The seven churches...


 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

 

Dear Friends:

 

Since the beginning of the church, there have been divisive ideas, bad theology and problems within the fellowships.  As I read Revelation I am reminded about the church is supposed to be what few fellowships really are. The first three chapters of Revelation talks about the seven churches in Asia Minor along with their strengths, weaknesses, challenges and the warnings that Jesus placed on the door steps of each church.

 

What is obvious is that Jesus intends to bring each church to absolute holiness— He does not hold back in telling them the truth.  Even if the church was doing a pretty good job Jesus pushed them to a higher standard.  It appears that He had no intention of ignoring the errors, mistakes, laziness, misplaced “tolerances”, etc. of His bride the church.

 

Typical preaching and teaching in our churches today seems to have little of the fire and “surgical strikes” that you find in Revelation or that is so common in the New Testament. Paul named names, spoke of specific places and did not hold back in aggressively

 addressing what was right and what was  wrong. John, in the book of Revelation, does not accept excuses nor is he lenient in reminding the churches that they needed to get their act together!

 

It seems to me that we focus far too much on attendance (i.e. growth) and too little on attention in our churches.  If we are attending the primary purpose of the church and if we are allowing Him to bring us to holiness and purity, we will grow in attendance.

 

The same of course holds true for me.  He has not called me to be a good man, but to be pure and holy. His call is to bring me into such an intimate relationship with Him that there is no room for sin and so that I am drawing others to Him by the manner in which I reflect Him.  If I am serious about the cost of discipleship, I must remember that He does coddle, make excuses for me, or ignore my shortcomings and moral inneptitude. He wants me on fire for Him—not lukewarm; He demands me to remove the relationships in my life that pull me away from Him; He expects me to maintain a steadfast love for Him that is primary in all that I do.

 

I have been like each of the seven churches described in Revelation.  “Listen” is what He says again and again.  Speak Lord Jesus.

 

Warmly,

 

dean  barley,

Dean Barley


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