Published on August 3, 2009
Do you make Jesus sick? For sale or sold out Rev. 3.14 – 4.2 14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. 2And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. Introduction From Is there hope for a lasting marriage by Dennis Rainey as published on EveryStudent.com. "No generation reaching the age to marry has ever brought with it more baggage related to family breakdown. In the United States more than one million children each year experience the breakup of their families. A large number of students remember experiences like this: Mary: One afternoon she came home from school and met her father coming out the door with a suitcase. He was leaving the family. "I'll be back to see you, Honey," he said. Mary's father kissed her on top of the head and left. She hasn't seen him since. Robert: His parents divorced when he was five. He has lived with his mother who married three other men and drinks way too much. His first stepfather beat him up one time when Robert spilled a Coke in the car.
Carrie: Her parents are still married but heavily focused on their lucrative careers. Her dad and mom seldom attended her orchestra concerts during high school, and now that she's away at college, she rarely speaks to either of them. When the family communicates, usually it's by email or messages on their answering machines. Philip: During junior high Philip was awakened one night by the sounds of his parents arguing. He heard a crash and a scream. Philip found his mother in the kitchen bleeding from a knife wound. Philip called the police and they arrested his father. Philip, his mom, and two younger sisters went to live in a shelter. He doesn't know where his dad lives. You probably know people like Mary, Robert, Carrie, and Philip. Your own experiences may be similar to theirs or even worse. Maybe your home boiled with conflict, disharmony, and unrest." It has been said that 41% of first marriages end in divorce, 60% of second marriages end up the same way, and 73% of third marriages will not last. * There is a lack of commitment. The ultimate victims in this discord are the children. • Juvenile violent crime increased 600% between 1960 and 1992. • Abuse and neglect since 1976 have gone up 500%. • SAT scores have decreased significantly • And children are increasingly being diagnosed and treated for psychological and pathological conditions that were not seen in large numbers of children 20-30 years ago. In an attempt to buck this trend, increasing numbers of young people choose cohabitation over marriage, as a way to avoid the pitfalls of marriage and divorce. They do this even though statistics have shown that individuals that cohabitate prior to marriage have a lower level happiness and well being, than their married peers. In fact people that cohabitate as a trial for marriage compatibility, are 46% more likely to end up in divorce after they do marry. These statistics show the increasing trend towards a lack of commitment. • To Marriage • To Family • To God • To Church * What Dad told me when I married. (When you marry Christ, it takes work to
hang in there) We are the bride of Christ. John wrote in Revelations to seven churches. 1. Physical churches of the time 2. Stages of church history 3. Types of members within a church 7 physical churches These churches are: 1. Ephesus • Planted by Paul, pastored by John and eventually Timothy • The church was known for its labor and patience. They couldn't stand evil and even tried false apostles • But it had something wrong, they left their first love! 2. Smyrna • A merchant city of trade and wealth • Seat of emperor worship • This church was known for its tribulation and poverty. It withstood the blasphemy of the false churches. • One of only two of the seven that Jesus did not find fault 3. Pergamos • Thought to have been raised from the ruins of Troy • Had library of 200,000 volumes (second only to Alexandria) • Grove and temple of Askelopios (god of healing – the god of Pergamos) was there, as well as a medical university • Also a center of emperor worship through the Apocalypse Pergamum (referred to as the “seat of Satan”) • This church held fast in a wicked city and did not deny Him. • But they had the doctrine of Balaam (hired preachers) • They hate the doctrine of Nicolaitans (which He hates) – hierarchical priesthood (power over the people) 4. Thyatira • North of Lydia (a Lydian city) a center of trade in royal purple • Main deity was Apollo, and it was a center for the Nicolaitans and a “prophetess” who resisted the church
• This church was known for charity, service, faith, patience, and works (but unfortunately the latter more than the former) • Jesus had much against this church because of the “prophetess Jezebel” • This is the first church where he speaks to a “remnant” leading one to believe there were just a few left 5. Sardis • The chief city of Asia less, first converted by John. first to revolt from Christianity, and the first laid to ruins (where it lies today) • Known for the dyeing of wool and the licentious worship of Cybele, as well as for softness, luxury, apathy, and immorality. • This church was known to be alive, but Jesus said they were a corpse • Again He speaks to the remnant to strengthen, remember, hold fast, and repent • At this point it is acknowledged that there are just a few (even in Sardis) 6. Philadelphia • Known even before Christianity for brotherly love • Known for earthquakes • Still some 1,000 Christians there today • This church had an “open door”, a little strength (dunamis = power), they kept the word, and did not deny His name • He pronounces judgment on the false churches and proclaims that they will know that He loves Philadelphia • The second church with which He did not find fault 7. Laodecia • Great wall surrounded the city with three marble theaters. Like Rome built on seven hills, and it held one of the church councils in fourth century • It lies in ruins to this day • Jesus had nothing good to say about this church! • Their works were that they straddled the fence. They were rich but really poor. He would vomit them out of his mouth! • Note He stands outside of the Laodecian church. That is because this is the only church where in the Greek He calls it the “church
of” instead of the “church in.” It was their church and He was shut out! We can't let our lack of commitment shut Him out! 7 periods Just like these seven physical churches that existed then and now, the church universal has gone through seven phases. 1. The establishment of the church and eventual drifting from the first love 2. The tribulation phase and the fighting of false churches 3. Just barely hanging in there 4. The church of works instead of love that is full of false teaching and domination of the people 5. The dead church with just a few remaining faithful 6. The church of love with little power 7. The church that won't commit and in which the people rule Any of these 7 can be seen in various churches today, but the time period in which we live is #7. The time when there is no commitment, and the people rule the church; dictating what it should teach and who should teach it. It is a time of feel- good religion, a social institution not a place of worship. 7 types of Christians Ramsay “Letters to the seven churches” 1. Ephesus called “the city of change” Will you leave behind the teachings of the church? 2. Smyrna called “the city of life” Are you willing to live for Him or just die for Him? 3. Pergamos called “the royal city” Are you the king of your world, unwilling to listen to the preacher? 4. Thyatira called “weakness made strong” What teachers are you listening to? 5. Sardis called “the city of death” Do you live one thing at church and another at home? 6. Philadelphia called “the missionary city” Are you committed to evangelism? 7. Laodecia called “the city of compromise”
What part of your faith are you willing to compromise? Are you for sale? At what price? Or are you sold out? Closing Our depth of commitment reveals the depth of our roots. Just like the parable of the sower: 1. The way side was hard to penetrate 2. The stony ground makes it difficult to take root 3. The thorns make our growth retarded 4. But the good ground is tilled and well fertilized Depending upon which type of soil you are, the word will take root. The better the ground the deeper the word will go. We can't be “Cafeteria Christians!” I'll take the New Testament, but the Old Testament is just good stories. I'll take some Holy Ghost, but not holiness. I'll take the gifts but not the fruit. I want the church to grow but I don't want to contribute. I'll take the fellowship, but I don't want to pray. I want the resurrection, but I am unwilling to suffer the cross. I want to grow, but I am unwilling to die to my self. Where is your commitment? Are you on the fence? Are you sold out, or are you still for sale to the highest bidder? Are you lukewarm? Do you make Jesus sick?
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