Message to the Churches: Laodicea

Revelation 3.14-22

The church at Laodicea is a mess. The best thing Jesus has to say about them is, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline…” Like Sardis, the church in Laodicea has a much higher opinion of themselves than Jesus does. And the discrepancy is shockingly great.

If the problem in the church of Sardis is spiritual lethargy…spiritual laziness. Being comfortable Christians. The problem in the church of Laodicea is self-sufficiency. They have everything they need, so they no longer recognize their need for Jesus resulting in rotten fruit and worthless works.

Like the church in Sardis, there is no mention of persecution at the church in Laodicea. And like Sardis a lack of persecution, a lack of suffering for their faith, a lack of tribulation is their biggest problem. They mistook physical wealth for spiritual blessing, a comfortable life for God’s favor. They saw self-sufficiency as a virtue. But persecution…that’s the blessing. Suffering for our faith…that’s the blessing. Tribulation…you got it. Because we are never more like Jesus than when we suffer for Him and suffer with Him.

Needless to say, the church of Laodicea is uncomfortably similar to the church in America today. Not everyone’s guilty, but it is an American virtue. Another name for the American dream…bigger barn building, being a self-made man or woman, independence, no one can tell us what to do, etc.

So what do we do? Start working on our heavenly bank account and stop worrying about our earthly one. Walk in the good works that God has prepared for us to do. Ask Jesus to reveal the areas of our lives where we have shut Him out, and by all means, invite Him back in! Don’t give up, don’t give in…Jesus wins.

That’s a wrap on the churches. We’ve seen some bright spots here and there, but for the most part the “C” Church on earth is a mess. Nothing like the throne room we will see in heaven next week.

pro rege

This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Message to the Churches: Thyatira

Revelation 2.18-29

The church at Thyatira is great at love…and seems to get better all the time. Their problem is the opposite of the church at Ephesus. Remember the church at Ephesus was good at Truth. They put the false apostles to the test. Not so the church at Thyatira. They follow the teaching of the self-proclaimed prophetess, Jezebel. They may be good at Love, but they stink at Truth. And Love without Truth is as bad as Truth without Love. 

Like the church at Pergamum, the church at Thyatira’s big temptation is to give in. It’s to compromise. And the pressure here seems to be somewhat economically motivated. To “succeed” in society, you had to be part of the guild, and to be a part of the guild, you had to be a part of the…guild. You had to offer the sacrifices and participate in all the extracurricular activities. You had to fit in if you are going to fit in and even get ahead.

That’s probably one of the biggest temptations for us these days. Need to fit in. We do what’s necessary because “it’s just business”. No matter how questionable or immoral it may be. It’s no big deal, right? Everybody’s doing it…

But actions have consequences. And Jesus takes sin seriously. So when we minimize or trivialize it…watch out! Or like the folks in Thyatira, we may find out how quickly we’ll be called to account.

Instead let’s hold fast…let’s not give in. Let’s remember that Jesus wins.

pro rege

This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Message to the Churches: Ephesus

Revelation 2.1-7

The church in Ephesus is good at Truth. They have a zeal for what is Right. And in the beginning that zeal was driven by their love for God and showed itself in a love for each other. But over time, their love has grown cold. They’re still clinging to the Truth, but truth without love can be very cruel. Definitely not what God desires.

That’s bad for a church, but it’s also bad for us individually. Maybe you know someone who always has the right answers…can quote the Bible chapter and verse…but somehow it doesn’t seem to impact their behavior. Grace has gotten lost somewhere in the mix. Harsh words and bitterness begin to set in. It can make for a very lonely life, especially when others avoid you. So what should you do? Remember, repent and do. Love is an action word. Start doing loving things. Don’t lessen up on the truth…just add a lot more love.

Some folks have the opposite problem. Super nice to people. High on the love scale, but not so concerned about Truth. That’s not a good combination either. If that’s you, then you don’t need to lessen up on the love…just add a lot more truth. That only comes with time spent in the Word.

The good news is that each day is another opportunity. To let our lights shine. For both truth and love.

pro rege

This post is based on a sermon from our Revelation series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter: @ccclancaster