Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Good, the Bad & the Lukewarm - The Seven Churches





Whether the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 are physical churches, church types or church eras, different characteristics are discussed that we as individuals can learn from. There are certain behaviors and attitudes that we should adopt and emulate and some we should do our best to avoid.




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The Good
Patient
Cannot bear them which are evil
Tried false apostles and found them to be liars
Labored for the Lord and not fainted
Hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans - The Nicolaitans taught the community of wives, that adultery and fornication are okay, that eating meats offered to idols was lawful; mixed several pagan rites with Christian ceremonies, and turned the grace of our Lord into licentiousness. We should hate men’s evil deeds, not hate the men themselves.
Poor, monetarily, but rich in the grace and favor of God
Holdest fast Christ's name
Hast not denied His faith
Charity
Service
Faith
Putting self last rather than first
Watchful
Not defiled their garments - fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints
Hast a little strength
Hast kept Christ's word
Hast not denied Christ's name


The Bad
Forgotten where you came from - what wretched state you were in when the Lord called you
Need to repent and do the first works - Resume your former zeal and diligence; watch, fast, pray, reprove sin, obey God, walk as in his sight, and rest not till you have recovered all your lost ground, and got back the evidence of your acceptance with your Maker
The blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan - Jews by national descent, professed Christianity in words, but in works denied it; men of bad principles and practices, blaspheme the ways and doctrines of Christ, and
by their opposition and unbelief, have become the synagogue of Satan
Hold the doctrine of Balaam - teach substantially the same doctrine which Balaam did such as eating meat sacrificed to idols and committing fornication
Tolerate false prophets - pretensions to religion and holiness, gaudiness of worship; idolatry, whoredoms, and witchcrafts
Defiled their garments - become unrighteousness
Liars


The Lukewarm
Thou hast left thy first love - your zeal for the love of the truth
Neither cold nor hot - indifferent to your calling
Lukewarm - to be spued from His mouth
Saying you are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing
Knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked


The Reward
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Father's Loving Instruction for a Happy Life

What father doesn't want the best for his kids? In addition to providing for them, we try to instill in them some of the wisdom we've learned over the years and give them the benefit of our experience so they don't have to go through what we did to learn the hard lessons of life. If we can just get them to listen to us and do what we tell them, their life will be so much easier and they'll be happier as a result. Here are a few things I've learned over the years and maybe even heard from my father that I hope to impart to my children before I go, sort of a list of rules to live by.
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3 I am your father and as such a certain degree of respect goes with the office. Show respect for me. You may not like me at times but you will respect me. Do not be disrespectful. I brought you into this world and I can take you out or at least make your life miserable.

4-6 Don't go gaga over the latest 'hot' public figure that comes along. Musicians, actors and athletes are just people. Don't go making them into something they're not. They put their pants on one leg at a time just like you do.

7 Do not disrespect the family name or do anything to bring shame on this family. I've worked too hard to make a name that people trust to have you go and mess it up. Don't ever let me hear of you speaking disrespectfully about me either, or calling me names behind my back. It will get back to me sooner or later.

8-11 Work hard and don't be lazy, but keep it in balance. In fact, I want you to come over to the house every Saturday and spend time with me. We'll talk and have fun. I'll show you how to do things and teach you how to make it in this world. I work hard but I always take time out for my family.

12 Respect your elders, especially your mother and me. Be nice to Grandma and Grandpa too no matter how many times you've heard their stories before. Make them proud of you and don't do anything to bring shame on their family name.

15 Don't take anything that's not yours. If you haven't earned, it's not worth it.

13 And whatever you do don't lose your temper and do something stupid like kill somebody and wind up in jail. Keep your cool and either work out your differences or just walk away. If someone does you wrong don't let hate eat at you. Hate only hurts you, not them.

14 Don't go chasing after every little tart that bats her eyelashes at you. Find you a nice girl like your mother from a good background. Those party girls are only around when times are good and aren't worth 2 cents when times get tough. Once you find the one you like, treat her with respect and don't do anything to dishonor her. (this goes for daughters too regarding guys)

16 Be honest with people and don't lie. You're only as good as your word and your word is your bond. And don't get caught up in rumors and gossip. Most of it isn't true and the rest of it is none of your business.

17 Don't waste your time and money trying to keep up with the Joneses. You don't need to be spending money you don't have trying to impress people you don't even like. Chances are they're just as broke as you are, maybe more. The best things in life aren't things anyway.

Well, that's my list as I see it. I know I haven't always lived up to it myself. I'm still struggling against my human nature and trying to overcome my faults and do better too. Please don't judge the value of my list by my failures.

Oh, are you wondering what those numbers are in bold along the left side of the page? They are not errant characters from a faulty keyboard. Go get your bible and open it to Exodus chapter 20. You see, our Heavenly Father gave us a list of rules to live by too, that it may be well with us. Those numbers correspond to the verses in Exodus chapter 20. He told us that if we would obey and live by these rules our lives would be richly blessed but if we chose to depart from them, our lives would be filled with heartache and grief. My prayer is that each of you would choose to live by those rules that it may be well with you. (Deut 5:33) God bless.

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Do the Ten Commandments Still Apply Today?

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I strive to be as the Bereans spoken of in Acts 17:10-11 receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and searching the scriptures daily, whether those things are so. Check up on me in your own bible. Should you find me in error please let me know immediately. We must prove all things (1Thes 5:21) and rightly divide the word of truth (2Tim 2:15) together lest we be deceived. (Matt 24:24)

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Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

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