Who We Are As People, Who We Are as Churches! Part 7


7. The Laodicea Church

 

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I 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.” (Revelation 3:14-22)

 

This is a church in great trouble. Perhaps, out of all the seven churches, this is the one that looks from the outside as if they have everything in place. This is, in my opinion, the prosperity Gospel church! They surely look good, but it is filled with hypocrisy. This church represents many of the American Churches; especially Mega Churches.  Even as there are, like others, a few people who are walking in the light, the church as a group is dead.

This is a church that focuses on the size of the building and numbers. They have become experts in putting up a Sunday Show with great singers, great worship teams and a good, seemingly deep message. Nevertheless, it is all a show; there is no true presence of God and no anointing. They have become experts in manipulating people’s emotions. This is the kind of church that is run like a secular business corporation. Without noticing, they have placed their own name above the name of the Lord. Money is flowing, people continue to come and physical growth is happening, so they see themselves as rich and as enjoying great favor from the Lord, but the Bible tells us that they are in the vomit zone.

This church is in such bad condition spiritually that it causes the Lord to vomit. Have you ever seen anything so disgusting that it causes you to vomit? That, my friend, is the Laodicea Christian!

 

Who We Are As People, Who We Are as Churches! Part 6


6. The Philadelphia Church

7 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Revelation 3:7-11)

 

The Church of Philadelphia is another church that received positive reviews from the Lord. The message for this church is directed to those Christians that are currently tired; they have done all they know to do, but the battle has been so intense that they find themselves wore out. The amazing thing about this group is that they have endured patiently. The word “patiently” in this verse means: “Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint.” The glory of this church is that throughout the disorder, they always keep a positive approach in life’s troubles.

This is not a popular church either; very insignificant indeed, however this is the kind of Christian that finds favor with God and men. The Bible tells us in these verses: “…I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” The favor of God is so strong on behalf of the Philadelphia Christian that no man is able to close the doors opened by the Lord.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Who We Are As People, Who We Are as Churches! Part 5


 5. The Sardis Church

“To the angelof the church in Sardis write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:1-6)

This is a representation of many denominations that act as if their gift to speak tongues places them above others. They can’t just tell you something, they must add all of the homiletic techniques they learned in their dead seminaries. This church is filled with what many identify as spiritual arrogance. They place a great deal of emphasis in the gifts of the Spirit, or at least that is what they think; so they strive to move with such gifts during their Sunday services. The concerns with this church are that:

1)    God has nothing good to say about them.

2)    The door is open for people to speak in tongues, but interpretation, at times, is manipulated. When it comes down to prophesying, the doors of opportunity and expression seem to be closed. For them, it is all about the baptism of the Holy Spirit; but such baptism is only limited to speaking in tongues.

This is a church that has a very sneaky way of coming against the Prophetic voice as they are blinded by one thing and one ting only: “Speaking in tongues.” They are the kind of folk that spiritualize everything; they claim to constantly hear from God, always having a word from the Lord, but they are truly filled with stupidity. They claim to leave everything in the hands of the Lord, but in the process they are very selective in what to surrender and at the same time are very irresponsible. In terms of leadership skills, this church is perhaps the worst; in finances they are terrible stewards as they never consider counting the cost for anything. This is the named and claimed group; the problem is that they don’t have much to show for. They have a million bills, always behind in payments, but they place all in the name of suffering for the Gospel. However, they are unable to see that they are stepping into things that the Lord never told them to step into.

This kind of church is usually hurting financially because they are constantly attributing things as “the Lord said,” that God did not. Much control and manipulation is seen in this kind of church as they are constantly explaining what the Lord said and did not say and why; especially when it is obvious that it was not the Lord. Because of their arrogance, they always come up with some seemingly spiritual reason why what they said that the Lord said did not come to pass.

This church will eventually endure great suffering as the Lord will allow them to reap what they are sowing to humble them and to get them to a point where they can truly hear His voice. The message for this church is “be humble, for the Lord is seriously resisting your arrogance.”

TO BE CONTINUED…