Time2Ministries ~ review from Sunday, January 22nd
Sunday 1/22/17 6 pm Revelation study highlights.
We had 47 people attend this study from several different churches around southern IL. My heart was filled with joy at the attendance and participation. We began our study of Revelation starting with chapter 1 and continuing through chapter 3.
Remember this is just an overview of what was discussed. I do not have the time or room to list everything in detail. If you would like to know more or dig in deeper make an effort to come each Sunday night at 6pm
Revelation 1 is the revealing of the Lord Jesus Christ that was given to his servant John on the Island of Patmos after he had been banished there by evil ruler emperor Domitian. Jesus Christ appears to John and instructs him to write what he has seen and what he will see. John is told to write 7 letters to 7 specific churches that were in Asia Minor. The churches are listed in a specific order for a good reason. They represent 7 real churches of Johns day and what was going on in each of them. They also represent a chronological order of what the “church”(as a whole) would look like in the future(Johns future up until the present day) They were listed in this order by Jesus. Please make note of the dates: (all dates are approximate)
EPHESUS: Year 33-100 a.d.THE LOVELESS CHURCH
This church had witnessed the things Jesus had did personally. They loved serving Him and His people. but over time they began to just go through the motions.
Jesus commends this church for their unrelenting work. BUT He also had this against them. They were working for Jesus but they had lost the love for doing it. Jesus admonished them to come back to their first love. And warned the church that He would remove their lampstand (referring to them being a light into the world)if they didn’t repent.
SMYRNA: Year 100-312 a.d. THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
Jesus tells them he knows their trials and how they were being persecuted and He warns them that they were about to go through some very hard times even to the point of death.During this time and following this church for a couple hundred years, Christians were beheaded and thrown into pits with wild animals for entertainment. Even the evil ruler Nero impaled them on sticks and poured oil on them and lit them on fire to light his garden.
From all the persecutions that were going on against Christians, the church began to falter. By the year 312 a.d. they began to compromise their beliefs and allow all kinds of things to happen inside of the church.
PERGAMUM: Year 312-590 a.d. THE COMPROMISING CHURCH
This church in order to not make waves they began to allow a lot of ungodly things to be taught. Teachings of the Balaam taught they could eat foods that were sacrificed to other gods(they were encouraged to attend these sacrifices) and also to commit acts of sexual immortally. The Nicolations taught it was OK to sin, since God loves you and it was going to be alright. (Just and overview of their teachings) so they began to corrupt them selves with worldly practices and things of Satan. Jesus tells them to repent or He(Jesus) would fight against them. Apparently they refused to repent.
THYATIRA: Year 590-1517 a.d. THE CORRUPT CHURCH
This church became an INCLUSIVE church. (sounds like some churches today) They opened their doors to all kinds of false teachings and accepted any teaching in order to include everyone. They also included the teachings of the harlot Jezebel that focused on sexual immorality and all kinds of perversion. God gave them a 1000 years to repent. He also said if they didn’t repent He would send pestilence against them. Interesting to know that this church existed during a time that was known as the Dark Ages. There were terrible plagues and a lot of people died and a lot died from a disease know as Syphilis.(sexually transmitted)
WOW Just as Jesus said would happen. well guess what happened to the church after that.
SARDIS: Year 1517-1750 a.d. THE DEAD CHURCH
The church at that time was dead. They couldn’t get people to come. Basically they had a false teaching that taught that when you died you went to a place called purgatory where your sins were burned away and if you did more good deeds in your life than bad, you were allowed into heaven. It was called selling grace. They believed a person only needed so much grace to get into heaven and there was this available grace that was left over from righteous people when they died that could be prayed over to people who had died that were not so good and they would have enough grace to enter heaven. They began killing people who opposed their view of Scripture. During that time Martin Luther rose up and nailed what has become to be know as the 95 Thesis to the door of Castle Church. He condemned the Catholic Church for their corrupt practice of selling indulgences(selling grace) to absolve Sin (They took money from people to pay Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel) Oh how wicked the church had become. By doing what he did Martin Luther became the father of the Protestant Reformation. and a great awaking to the truth of scriptures began to happen.
PHILADELPHIA: Year 1750-1925 a.d.THE FAITHFUL CHURCH
This Church Jesus had nothing but praise for. He also promised them if they remained true He would keep them from the hour of testing (referring to the 7 years of Tribulation) During this 200 year time frame the world saw a great revival. For the first time in history individuals had the written word in their own hands thanks to the printing press and the King James version of the Bible.(year 1611) The Church of Rome would not let people read the bible they could only learn about scriptures from priest. Once the Word of God was released to the public the Great Awaking took place and millions were saved.
But like all good things in this corrupt world they seem to come to an end to quickly and it wasn’t long until the Church began to lose its way again.
LAODICEA: Year 1900-RAPTURE? The LUKEWARM CHURCH
Jesus warns the people of this church. Jesus would rather have someone hot for Him or Cold for Him. If you are Hot or Cold at least it is easy to see where you stand. Jesus said if you are lukewarm He will spew you out of His mouth. Being lukewarm people don’t know where you stand. You are dangerous if you cannot make up your mind about who you are going to follow. This is a fitting picture of what most of the churches look like today in this generation. People are straddling the fence so to say.
These 7 churches existed during Johns time and there is a remnant of all of them remaining even today. But isn’t it interesting in Revelations 2 and 3 John was given a view of what the church would look in in his future all the way up to our present time.
We will begin Chapter 4 next Sunday at 6 pm. Come be apart. Invite someone, bring someone with you. Everything we study from now on is not history, it has yet to be fulfilled.
In Love Bro. Perry
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