Countdown to the end … #3

Vol. 4, No. 17 – April 28, 2019

As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Revelation 1:20

John makes three statements several times: “and He said; And I heard; and I saw.” He is reporting a first-person experience. Here in this series of verses (Revelation 1:20-3:22) he experiences all three statements – and he reports what that experience was. It is about seven churches that typify our churches today (and will typify churches at the end of time as well).

Again, the first few blogs are going to major on the “sevens” in Revelation. God’s number, the perfect number, is seven. There are a number of “sevens” in Revelation.

Seven Churches that Typify our Churches

1 – Ephesus

Ephesus was the most beautiful city of the ancient world at that time. Our churches are generally located in beautiful cities. However, notice what John hears Jesus say. Do not let your love grow cold! The church is doing many things well; however, it is obvious that they have lost their first love. The church needs to go back, repent, and do the good it did at the very beginning. If the church does not, regardless of its good programs and organization, Jesus says He will remove Himself from the church and they will continue in their STUFF instead of their love for Christ (Revelation 2:4-5). Wow! Thought our program STUFF was so cool!

2 – Smyrna

Smyrna was a beach city, with a great port on the Aegean Sea. The church suffered under tribulation; secular and pagans did not like People of the Way. They had their own way. However the biggest enemy was not the secular and pagans, it was the religionists. Jesus describes them as a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear the persecution of the world! (Revelation 2:10). A large number of churches get inward; afraid to be a witness to their community and into the far reaches of the world. Jesus cautions against the fear; after all, he is stronger than anything Satan can throw.

3 – Pergamon

Pergamon is an inland location, sort of country. Actually, paper was first “manufactured” here. Also, Pergamon had the largest library in the world. This is where Anthony and Cleopatra met; he gifted her the library and moved over 200,000 volumes to Alexandria. Trust the Word of God to keep you strong and faithful! Do not substitute other stuff. Sometimes we get so caught up in reading what other people write, we forget where absolute truth comes from (Revelation 2:15-16).

4 – Thyatira

Do not be like this. Avoid both sexual and spiritual adultery; be pure. (Revelation 2:25-29). Hold fast, do not compromise, do not get like the world and its system. You must not confuse the world that you have been sent to as a witness. Listen!

5 – Sardis

Hey! You live, as you are dead! Wake up now! (Revelation 3:2). There are many churches asleep at the switch. Life is going down the slippery slope while people are playing church. They have done their thing, it is time to sit back and let the younger folk do this STUFF. Strengthen what remains and is about to die!

6 – Philadelphia

Wow! I am blessed by your faithfulness; you gladden My heart! (Revelation 3:10). I will open a door of ministry and witness for you! You have kept My Word, you will be blessed!

7 – Laodicea

Laodicea is next to Colossae and Antioch. This church is cautioned. Do not yield to complacency; invite Me in! Let Me revolutionize and transform your life! If you do, you will have a princely position in the age to come! (Revelation 3:20-21). Yet, the church is lukewarm, like the water that flows into the city. Lukewarm water never tastes good; it needs to be refreshed. So many churches have retreats when they should be advancing the Gospel – they are lukewarm in their love for Jesus Christ.

Which church is your church – or does your church have several of the problems Jesus speaks of?

Behold, Jesus is coming soon to take you home to Heaven; His words are faithful and true (Revelation 22:6).

Countdown to the end . . . #2

Vol. 4, No. 16 – April 21, 2019

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things that are written in it; for the time is near. Revelation 1:3

Take it to your heart! That will seem to be an awesome task. Trying to understand all the details of this book can almost be an overwhelming effort. Revelation is designed to be a blessing in the believer’s life. We must take to heart its message, even if there is not always a consensus on the details.

The first few blogs are going to major on the “sevens” in Revelation. God’s number, the perfect number, is seven. We discover a number of “sevens” in Revelation.

Seven things about Heaven

1 – Heaven is a purged place

Heaven is a purged place; death is not there, only life; sorrow is removed, tears are removed, and pain or suffering is removed. There is no more parting, no more disappointments, no more weariness, and no more evil (Revelation 21:4).

2 – Heaven is a perfect prepared place

Heaven is a completed place; prepared for believers. As His children, we are dependent upon who and what God is. God says He has fulfilled ALL His promises (All means all, and that is all all means!). Our thirst began with our arrival upon this earth; however, Heaven is a place where we will thirst no more. Our entrance into Heaven requires no payment on our part; however, it is at a significant cost to the Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven is a perfect prepared place for the redeemed (Revelation 21:6).

3 – Heaven is a praising place

Heaven is a praising place to worship the One Who has loved to the extent of sending His Son to die on our behalf. ALL the first things we experienced in our earthly life have disappeared and we get to praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow (Revelation 21:3-6).

4 – Heaven is a providing place

Heaven is a place that provides for our every need; water, trees, fruit, healing, and much more (Revelation 22:1-2). Our All-knowing God has prepared Heaven to provide for all our needs for all of eternity. Everything we need to serve Him, He provides.

5 – Heaven is a perpetual place

Heaven is a place of perpetual newness (Revelation 21:5; Ephesians 2:7), unlike our new things (cars, clothes, houses, and toys) that wear out, or that we want to replace. Heaven will be forever being new. Even the fruit of its trees provide new fruit every month (Revelation 22:2). God has thought of our every need, providing them, ongoing; there will never be famine in Heaven.

6 – Heaven is a purposeful place

Heaven is a place that provides for every healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2). There is no lack of provision for our healing, and our needs.

7 – Heaven is a precious place

Heaven is a precious place; a place where we will see Our Great God. Even our foreheads will speak of the preciousness of Our Great God (Revelation 22:4). We get to see the face of the One we serve. He is the King; yet He is always accessible. He loves every child of His; He died for each one.

Behold, Jesus is coming soon to take you home to Heaven; His words are faithful and true (Revelation 22:6). Are you ready to go???

Praise the King, He is Risen! Praise the King, He’s Alive!

Today is a special day in the life of the church. While every Sunday is the Lord’s Day, the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ brings the Christian community together in a way that is different from our usual worship time. I hope that today found you and your family gathered in your local church.

Not a word was heard at the tomb that day Just shuffling soldiers feet as they guarded the grave. One day, two days, three days had passed. Could it be that Jesus had breathed His last. Could it be that His Father had forsaken Him. Turned His back on His Son, despising our sin. All hell seemed to whisper just forget it, He’s dead. Then the Father looked down to His Son and said–

Arise My love, arise My love, the grave no longer has a hold on You. No more death’s sting, no more suffering. Arise, arise, My love

The earth trembled and the tomb began to shake. And like lightning from heaven, the stone was rolled away. And as dead men the guards, they all stood there in fright. As the poser of love displayed it’s might. Then suddenly a melody filled the air. Riding wings of wind it was everywhere. the words that creation had been longing to hear; the sweet sound of victory so loud and clear.

Arise My love, arise My love. The grave no longer has a hold on You. No more death’s sting, no more suffering. Arise, arise, arise . . . –Newsong

The King is risen! The King is alive! Praise the King!

Final countdown … #1

Vol. 4, No. 15 – April 21, 2019

The Revelation of Jesus Christ: Revelation 1:1

This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him concerning the events that will happen soon. An angel was sent to God’s servant John so that John could share the revelation with God’s other servants.

The Book of the Revelation is the concluding book of the Bible (God’s Holy Word). The book unfolds the great events that bring humankind and our earth to historical consummation – at least this side of eternity. Therefore, The End can also be seen as the entrance to eternity for humankind, either in Heaven, or the Lake of Fire.

This book, The Revelation, speaks of the second advent (coming) of Jesus Christ. The introductory sentence above is from the NLV, an easy to read and easier to understand version that is popular among Christians today.

The major theme of the entire Bible (66 books) is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is both theo-centric and Christo-centric. The Bible centers in God, in Jesus Christ, and in His Holy Spirit.

  • The Old Testament sets forth the Christ of Prophecy
  • The four Gospels set forth the Christ of History
  • The Book of Acts sets forth the Christ of the Church
  • The Epistles (letters) set forth the Christ of our Experience
  • The Revelation sets forth the Christ of Glory

The Lord Jesus Christ is portrayed uniquely in several chapters of the Bible. We see Him in His sufferings in Isaiah 53; we see Him in His splendor in Matthew 17; His submission in Philippians 2; [we] take a look at His sovereignty in Colossians 1 and His superiority in Hebrews 1. However, of all the chapters in the Bible which show forth our blessed Lord, none surpasses Revelation, chapter one. —Lehman Strauss

John, the Apostle, imprisoned (exiled) on the barren and grotesque Island of Patmos, was worshipping, when he does something marvelous. He breaks forth in spontaneous doxology for our great salvation that is so rich and so graciously free. Would that today’s believers would worship in this manner. All praise to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding His blood for us (1:5)

He has made us His kingdom and His priests who serve before God His Father. Give to Him everlasting glory! He rules forever and ever! Amen. (1:6) That is God’s value for us, having assigned us a place for worship, service, dignity, and honor. (It is interesting, a word phrase coined by the character in The Princess Bride). Jeremiah 1:5, 29:11-13 have much more to say to us than we commonly give it credit to do, and we tend to make the words very selective. God expects our worship, our praise!

That is what our God wants!

God’s method of love is contained in 1:5 – He loves us, and released us from our sins, by His blood (NASV). He washed us with His blood because He loves us!

The Bible is true—giving forth the true story, of what Jesus Christ has done in the past, what He does today, and what He will do in eternity.

  • He loved us before we were born
  • He made us
  • He calls us to Himself
  • He washed us with His blood to become His
  • He promises to bring us to His Father’s Heaven – (1) a purged place, (2) a prepared place, (3) a praising place, (4) a providing place, (5) a perpetual place, (6) a purposeful place, and, (7) a precious place (Revelation 21-21 – Seven things we can know about Heaven)

Whom do you depend upon for your eternity?

Lee Strobel found the truth in Jesus Christ, have you?

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