In a day where we see what is known as the church looking no different than world – is a good day to be reminded of the words of solemn warning Jesus gave not just for the churches in the day He spoke but for us now. We as His Church must take serious to pay attention and see if Jesus is speaking to us personally in His rebuke. Listed below are excerpts of Jesus’s words of rebuke and warning taken from Revelation 2 and 3:
- Church of Ephesus; “you have left your first love.Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works,or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”
- Church in Pergamos; “because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel,to eat things sacrificed to idols,and to commit sexual immorality.Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans,which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”
- Church in Thyatira; “because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess,to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”
- Church in Sardis; I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
- Church of the Laodiceans; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.Because you say,‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and Therefore be zealous and repent.
What He is warning us in terms we can apply for today:
- No love for the Lord, just religious doings
- Prosperity gospel & false doctrine
- Sexual immorality & idolatry
- Void of the Spirit of God; not abiding in God – a dead faith
- No concept of what it means to live holy and sanctified lives and so continue to live in and for sin
Jesus warns the churches guilty of the sin He charges against them to repent. We too have been warned and our self-imposed ignorance will do us no good. We have the counsel of God, in the Book called the Bible – and we are without excuse. May we feel the conviction of God and repent of anything that we are guilty of while it is called today. Tomorrow may be too late.
Though this is a good place for us to examine ourselves to see if we are of the true faith, we can also be encouraged among His warnings as He exhorts all who overcome will gain these:
- I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
- shall not be hurt by the second death.
- I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it
- and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations
- shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
- I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
- I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:3
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This is prime example of what we need to hear today. Thank you! Let us all have the fear of the Lord! Amen!
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Not all churches have conformed to the world. Jesus had nothing bad to say about the churches at Smyrna and Philadelphia. There are still a few churches like them today.
You are quite right Clive, the church in Smyrna and the Philadelphia did not receive any rebuke from Jesus. We know them as the persecuted and faithful church. The characteristics of these churches are as follows:
• Living their faith proving good works and in tribulation, no matter if it means persecution and death
• Revealed strength from the Lord in their walk, keep His word and not denying His name in the midst of great hypocrisy.
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