The Church Exposed
-We are going to speed through the 7 churches so we can focus on the less focused on parts of the Revelation
-Why 7 churches of Asia Minor when we know there were more (Colosse)?
-Seven as the number for complete…
-A message to al of the churches!
In Revelation 1 Jesus reveals himself
-WHo is he now?
-What is he up to???
In Revelation 2-3 he reveals the churches…he reveals us!
-Seven people read the churches
-Don’t tolerate sin
-Tested those who claim to be apostles but are not
-Not grown weary
-Hate [that], which he also hates
-Remain true to my name
-Did not renounce your faith in Jesus
-Doing more than you did at first
-Having little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name
-Kept his command to endure patiently
-Forsaken the love you had at first
-Hold to the teaching of Balaam/Nicolaitans
-Tolerate that woman Jezebel
-Having a reputation of being alive, but you are dead
Three Calls To The Church
2:1 - I know your afflictions
-The pressure the thinking, culture, values and lifestyles of the Kingdom of God meet the thinking, culture, values and lifestyles of those who do not hold Jesus as Lord
-Unfortunately, that pressure is inevitable
-Jesus never promises to remove the “affliction”
-Only to sustain through the affliction
-Jezebel, Balaam and Nicolaitans
-In the Old Testament, Jezebel is the Sidonian wife of King Ahab of Israel
-As a Sidonian, she was a non-Israelite who married Ahab
-Her goal was to completely lead Israel away from God and into worship Canaanite gods
-Her prophets were defeated by Elijah and then she threatens his life
-This is pressure from outside to succumb to the thinking of our day
-Epicureanism - Mandy Kelsch
-Science As Religion
-We must resist the pressure to succumb to our culture’s thinking, values and lifestyles
Balaam & Nicolaitans
-Probably similar ideas based on the name
-Nicolaitans - Greek - "Nikon" = "Conqueror, lord" + "Laos" = "the people"
-Balaam - Hebrew - "Baal" = "Conqueror, lord" + "am" = "the people"
-Both sought to conquer God's people
-Balaam could not do that by getting God to curse Israel
-So he taught Balaak to entice Israel by sending Moabite women to invite them to their feasts
-Thus, lowering the standard of holiness and causing God to curse Israel!
-This is the pressure from within to compromise God's standard!
-Sin is subjective
-We must resist the pressure to to succumb
-One concept addresses in Revelation 2-3 = Toleration
-Jesus cares about what a church “tolerates”?
2:2 - 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.
2:20 - Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet.
-We will fight through deep Bible study, prayer and community conviction to remain a church of the apostolic faith
-The Corinthian church was proud of how tolerant they were!
-Paul helps them see that this is not holiness
-Clear areas where the loving thing to do is not be tolerant, but rather hand them over to Satan.
-Unrepentant immorality, greed, idolatry, slander, drunkenness, and swindling are all grounds for disfellowshipping
-How do we avoid this?
3:19 - Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.
=“Elegcho” & “paedia”
=Elegcho = Expose/convict
Matthew 18:15 - Go and “show him”
John 3:20 - They hate the light for fear that their deeds will be “exposed”
-Hand in the cookie jar
=Paideuo = to train as children
-Used of Socrates training system in Truth, Goodness & Beauty (Troas Night)
-Goal was healthy citizens of the polis or city/society
Revelation 1:6 - “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father”
-How Jesus creates kingdom citizens…exposure and training!
-Is that how we do it? Is that our focus?
-We want to train…
-EHS & EHR
-Scripture Memory and Family Feud
-Young Leaders Training
-What about the exposure part?
-Openness about life - Thursday Group
-Asking probing questions of one another
Are you still open to exposure and correction?
1. How is your relationship with God? How are your times with God?
2. How is your evangelism?
3. Who in the fellowship are you strengthening?
-How can you move the needle this week?
Herein lies the Revelation appeal
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
-8 times in Revelation…7 times in Revelation 2-3
Talking to the church in Ephesus…
2:4-5 - Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.
The love you had a first…
“Consider how far you have fallen!” - This is a call to remember
-Remember when you were a new Christian
You loved reading your Bible, fellowship, serving, sharing your faith….
-Jesus says that is how we should always be!
-Irony that this is the church John worked with
-Remember when the church was growing and baptizing?
-I want to get back to that!
-It means we all need to be workers!
-Easter Sunday coming up...Invite people!
-From the receiver to the giver
-If this transition doesn’t happen you fizzle!
-Even for those who have made that transition
As Jesus says to the church in Thyitira, ‘you are now doing more than you did at first”
-It must be about loving God
Re:2023 - A Year of Responding to God’s Grace
-Jesus' call to overcome! - "to the one who is victorious..."
-7x in Revelation 2-3
-Greek word - "nikao" also translated "overcome"
-We can overcome!!!
Let's Resist - Pressure from outside and inside of the church
Let's Respond - Let's expose and correct so that we can be healthy citizens of God's kingdom
Let's Remember - What it is like to serve God from a loving, grateful response to His grace!
Let’s overcome here in the KVC!!!