7 questions & 7 Promises for 7 churches:
Churches and individuals may look healthy and wealthy but may be sick and poor according to the standards of Jesus. We must ask Christ the Creator and Owner of everything, including the Church He owns, to examine us individually and collectively.
G. Campbell Morgan-
“It is a very remarkable thing that:
The church of Christ persecuted has been the church of Christ pure.
The church of Christ patronized has been the church of Christ impure.” (always)
Repetition and format in the 7 letters to the 7 churches
1.Written to the “messenger” in each church
2.Description of Jesus applicable to the issues in that church
3.Jesus says, “I know…” reality vs. perception
4.Commendation-if there is one-(zero commendation to Laodicea)
5.Problem…within the church or outside the church
6.Rebuke-if there is one-(no rebuke for for Smyrna and Philadelphia-they had little strength and intense persecution.)
7.Remedy-humility and repentance (except for Smyrna and Philadelphia-already reality)
8.Practical and spiritual next steps
9.To the one who conquers (endures)-promise of victory, gifts, and eternal life
10.The call for each person and each church throughout history to listen and respond.
Do you have an ear to hear and keep what the Spirit is saying?
Ephesus Revelation 2:1-7
Maybe your works, labor, endurance, not tolerating evil in the church, testing false teachers, and right living is strong. As a believer in Jesus, was there a time in my life that my love and abandon for Jesus, His Gospel, and His people was greater than it is now? If so, am I willing to do what I did when that love was new and passionate?
Remember, repent, return or be removed.
What am I willing to suffer for? This will show what I am devoted to-object of affection. Do we pray to protect from suffering or preserve through suffering? (Acts 4)
Be faithful, even to the loss of everything in the world, including our physical life.
What would Jesus point to in my life where compromise is…? Entertainment, ethics, compromise, sexual humor I laugh at or enjoy, time and attention I give to sports, politics, luxury, rest, food, profession.
Repent and receive real sustenance, a righteous stone, and a new name.
Have I been seduced by voices within the church to minimize sexual sin or idolatry what false teaching am I allowing in? What am I willing to tolerate that Jesus would not tolerate in His church?
The church or the media I consume that is destructive to Christ’s bride for patient endurance
Repent if you tolerate sin. Hold on if you are holding to Christ and His commands.
Do people around me assume I am more devoted to Jesus than I really am? What needs to change so the reputation lines up with reality? Am I a hypocrite or a humble repenter? Can I be fully awake for patient endurance?
Do I realize I have little strength on my own? Am I walking through the doors Jesus has opened for me to share the Gospel in His strength no matter what it costs?
Has the deception or seduction of culture or material prosperity or kept me from coming to terms with my true spiritual condition? Am I deceiving myself? Is this church deceiving herself?
(Some questions adapted from Warren Wiersbe and Nancy Guthrie)
I know you. The good. The bad. I know what needs to happen. I know what I am preparing for you. I’m calling each of you to repent, endure, and overcome. Even the dead and lukewarm church that makes me sick I patiently wait for a season and call you and them back to Me.
We can be honest:
1.Sinful habits that have a stronghold
2.Lack of love for him and others
3.Sexual past and past sin that doesn’t need to define or destroy us now or in the future
4.Not bold in witness rather ashamed or afraid
5.Ease of compromise
6.Tolerance for two things-those who don’t tell the truth about Jesus and sin within His church
7.deception, seduction, hypocrisy
More blessing than we can imagine, if we turn and follow Him.
What we receive if we conquer, overcome, endure:
1.Eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God
2.Give the crown of life
3.Hidden manna, white stone, new name
4.Authority over the nations, morning star
5.Dressed in white clothes, never erase name from book of life, acknowledge your name before My Father and His angels
6.Make you a pillar in the temple of my God, never go out of temple again, write on you: the name and the city of God (the new Jerusalem thar comes out of Heaven), and His new name
7.Give you the right to sit with Jesus on His throne like Jesus who conquered (how did He conquer?) and sit down with His Father on His throne.