Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Seven Churches Part 9 – Conclusion

The Seven Churches
Part 9 – Conclusion
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
Today, we will look at everything the Lord had to say to John, and focus on what the Lord is actually judging, the warnings, and the rewards to the overcomers, which will allow us to take a personal assessment, as well as an assessment of our church.

Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.

Each letter is in the same format, first establishing the Lord's authority to judge a specific issue, acknowledging the works of the specific church, giving commendation, condemnation, or both, then explaining the warnings of not repenting, and the rewards to those who overcome what the Lord is judging, and finally, the commission from the Lord to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the "churches".

Today we will do just that.

We will first read Revelation 1:9-18, which is the record of the Lords appearance, then we will take all of the letters, examining what we were told to examine, looking at what the Holy Spirit has to say to all the churches.

First, I will read a collection of the scriptures establishing the Lord's authority, the a collection of the scriptures where the Lord looks at the works. We will then see a collection of scriptures of the warnings, and finally a collection of the promises to the overcomer.

In essence, this is like reading one letter from the Lord, instead of seven letters to seven churches.












SCRIPTURE REFERENCE
Revelation 1:9-18

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,[d] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.



I.       JESUS ESTABLISHES HIS AUTHORITY
a.      Jesus has fully established "who" He is in the first chapter of Revelation

b.     The Lord Establishes His authority in the beginning of each of the letters


These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. The words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. The words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.

These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. The words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. The words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 


II.   THE WORKS HE WILL JUDGE

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you do not tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.  You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.

I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.

I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance...

See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.



III.   THE WARNINGS

Do not forsake the love you had at first. If you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

There are some among you who hold to the teachings not of the Lord, doctrines which taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Do not tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.  So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

I know your deeds; do not just have a reputation of being alive, BE ALIVE. Wake up! Strengthen what remains before it dies. Do not let me find your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Do not let your deeds be neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! If you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I will spit you out of my mouth.  

Do not be self-righteous, or you will say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.


IV. TO THE OVERCOMERS

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

To you who do not hold to {false prophets} teachings and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—  that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star.

you have a few people who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.  The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 

 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.
 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 2Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

CONCLUSION
The Lord is judging the churches now. He is judging our hearts now.

He rebukes us and disciplines us because He loves us, and wants us to be overcomers, so that we may be with Him for eternity.

Listen to the words that the Holy Spirit says to the church, and listen to what He is saying to your heart.

He has said that He is coming, we must ensure that we are in a right relationship with our Lord, examine yourselves. Search your hearts.

Let us be sure to show works that are worthy of repentance, pure of motivation, and rightfully represent the Kingdom of God.






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