Rev 2:7,11,17,29 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Seven churches, seven specific messages to each, all given through the Spirit of God. These messages that were given to John while he was on Patmos were commendations for the things that these churches did that were good, but they were also warnings to each. Corrections needed to be made. In summary here are the messages in chapter 2: "Repent, be faithful, repent, repent and hold fast." There is more to come in chapter three, but for now, even though these churches were doing some good things they need to repent and be faithful. (Smyrna was the only exception.)
The churches that the Spirit was giving John a message for seemed to be doing some good things. They were patient and tested false teachers, they endured persecution, they held fast to the name of Christ , they engaged in good works, but they were kind of schizophrenic. They also left their first love, they held to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which said that it was OK indulge in any fleshly desire and embrace the world's mindset, they committed sexual immorality. Both the good and the bad were happening in these bodies.
As I think about it, I wonder what the Spirit would say to the church in America? I have a feeling it might be exactly the same. Repent and be faithful.
If anyone is a fan of George Barna, his surveys have shown how schizophrenic the church in America is as well. We claim to believe the Bible. We claim to believe that Jesus is the only way to God. We engage in good works, yet we also have a problem with divorce. We also have a problem with pornography. We also have a problem with being generous. We also have a problem with embracing this world's culture. God's message to us: Repent and be faithful.
And more specifically, I wonder what the Spirit's message would be to my church, Lake Ridge? Is it the same? Are we also schizophrenic? I am afraid that we are. I am really struggling right now with some things that are happening in people's lives within our body. We believe the Bible, we preach Christ, we do good works, but we are also struggling with obedience. That is really what it is, isn't it? When the rubber meets the road, living what we claim to believe can be a tough thing. Why? Because the way we live really shows what we believe. Do we believe that marriage is sacred? Hang in there and live it. Do we believe that God will supply all of our needs? Then give. Do we believe that our lives need to be pure and holy? Then shut off the computer.
The message for the schizophrenic church…repent and be faithful.