in the upper foyer if you would like to join us.

We will also be going Christmas Caroling on Friday, December 17 as we sing carols on Main Street right here in our very own Dover neighborhood! Hot chocolate and cookies back at the church immediately following.

Men's Christmas Dinner
The guys will be celebrating Christmas this year at Mission BBQ! What better way to ring in Christmas than a feast at a BBQ place! We would like all men to join us at 6:30 THIS Thursday Dec 2! Please sign up in the lower foyer!

Women's Christmas Dinner
The Women of Purpose will be having their Christmas dinner at the church on Friday, Dec 3rd at 6:00 pm. The dinner will be catered by Olive Garden and we’re asking for a $10 donation to cover that cost. We will also be having a Christmas stocking exchange (filled with a $10 gift). We hope all the women can join us for a fun night of fellowship as we celebrate our Savior’s birth! Please sign up in the upper foyer!

BODY NEWS

Bible Release
We currently host the program that allows children to learn the Bible during school hours. This program is in need of some adults who are willing to help on Tuesdays from 12:30-2:00. If you are willing to help, please contact the church.

Benevolence
It’s that time of year. . . Christmas is just around the corner. We would like to bless a few of our church family. If you can help, please mark “Benevolence” on your check or envelope! Thank you!

Shut Ins
Continue to pray for those of our church family who are no longer able to join us for worship.
~ Marian T.
~ Olga K.
~ Rose K.
~ Cindy D. (Angel’s mom)
~ Beulah S.

New Life for Girls Christmas Blessing
There is a table outside the nursery with a list of items that the New Life Girls are in need of. If you would like to bless them this year, please take a copy of their list and bring the gift back UNWRAPPED and we well deliver them in time for Christmas! Thank you in advance! Deadline for drop-off is Dec. 12!

Prayer Warriors!
Prayer nights continue on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Join us as we seek the Lord for Dover Assembly and our own lives!

BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
Dec 2 ~ Leon Conley
Dec 3 ~ Darlene Osborn
Dec 4 ~ Mason Fahnestock
Dec 5 ~ Diane Crumrine
Dec 8 ~ Jamie Wible
Dec 8 ~ Dominic Blanchard
Dec 18 ~ Kim Coleman
Dec 30 ~ Mark Crumrine

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
Wed. Dec. 1
6:30 pm ~ Caroling at Providence Place Nursing Home

Thur. Dec 2
6:30 pm ~ Men’s Christmas Dinner

Fri. Dec 3
6:00 pm ~ Women’s Christmas Dinner

Sun. Dec 5
10:30 am ~ Christmas Songs w/ Bells

Sat. Dec 11
9:00 am ~ Kid’s Christmas Practice

Sun. Dec 12
10:30 am ~ Kid’s Christmas Play

Thur. Dec 16
6:00 pm ~ Deacon Christmas Dinner

Fri . Dec 17
7:00 pm ~ Neighborhood Caroling

Wed. Dec 22
NO EVENING SERVICE

Fri. Dec 24
6:00 pm ~ Christmas Eve Service

Sat. Dec 25
CHRISTMAS

Sun Dec 26
NO SUNDAY SCHOOL
10:30 AM WORSHIP SERVICE ONLY

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https://doverassembly.com/app

Online Giving

Thank you for your faithfulness! You can now give to Dover Assembly online at your convenience. Click the link to learn more!

https://doverassembly.com/give

Nov 28, 2021 - Week 12 - Rev. Jeff Bender

Before we jump into Revelation, a brief history lesson about our church . . .

This church (Dover A/G) in various forms and under different leadership has been around for quite a while. If we study this church’s history a bit, we’ll see that in 1930, Charles Crone held evangelistic meetings in a tent in Rossville. The purpose was to reach lost people. From this meeting and it’s continued outreach, this church was formed.

Then we became a fully functional church in 1940.

What was the purpose in 1940? To reach lost people and have a home from which they discipled the new believers. That vision has not changed in 80+ years. The buildings, paint, carpeting wording may have changed and the methods may have changed over the years, but the vision and goal is the same.

As evidenced by our current vision: Connect, Grow, Serve, Go, Worship

Each describing a pattern of discipleship. We will preach on that later, but I said that to say this: If we lose that vision and goal, then we become like this last church.

So now we come to Laodicea. This was a church that had lost its vision and purpose. We’ll see that rather than being a change agent designed to win the lost, they became a social group that focused more on themselves than others.

I believe that most people know about this church, probably more than the others. You hear about the “Laodiceans”.

Most people know the reference to neither hot or cold so he will spit you out of His mouth, but we are going to go a little further than that.
Let’s find out some info about Laodicea. It was about 45 miles southeast of the church in Philadelphia. About 100 miles east of the church in Ephesus.

The great Roman Road ran right thru the center of town, making it an important center of trade and communications.

Its wealth came from black wool. It was known as being a wealthy center to surrounding countries.

Laodicea, while a wealthy city has no real history behind it. It is not known for doing anything notable. There were no achievements to distinguish it.

It was a city that had learned to adapt themselves to what was going on in the world. The city did not zealously stand for anything. They had a “peace at all costs” mentality. Nothing to this city was worth struggling for. They had a “go along to get along” mentality. Whatever you believe is good for you.

That mindset worked its way into the church. This church suffered no persecution, they had no obvious false teachers, they had no dissent from within.

They simply succumbed to the enjoyment of all that they possessed. They lived for themselves.

If it bring us enjoyment, it’s good. That mentality always leads to eventual decay or destruction.
Now we all use that term “amen”. We know it to be “so be it”.

It technically means “the acknowledgement of that which is sure and right”.

It is a human response to the divine action. We acknowledge what God says or does as sure and right.
What God says is always sure and right.

He is preparing them for what he is going to say next.
Jesus is the thing that is sure and right and he is the faithful and true witness, he is the ruler of all creation.

Therefore he has the authority to say the rest.
John has used this phrase before.

He is simply telling the church, “I see what you have done in my name”.

There is nothing He does not know.
When someone is spiritually cold that means they aren’t saved.
When you become a Christian, we all become hot, excited about God and are zealous followers, but now they have left the zealous part and are drifting back to being cold again.

Now this doesn’t mean that Christ would prefer someone to be spiritually cold.

These terms are unique to our generation. To be spiritually hot or cold, is something that American Christians are familiar with, not these people. It was just another way of saying lukewarm. He was saying they were useless.

They were useless because they were complacent, self-satisfied and indifferent to the real issues of faith in Him and discipleship.

He uses this example because they knew what he was saying. Laodicea had a poor water supply that sometimes would make you sick and would induce vomiting.

Laodicea used an aqua duct for its water supply from one of these areas. They aren’t sure from which direction it came, but in either case, when it arrived it was tepid and full of bacteria.

The water assumed the temperature of it’s surrounding atmosphere.

This church assumed the spiritual sensitivity if it’s surrounding society. A pretty good emotional word picture, right?

One commentary says it this way: “Christ detests a Laodicean attitude of compromise, one that seeks easy accommodation and peace at any cost. With such a condition, he must deal harshly.”
The water made them sick so they were familiar with vomiting, so hopefully they grasped the seriousness of their condition.

These people didn’t oppose Jesus, but they didn’t draw near to Him either.

They claimed to be believers, but were NOT doing God’s will.
Laodicea was a wealthy city and the center of commerce.

And prosperity was the cause of the lukewarm-ness.
The worst part of this was that these folks didn’t even realize where they were. They believed that they were doing all the right things.

This church had no persecution, no false apostles or doctrine like the other churches in Revelation. To those churches, it must have appeared as though this is the church to be in.

"I wish I was in that church. Everything seems to be going great for them."

They have material possessions, so they must be blessed by God. He must be happy with their life if they have all this stuff. The equal and opposite reaction would necessarily be that if I don’t have material wealth, I must not be doing what pleases God.

Ever talk to anyone who doesn’t believe they are sick when in fact you know they are? I’m thinking maybe about eating disorders, girls who think they are overweight all the time, but are sickly thin? They are locked into thinking they need to lose weight. Even when everyone around them tells them different.

That was this church. They were convinced in their own minds they were fine, when in reality, they were . . .
These first 2 words “wretched and pitiful” describe their condition. The last 3 describe why they are that way.

The word “Wretched” was used to describe life after everything one owns has been destroyed or plundered by war. They were pitied by God.

You are destitute and plundered and pitied by God, because you are poor blind and naked.

Poor: to take away the analogy of wealth equals blessing

Blind: to describe their spiritual condition-they are blind to the truth

Naked: they are no longer clothed in Christ’s righteousness.

Even today, churches have to fight the idea and natural progression of this type of mentality. Every church, if not constantly on guard, will eventually fall into this rut.

Look at every major denomination. All started out as gospel preaching churches. But most have succumbed to their surroundings. They have become lukewarm, and useless to the kingdom of God.

They think they are fine and even worse, that they are doing God’s will because of outward appearance.

They aren’t rocking the boat, they aren’t calling for spiritual transformation, they aren’t telling people that we are sinners in need of saving.

Therefore they are useless.
80+ years is a milestone for any organization of church. But it also should be a call for self examination.

Are we still fulfilling God’s original purpose for our existence?

Are we still calling for spiritual transformation? Are we still burning with a desire to see people brought to Christ?

Are we still doing all we can to reach and transform our community, or are we becoming like it?
In scripture, a refining fire is almost always associated with suffering or testing.
When gold is in the fire, what happens? The dross or the stuff that contaminates is brought to the surface and able to be taken out -- just like grease in turkey gravy.

What happens when we as believers are “refined”? Our faith is built up. God’s ultimate goal thru the fire is to increase our faith.

God wants this church to increase their faith.

So maybe he is telling them that they need some persecution.
We all know that when the times are tough, we really press in to God.

Why don’t we spend as much time pressing in, when things are going well?

Sometimes when life is easy, we let our relationship slide. That is the perfect time, when things are going well, to spend time in building your relationship.
Garments in scripture are symbols of righteousness.
He is saying here, once you press in overcome your complacency and uselessness and increase your faith, then you need to exercise that faith by acting righteous.
When we look back on what it took to start, build and keep this church, to bring it to where it is now, it was putting action to faith.

They didn’t just sit around and wait for God to do something, they stepped out in faith with no guarantees except that they trusted God.

Do we still do that today? Or do we rest on what we have and never risk everything to move forward? Are we afraid of losing our comfort to step out in faith?

In Jan 1947, the net worth of the church was $2.70. Board members took an offering from themselves to bring the balance up to $5.00.

This church was in debt $250. They called a Pastor and paid him $40/week plus $11/week for rent. So $51.00 per week for a church that had $5.00 to it’s name with a $250 mortgage.

This challenge isn’t about getting or giving money, but getting into a right relationship with God.
Laodicea was known for a particular type of eye salve.

Jesus is using a term that they were familiar with to show them what they truly need.

They were blind to their true condition. They obviously didn’t have a problem physically seeing, he was referring to their spiritual sight.
They knew that their medical eye salve which was well known in the town was beneficial to helping those in the town actually heal their vision.

God is saying to them that they need to open their spiritual eyes. Their possessions and comfort was blinding them to the truth.

Similar to credit cards. Enjoy life now and not worry about what’s coming.
God is always wanting us to come back to him. This letter was kind of harsh, but it was done in a way to encourage these people, that it wasn’t too late.

It could be too late at a future time, but right now, it wasn’t.

We as parents always rebuke and discipline in the hope of our kids making right choices from now on. We don’t want to crush them, or their spirits, we want to get them back on track.

The word He uses for love is “phileo” which means to “have affection for.

It is not necessarily a lesser form than agape which is unconditional love.

But he wanted them to see that the choice was now up to them.
For this church, Christ was on the outside.

They were able to do all their programs, but without any help from God.

Remember when I asked if the Holy Spirit left us, would we notice? Well, did they not notice that the Holy Spirit had left the building. And they kept on doing their thing and never even noticed.

If we aren’t careful, it could happen to us. But the great news is, Christ will always allow us to repent, but the choice is up to us.

If the church in Laodicea would hear this challenge to get right, he would gladly restore them, but if they didn’t he wouldn’t.

He comes to us, he knocks, but we have to hear, we have to open the door. Only when we repent and allow Christ in does he come in.
Even this slacker, backslidden church, God says if you come back, you can still share in all the rewards.

It’s never too late to come back to Christ.

You are never too old, never too bad, never too good. But we have to choose. We have to “keep on overcoming”.
We have to be listening to what the spirit of God is saying to each of us.

We can’t rest on what God did these past 80 years.

What is God saying today? What is God doing today?

What is God’s plan and vision for today and tomorrow?

God does not stop speaking to his church and his people.

His Holy Spirit was present to continue His vision in the Laodicean church.

His Holy Spirit is still present to continue his vision in Dover AG.

Look at the vision: Connect, Grow, Serve, Go, Worship

Question is. . . are we as committed to it as those in 1940?

Thank you for joining us!

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