I’m so excited for our church’s new sermon series on the letters to the churches contained in the book of Revelation! The major theme of our church’s recent retreat was about what it means to be a Biblical church in authentic gospel community. The new sermon series continues this theme by looking at Jesus’ own words in Revelation to the churches through seven letters and how these letters “encompass the heart and the soul of Jesus for His church”. The first sermon on this was preached last Sunday by our pastor Scott Golike, and it was awesome. http://www.gracepugetsound.com/sermons/Golike9-28-08.mp3
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
Here are some highlights from the sermon:
*Jesus holds the churches in His hand. He is in control. He rules and protects His church. He is majestic. He judges with the sword of His mouth.
*The seven letters are from Jesus to the churches and they tell us what Jesus likes in churches and what He does not like.
*This message is for churches today, not just for the churches in that time.
*The angels of the churches refer to messengers of the churches.
*The first letter from Jesus is to the church of Ephesus, which was an important city.
*Jesus likes good works, hard work, and patient endurance from churches. Jesus likes it when His people exercise discernment in knowing who is speaking from God and who is not.
*Jesus hates worldliness (like the works of the Nicolaitans)
*It is possible to work hard, to uphold truth, to stand up against worldliness, to be doctrinally correct and to still displease Jesus by abandoning love. This is so serious that Jesus will remove the church’s lampstand if the church refuses to repent of a lack of love! Loving hearts, loving attitudes, and loving behavior are not small things to Jesus. Jesus is saying He will end a church that refuses to address the spirit of un-love.
*To the one who conquers, Jesus will grant to eternal life with Him!
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