A Remodeling Job

Today is Pentecost Sunday.  You might expect a pentecostal minister to preach about the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, but that will not be the case today.  Pentecost Sunday is considered by many people to be the birthday of the Christian church.  It was on that day that the disciples went from being a small group of believers in hiding, to a powerful force that “turned the world upside down”.  Today I will be preaching about God’s ongoing work in the church.

I>  The Church in Smyrna.  Revelation 2:8-11

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,

‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

A.  I know you.  God saw that the church in Smyrna had remained faithful even in the midst of terrible persecution.  God also knows us.  He knows exactly what trials we face and how we are responding to them.  Are we faithful?

B.  I know those who wrong you.  God also knows who the people are who wrong us.  We are to remember to “not repay evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good”  and that “vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord”.  We must be careful to do what is right in the eyes of God and to leave our oppressors in the hands of God.

C.  Be faithful unto death.  We too, are called to be faithful unto death.  Our lives may not be all that we expected them to be, but we should remain faithful in our service to God.

D.  You will receive the crown of life.  If we are faithful, then we will receive our reward one day.  God sees us, and is faithful to us.  We should be faithful to Him.

II.  The Church in Pergamas:  Revelation 2:12-17

 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,

‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.[a] 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

A.  You have held to the name of Christ in difficult circumstances.  The people of the church in Pergamas had continued the confession of faith in Jesus in the midst of persecution and death.  That is commendable.

B.  You have compromised in doctrine and lifestyle.  Although they continued in a confession of faith, they had given into idolatry and immorality.  They had allowed the culture of their community to corrupt their lives.  Here in America, there is much ungodliness and sin in our culture.  We must guard against giving in to the corrosive influence of contemporary culture.

C.  Repent!  If we have slipped away from godly standards we ought not to try to justify or rationalize our sin.  We should repent!

III.  The Church of the Laodiceans:  Revelation 3:14-22

 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

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

A.  They were lukewarm.  The church was half-hearted in their service to God.  We as Christians are called to serve God with our whole heart, not simply with a piece of it.  We should be fully committed to the cause of Christ.

B.  They were deceived.  The church did not even realize that they had fallen so far spiritually.  May God help our eyes to be open to our true spiritual condition.

C.  God will rebuke and chasten those whom He loves.  We can expect that God will take disciplinary action in our lives when we are going against His will for us.  We should continually seek to know His will and to follow in the path that He has for us.

The church is not a building but rather a gathering of believers in Christ.  However the idea of a building can be used to illustrate the point of today’s message.  If their is something displeasing to God in our lives our in our Church we can expect that God will undertake a remodeling project in us.

May we be the people, and the church that He wants us to be.

These are the sermon notes from 6/8/14.  Any advertisement that follows is placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them , nor do I receive any money from them.

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