Philadelphia, the Faithful Church

Today’s scripture is Jesus’ 6th letter to the churches: The church of Philadelphia, the faithful church. This is one I pray our church can become. One of two that He does not say anything against it. One who is faithful, does not deny Christ and keeps His commandments. God protects those who are His, those who are faithful. Let us adhere to God’s word and abide in Christ always. Christ is our Lord. God is in control. Thank God for that. One day He will reign and evil will be taken away. Until that time, we need to keep our eyes on Him.

Rev 3:7-13

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, 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.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘

Sardis, the Dead Church

salt-1778597_1280Continuing on with the letters to the churches, Jesus turns to Sardis, the dead church. So many churches have programs and good things going on to help others or to bring people into their church. Perhaps He wants the works of the church to be about Him, not just to bring people into the church, but to bring them to Jesus Christ. We need to be mindful of why we are doing things. It should always be for the glory of Christ. It is not to gain favor for ourselves or even the church we are a part of. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” and in verse 24, Paul says, “Let no one seek his own, but each other’s wellbeing.” Whatever we do, whether work or play, at home, at work or at church, in a ministry or mission, or just in our daily lives, everything should be for His glory. God loves the humble.

Jesus says, in Matthew 6:1-4,

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

That does not mean to hide your faith, though and sometimes you want to share what you are doing, not for your glory, but so that others can see the great work God is doing. Jesus says in Matthew 5:13-16,

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. ”

May our church be a blessing to others and always give glory to God. Let people see only the work He is doing, not our own. May the peace of God be with you always.

Rev 3:1-6

And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “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 God. 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. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes 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. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘

 

Thyatira, the Corrupt Church

angel-427694_1280The next church in Revelation is Thyatira, a church that does a lot of good works and shows love to others. But Jesus also has harsh words for it, because the people allow themselves to be swayed by false teachings and give in to their flesh, their sexual desires. By His words it sounds like the church as a whole and the leadership allowed this and did not dissuade those living in sin. The other thing is that He addresses idols again as in the previous church in Pergamos Let us not allow the world around us to influence those of us who are of the faith. Satan has many ways to influence us and let us be strong and use the weapons that God gives us (see Ephesians 6). 1Corinthians 15:33 says, “evil company corrupts good habits.” and 2 Thessalonians 3 tells us to not keep company with a believer who is living in disobedience. Let us be completely obedient to God and be accountable to each other. Let us not be a stumbling block to others.

Let us not allow the world around us to influence those of us who are of the faith. Satan has many ways to influence us and let us be strong and use the weapons that God gives us (see Ephesians 6). 1Corinthians 15:33 says, “evil company corrupts good habits.” and 2 Thessalonians 3 tells us to not keep company with a believer who is living in disobedience. Let us be completely obedient to God and be accountable to each other. Let us not be a stumbling block to others.

But He also has a promise. Those who are faithful will reign with Him (see Rev 5:10, 1 Cor 6:2-3).But He also has a promise. Those who are faithful will reign with Him (see Rev 5:10, 1 Cor 6:2-3).

Let us not allow the world around us to influence those of us who are of the faith. Satan has many ways to influence us and let us be strong and use the weapons that God gives us (see Ephesians 6). 1Corinthians 15:33 says, “evil company corrupts good habits.” and 2 Thessalonians 3 tells us to not keep company with a believer who is living in disobedience. Let us be completely obedient to God and be accountable to each other. Let us not be a stumbling block to others.

Rev 2:18-29

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,

‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, 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.

“Now to you I say, and* to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations —

‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;

They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’

as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘

May God richly bless you and that you will live in a way that reflects Jesus’ love.

 

 

 

Pergamos, the Compromising Church

 

vegasThe third church that Christ sends a letter to is the church of Pergamos. This church is described as “the compromising church.” It is a warning that we are not to compromise God’s word and our love and loyalty to Him. Some of the people gave in to the teaching of Balaam and the Nicolaitans, which allowed for sacrifice to idols and sexual immorality. Many churches in America, in my opinion, have given to one form of idol or another…putting ‘things’ ahead of God. It may or may not be the common practice, but it is more and more allowed. That should not be. Sexual immorality, whether it be homosexuality or sex outside of marriage is prevalent in today’s society and I think many churches have looked the other way and some have allowed it, even in their own leadership! This ought not be! Turn back to what God’s word says and live by it. Don’t let this infiltrate your church. Let us all turn to God and ask Him to purify our lives. Dear God, please cleanse me of all unrighteousness and may I be faithful only to you. Thank you for saving me and making a sacrifice for me. I pray for the church in America that we would stand by God’s truth; every word of it. I pray that this country would once again be ‘one nation under God’ and allow Him back into our schools, our lives our country before it’s too late.

Revelation 2:12-17

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,

‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, 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.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes 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.”‘

Smyrna, the Persecuted Church

prisoner

The second church Jesus writes to is in Smyrna, the persecuted church. We are not there yet, but the direction our country has been heading may lead to this one day. We need to be ready and never waiver in our faith. We need to pray for those who are being persecuted. Many Christians around the world are being imprisoned or killed for their faith and we need to keep them in prayer. Paul says to pray for all the saints. Also we need to beware of some so called Christian churches who give in to Satan’s lies and ignoring some of the scripture to be at peace with today’s culture. It is better to be at peace with God than man. If your church accepts any tradition of man that is contrary to what God’s word says, run from it! God’s truth does not change. The Bible warns of many false teachers and false prophets. Know what the Bible says and always test what others says by God’s word, nothing else. Let us be the church that overcomes and receive the crown of life to lay at Jesus’ feet when we are in heaven. He gave us life. He gave us victory over the second death. If we believe in Him and follow Him, we have that hope. Without Christ, there is no hope, but only torment. But, through Him, there will be no more tears or sorrow, but eternal life in God’s presence. How awesome that will be!

Rev 2:8-11

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,

‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”‘