From Pastor Perry

02/12/2013 Revelation 3:1-6

Revelation 3:1–6 (ESV)
To the Church in Sardis
3 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
“ ‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

It is easy to look at this fifth letter, and really almost all the letters and see them as negative and Jesus lashing out.  While this is true, you need to look at it from the perspective that God is warning the seven churches instead of just lashing out.  Jesus is also looking for repentance and correction.   Example: Have you ever been fired and never given a reason or a chance to correct your actions?  Whether this is a yes or no, one would want a chance to be told they are doing wrong and given a fair chance to correct their actions.

Jesus says “I know your works.”  This again is demonstrates Jesus omniscience.  He is aware of what is going on in the church and what is going on in your own life.  The Lord commended the Church of Ephesus and Thyatira about their good works, but not this church.  Jesus says: “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.”  The deeds they accomplished was for their sake and the world’s sake, but not for God.  It only builds up their reputation of being good, but they are not.  Congregations with full pews, big budgets, impressive buildings, a high community profile, influential members, and much activity may gain a lively image.  1 Samuel 16:7 states “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”  You discern a congregation by what they teach and the people’s heart, not by size, programs, playscapes, and their music.  Do their teachings agree with God’s Word.  The Bible states the following as found in 2 Timothy 4:1–5 (ESV). 1“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

Yet even in the Church of Sardis, there are some who walk according to God, whose hearts belong to Jesus.  Jesus states: Revelation 3:3–5 (ESV) 3"Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels."  It is important that we not get led astray away from sound doctrine, and that the Church teaches what God wants to be taught, not what people want to hear.  The only way to discern the difference is by actively studying the Bible.  I pray: Lord, help me to hear not what I want to hear, but what I need to hear... Your Word in truth and purity.  Help me to grow in your Word so that I can discern Your ways from the ways of the world.  Thank you for your forgiveness and help me to endure unto the end.  Amen.

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David Johns | Reply 12.02.2013 17.22

Amen --- still in prayer for you

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