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What Christ Said to the Church

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

Revelation 2:7

In Revelation chapters two and three, Christ comments on seven churches. Seven represents completeness, and Christ’s comments to these seven churches apply to churches today. We will quickly review these comments and relate them to today’s church.

These are the seven churches listed by their names and followed by the comments made by Christ.

The Church in Ephesus

  • He acknowledges their hard work, their perseverance, and their hate for the practices of the Nicolaitans (False teachers).
  • He holds this against them: They have forsaken their first love. They are no longer motivated by the love of God in their hearts.
  • The Church in Smyrna
  • He acknowledges their afflictions and their poverty – yet they are rich. He tells them to be faithful and they will receive the crown of life.
  • The Church in Pergamum
  • He acknowledges their faith.
  • He holds this against them: There are people in the church holding to the teachings of Baal worship. (False teaching)
  • The Church in Thyatira
  • He acknowledges their love and faith, their service and perseverance, and growth.
  • He holds this against them: A woman who Christ labels as Jezebel, who is leading church members into sexual immorality, and he tells the church that they tolerate Jezebel and her sexually immorality. The church is compromising the willful sinful behavior of Jezebel to spread through the church.
  • The Church in Sardis
  • He holds this against them: They have a reputation of being alive, but they are dead.
  • The Church in Philadelphia
  • He acknowledges they have kept his commands and have endured patiently.
  • The Church in Laodicea
  • He holds this against them: they are lukewarm and he is ready to spit them out of his mouth. They are rich, but Christ tells them they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

Christ’s indictments of these churches can be summarized into three categories: (1) false teaching, (2) dead or lukewarm, and (3) work oriented. These are the same ways that Satan attacks the churches today. We can see churches that are virtually asleep and churches that are compromising the Word with false teachings. Satan’s goals are to dampen the fire in our spirits producing lukewarm Christians, introducing false teachings into the church, and convincing us to be driven by works instead of driven by love. He strives to do all of this while at the same time making us feel comfortable and secure in our worship to God.

Every Christian is responsible to worship according to God’s truth, and if the church you attend deviates from that, bring it to their attention. If they refuse to change, then find a church that worships according to God’s truth. When we stand before the Lord we cannot say the church told me this or that, because Christ will ask us, “What did I say to you?” We are personally responsible for our own salvation; to follow the Lord’s divine guidance through the Word.

Here are some of the ways Satan has successfully attacked the church.

  • 51% of churchgoers say they have never heard of the “Great Commission.”
  • 60% of church goers don’t believe that sharing their faith is an essential obligation of their life.
  • 65% of all Christians believe there are multiple paths to heaven.
  • 62% of churches in America are having no growth or declines in their congregations.
  • Four out of ten Christians (40%) strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.”
  • Overall, 38% of Christians strongly agreed and 20% agreed somewhat that the Holy Spirit is “a symbol of God’s power or presence but is not a living entity

Today, make sure the church you are attending is worshipping according to the truth of God’s Word. There are differences between churches which really are of no consequence, but there are also differences that are critical to the Christian faith. Some of these crucial differences include the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, belief in his sacrifice for our sins, his authority to forgive sins, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the existence of Satan and his demons, and the calling of Christians to bring the good news of Christ to others. It is important that we don’t compromise God’s Word with false teaching and that we don’t rationalize sinful behavior.

Let’s Pray: Lord, help me to live and worship you in truth, and not follow the crowd into false teaching. Fill me with the Holy Spirit so I can discern your Word, because the truth comes from your divine Word and not from the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen

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