The message of Jesus Christ to the seven Churches cannot be over emphasized, because it is still very relevant till date. Apostle John, during his exile on the Islands of Patmos (A.D 90 – 95), had a revelation of Jesus Christ asking him to send messages to the seven churches which were located in Asia. The content of this message is another indicator that God wants 100% obedience and nothing else (Mathew 5:48). There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from these messages sent to the churches in Asia, and it is important that we understudy them as we strive to perfection.
1.THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS (REV 2:1-7)
Ø They were hardworking.
Ø They had perseverance.
Ø They had intolerance for wicked men.
Ø They had the knowledge of testing and appraising messengers of Christ to ascertain their genuineness.
Ø They were resilient believers.
Ø They hated the works of the Nicolaitans.
Ø They abandoned their First Love.
The Church in Ephesus had some outstanding qualities like patience, hard work, hatred for evil, resilience, knowledge to discern fake prophets, but they had just one fault. This Church allowed activities to overshadow their love for Christ. Their love and zeal for Christ as at the time they encountered Jesus Christ, could no longer be found because it went cold over time. The Church in Ephesus had a credit to themselves, because they hated the works of the Nicolaitans which Jesus Christ also hated.
Activity is not Christianity. Many believers today are consistent in “Church going”, and they can be found in almost every program organized by Churches, but they have no relationship with God their maker. Jesus Christ is calling such believers to repentance because 99% obedience is disobedience. We are commanded to love Jesus Christ with all our heart,soul and mind (Mathew 22:37).
2. THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA (REV 2: 8-11)
Ø They were hardworking.
Ø They encountered great trials.
Ø They were physically poor but rich in Christ Jesus.
Ø They were abused and mocked.
Ø No fault.
The Church in Smyrna was made up of hardworking believers, who suffered tribulations for the name of Jesus Christ. They were mocked and abused by those who were clothed in the garment of religion, self righteousness, and temples of Satan. The believers in this Church might have been looked down upon as wretched Christians by people of the world, but in actual spiritual sense, they were very rich. The Heavenly Forbes Magazine does not classify wealth based on physical acquisitions, but treasures laid up in Heaven (Mathew 6:20). Christians should seek to store up treasures in Heaven and not acquisition of vain glory. The physical nature of a Christian is not a true measure of his wealth and definitely not the status of his relationship with God.
Jesus Christ admonishes us to be faithful till the end irrespective of challenges and situations that befalls us. The devil who is the hater of our soul, stirs up various challenges in our lives which serves as stumbling blocks, with the sole aim of distracting us and severing our relationship with God. In all these God admonishes us to be faithful even unto death.
3. THE CHURCH IN PERGAMUM (REV 2:12 – 17)
Ø They lived in an evil land, where Satan was enthroned.
Ø They held fast to the name of the Lord.
Ø They did not renounce their faith, even in the face of trouble and death.
The church in Pergamum was located in a land where the devil was enthroned. In such a land, we expect to see an increase in the activity of Satan and many abominable practices, but despite all these, the Church held fast to their faith.
Believers in the Church of Pergamum where divided and did not speak with one voice as a result of doctrine. In their midst, they had people who held unto the teachings of Balaam, and also those who held unto the teachings of the Nicolaitans. This is one of the major problems of Christianity today, because we as the Body of Christ have allowed doctrines to separate us. In many churches today, ancient traditions and religious dogma have been made a substitute for the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible which is the word of God is our standard as believers, and anything outside it should not be accepted. Our Lord Jesus Christ is calling such Churches today to repentance, and admonishing us to dwell strictly on His word.
4. THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA (REV 2:18 -29)
Ø They tolerated a false prophet and her teachings.
Ø Many were seduced into sin (sexual vices, and eating foods sacrificed to idols).
The Church in Thyatira exhibited some wonderful traits like love, faith, service, perseverance and they were hardworking.
The Church in Thyatira was tolerating a false prophet and her teachings, and this lead many believers astray into committing evil against God. We as believers should not seek after men and women of God without first testing the spirit in which they operate. In this generation, we now have miracle seekers, who would run after anything performing miracles even though it was an animal. The mystery is this, God performs genuine miracles which leads to genuine deliverance and transformation, while the devil also performs miracles too which are fake, and he uses it as a price to obtain the souls of men for hell. The last days will be characterized by an outbreak of false prophets, and if believers are not careful, even the elect will be deceived (Mathew 24:24). I encourage every Christian to read and understand the word of God, because it is our only standard and defense against false prophets and their teachings. The problem with many believers today, is that they don’t read enough to defeat the devil, while others don’t even read at all. They are more interested in reading romantic books, watching telemundos and engaging in activities that will not benefit their souls. Knowledge is power, and that was why Jesus Christ replied the Pharisees “…..have ye not read”, when they tried to tempt Him.
5. THE CHURCH IN SARDIS (REV 3: 1-6)
Ø They had a name (reputation)
Ø They were spiritually blind.
Ø They had a few faithful servants.
Ø Dead works.
They are many Churches today like the Church in Sardis who live by their reputation (The name of the Church), but indeed their works are dead before the Lord. The name of Jesus Christ should be exalted above every other name (Philippians 2:9), because He is the owner of the Church and not man. Many believers today ascribe the glory meant for God to their Churches and pastors, by the way they talk and act. God will not give His Glory to another (Isaiah 42:8), and we as believers should learn to return every Glory back to God. The Church in Sardis had a quality which is prevalent in many Churches today. They were spiritually blind, and things were going wrong under their very nose without their knowledge. Jesus said to them “….Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die…”. The Church of God is a place of power and vision, but many Churches today are like the Church in Sardis, who have engaged themselves in spiritual slumber and totally oblivious about things of the spirit. In these Churches, witches, wizards, marine personalities etc, operate freely without any form of hindrance, and no one to detect their activities. This disease of spiritual blindness is so bad, that we now have thrones of witchcraft established in many churches, with witches shouting ” Praise the Lord!!!” and believers in response shouting ” Hallelujah !!!” ,The Bible in the book of Proverbs 29:18 says ” Where there is no vision, the people perish….”. We as believers and as a Church should pray for raw power from God and spiritual insight into the deep and secret things, because the spiritual controls the physical.
6.THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA (REV 3:7- 13)
Ø Little power
The Church in Philadelphia, were people of little strength, but were faithful in keeping God’s words. Our Lord Jesus Christ made a promise of an open door to them which no man could close, and also promised to humble their adversaries. He also promised to keep them away from the hour of testing because they kept His word. The promises of God are made manifest when we keep His words.
7. THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA (REV 3:14 -22)
Ø Physically rich
Ø Spiritual poverty
Ø No dependence on God
Ø Spiritual blindness.
Ø spiritual nakedness
Ø They locked Jesus Christ out.
The Church in Laodicea were physically rich but were living in spiritual poverty. They were neither hot or cold. They felt that they had all they needed and hence there was no reason to rely on God for anything. Their enthusiasm and love for God went down to the lowest level, and were neither here nor there. It was so bad, that they locked our Lord Jesus Christ outside, and He kept knocking for them to open the door for Him.
In the heavenly race, you are either for God or you are against Him, for there are no “ Supporters Club”. Unlike the Church in Laodicea, we as believers should look unto the hills from whence cometh our help, because our help cometh from Jesus Christ (Psalm 121). The blessings of the Lord maketh rich and he added no sorrow (Proverb 10:22),but we should be careful not to allow what we have achieved to come between us and our Maker.
However, like a thief cometh in the night ( 1Thessalonians 5:2), so will the Bridegroom ( Jesus Christ) come for the Bride (The Church).
THE QUESTION NOW IS, WHEN THE BRIDEGROOM COMES, WILL YOU BE READY?
REPENT FOR HIS SECOND COMING IS AT HAND, FOR THE NEXT SECOND MIGHT BE TOO LATE. GOD BLESS YOU.