TRUTH FROM REVELATION #2
Pastor George Lehman
The heart has no secret which our conduct does not reveal.
Is God HONOURED OR DISHONOURED by your life?
Amos 3:3 – Can two people (you & God) walk together without agreeing on the direction? (Answer is: No, you can’t)
We need to line up with God and not God with us.
Isaiah 14:27 – The Lord Almighty has spoken – who can change His plans? When His hand moves, who can stop Him?
The ONLY WAY is to get into God’s plan.
That’s why the book of Revelation is a book of warnings and of blessings:
God says “choose life” – while you can – time is running out…
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promised, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, NOT desiring that ANY should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.
God has given us His word (The Bible) and especially this “book of Revelation” as a guideline for accurate living.
Revelation chapter 2 and 3:
Discusses 7 churches.
These churches were the outflow of what happened after Acts 2:38-43.
As Paul and the apostles, Peter, James, Timothy, Barnabus began to establish God’s church – here on earth which is His precious bride.
The purpose is to get us ready for the marriage of the Lamb.
Revelation 19:7 – Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory, for the wedding of the Lamb has come and the bride (church) has made herself ready.
These 7 churches are warnings and encouragement for us who read and obey, “Keep themselves true to the things written in it”
Let us look at what those character traits are, so we can live as God desires from us and not just any old way we think fit.
(You can’t serve God on your terms and conditions.)
Here’s the urgency – VERY IMPORTANT!!
To each church Jesus said:
Ephesus – Rev 2:5 – I will come to you
Smyrna – Rev 2:10 – I will give you a victors crown
Pergamum – Rev 2:16 – I will soon come to you
Thyatira – Rev 2:25 – Hold on till I come to you
Sardis – Rev 3:3 – I will come
Philadelphia – Rev 3:11 – I am coming soon
notice how near He is: Laodicea – Rev 3:20 – Here I am I stand at the door
1st Church – Revelation 2:1-7 1. “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name and have not grown weary. (Note: You can be so busy with God’s things and miss God completely)
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.
5 Consider how far 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. 6 But you have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 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.
Ephesus – it’s very clear that God watches us –
2 Chronicles 16:9 – “For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them. What a fool you have been! From now on you shall have wars.”
Here is a breakdown:
Revelation 2:1-3 – He saw:
A) good works, patience, ENDURANCE, sound doctrine, church discipline and the hatred of evil.
B) Verse 6 – Jesus said they had this in their favour – I also detest it – you hate the works of the *
The Nicolaitans* were a group of people who began to allow compromise to creep into their lives, so that they could enjoy the sinful pleasures of the world.
Compromise: Is accepting less than what the standard calls for, i.e. lowering God’s standard to suite your own standard.
Jesus has strong words for those who make excuses to sin.
Verse 4 – This church of Ephesus – their warning was that they left their love they had at first.
Verse 5 – is the warning.
They were a busy church and doing all the right things. Obviously, it was driven by the wrong motives.
Mark 12:30 (LB) – You must love Him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.
Jesus wants to be Lord of all – if not, He’s not Lord at all.
Matthew 24:12 – Because the increase of sin the love of most will grow cold. (Remember they were hot at some stage).
A loveless heart produces:
Critical spirit – negativity toward the ministry and people
What we do with Jesus NOW will determine what God does with us LATER.
Notice verse 7 – if we hear and listen and go over to action, the result will be a (victorious) overcomer.
Every church – all 7 – are called to be overcomers: How?
Romans 12:21 – Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. (Evil: Morally wrong, anything that contradicts God’s word)
1 John 4:4 – You are of God, little children and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 5:4 – For whatever is born of God overcomes the world – and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith (faith with action) God is not expecting us to do something He has not empowered us to do.
Revelation 12:11 – And they have overcome him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.
To every church there was a great reward to the one who overcomes.
A fact to realize and never forget:
We are all engaged in a struggle to overcome –
Matthew 24:13 – Not HIM who starts the race, but HIM who endures to the end will be saved.
To overcome is a purposeful mind made up commitment that every child of God must make.