Jesus Judges His Church Pt. 2
Jerry A Collins
v How does Jesus respond to His church’s sin?
v Why is Jesus described with 7 stars, the holy and the Amen?
v How must the church respond to Jesus concern?
foreboding event, report, or situation that brings an issue to our immediate
attention is what we call a wake-up call. 9/11 was one such event. A speeding
ticket is another. A rising unemployment report is still another. It is a
warning to take action concerning something that was overlooked or neglected.
Hurricane Katrina unveiled our lack of preparedness as a government especially
since we have been priding ourselves on protection and preparedness since 9/11.
Jesus says His church needs to wake up before she gets
a wake-up call vs 2 & 3. The church is capable of
drifting, becoming apathetic, compromising and then in need of some kind of
wake-up call that would call immediate attention to the need to repent and
change direction. This was the case for one of the 7 churches in
1. OUR DEEDS MUST ALWAYS CONFORM TO GODS STANDARDS
Jesus begins by describing Himself as the one in charge—with the authority vs 1. He holds the 7 spirits and the 7 stars—the angels of these churches. So we know who it is that is about to warn this city of believers. Take notice!
(1) They have a reputation: He knows their deeds which will be evaluated momentarily. They also have a name or reputation for being alive—evidently among the other churches. Possibly doing many kinds of deeds that became known, so regarded by others as effective. (2) They are dead. Christ quickly stripped away their reputation of being alive declaring they were dead! Their works were not as impressive as they should have been. Their appearance was superficial and hid the real truth. In vs 3 he says that He has not found their works completed in God’s site. And after all it is His evaluation that really counts. Apparently, in spite of these deeds they were falling far short of their true obligations as believers. God is not satisfied with their works (3) The remedy is that they wake up and that is repeated for emphasis and to underline this need. There is a need and a warning attached to waking up. First, the command is to examine their condition, realize their need by strengthening the areas of weakness that are evident—weaknesses that if unchecked would bring the end of even the few good things that yet remained vs 2. They must also remember their rich heritage—probably the initial instruction they had received and been taught. They were to obey this and repent of any deviation from it. Second, failure to wake up would mean a wake up call vs 3. Jesus promises them a sudden and unexpected judgment to be visited upon them that would be destructive surprising like the sudden unexpected destruction of a thief. (4) However, there was a godly remnant—a few names that really did have a reputation with God. Ones who had not soiled their garments—works worthy of recognition, ones who will walk with Christ in white, ones Christ evaluates as worthy. They are acceptable and recognized by God and clothe themselves with the acceptance and recognition these works deserve as overcomers vs 5. (5) He will not erase their names from book of life but will confess it before the Father and angels. A litotes is an understatement in which an affirmative expressed by negating its opposite. The food was not bad meaning it was very good. So his name will not be removed meaning it will remain emphasizing the special recognition this person will receive before God as his name is confessed in a special way forever! (6) Each individual person should respond to this message.
2. WE WILL BE PRAISED FOR PERSEVERING PERSECUTION
begins be describing Himself as the One alone who holds authority vs 7. Only His key opens and shuts. The key of David
connected to Isa 22:22 where Eliakim
had this key to all the treasures of the king in household. Jesus has this key
to God’s and also the keys of hell and death 1:18. Christ’s authority extends
to treasures to distribute or not as well as death and the grave. No one else
has this authority or power. It is the privileged position in God’s kingdom. (1) Jesus evaluation—they have kept God’s Word and have not
denied His name vs 8. So, knowing these deeds, Jesus,
having the authority, has put an open door of opportunity in front of them of
some kind. This opportunity has come to them because they had limited strength.
They could not have created this opportunity for themselves—Christ had to do
it. (2) This opportunity is spelled out in vs 9.
The day will
come when their opponents—who were formidable—in
the spirit of Satan, will admit their error and acknowledge the truth that they
are loved by Jesus. This the Phil’s could not do but Christ can—every knee
shall bow. (3) Because they have kept His word and endured this patiently, He
will keep them out of the hour of testing vs 10. This
is an hour of testing upon the whole world and all those on the earth. God has
promised deliverance from wrath for all believers—the Tribulation 1 Thess , -17; 5:9; -17.
So we are included in this promise of safety and deliverance. Probably a
rapture before it happens. (4) Lord promised to come suddenly so hold onto the
victory you already have until then and be an overcomer
11-12. In the New Jerusalem where God has His name—His reputation, there the overcomer—the one who perseveres persecution of the
synagogue of Satan or anyone who would cause them to lose their crown—their
victory, Jesus will place us in positions of pillars in the Temple. Same as
saying these will occupy sure, secure, firmly
established positions of strength, powr, authority,
reputation in the rule and reign of Christ’s kingdom. Identified with Christ
and honored by Him. Each one should hear this and pursue it. 3. BEWARE
LIVING LUX GIVES FALSE SENSE OF
Jesus described as amen, faithful, true, originator of God’s creation—Christ is sovereign behind all events as creator. He has no competition. (1) Jesus only has bad things to say about this church 16-17. They are neither hot useful nor cold useful but useless—He is gagging, is disgusted vomiting over them. (2) The first reason is because they are wealthy & living in luxury vs 17a. This led them to false sense of security and independence from God. Secondly, they were unable then to see their true spiritual condition—one that was wretched, pitiful ,leaving them poor, blind, naked. Saying they have need of nothing instead they should get spiritual treasure. (3) So, Jesus urges them to buy true riches vs 18—that is gold refined by fire, pure spiritual riches & white garments for righteous conduct and spiritual eye salve so they could see things realistically. (4) Unconscious of their true spiritual need they must become zealous for this and repent of this false sense of security. Jesus urges the indifferent one to open his heart’s door for intimate relationship. Any person who does overcomes this community of lux living believers will live like a king one day on Christ’s throne one earth and the father’s in heaven 20-21. The extent of this fellowship is incredible and forever sharing in His victory. Each had better hear this.
(1) Wake, remember and repent. Be sensitive to your deeds. Remember God’s standard and repent of the difference between God’s standards and your deeds.
(2) Those who persevere thru the tribulations of this age will be kept from the future tribulation. Why should only believers living then have to go thru the tribulation as part of church age.
(3) Living in luxury is deceptive. It makes us think we are also spiritually okay. And that makes us lukewarm xians. Invest your wealth in eternal things—eternity.
(4) Be an overcomer. Overcome the world, the influence of the parts of the church that are worldly, and the persecutions of this age. It is the overcomers who receive the rewards.