When Jesus Looks At Churches
Revelation often provokes two responses: One being extreme excitement and the other boredom.
Most people are somewhere in between. Some are literally obsessed with the book and others find it so difficult, and frankly odd, that they just don't get much out of it practically speaking.
To say that Revelation is a little puzzling is an understatement. Some scholars like Calvin even avoided writing a commentary on it. Luther wasn't fond of it, but we wouldn't want to go as far as Luther who said: "They are supposed to be blessed to keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all."
We'll be looking at each of the churches in the early chapters. Here Jesus comments on the things that were important that either needed praising or correcting. It's fascinating to get our only specific glimpse of what Jesus thinks about when looking at his churches. In essence it's an assessment of the churches.
Think about how we see or evaluate a church, ours or any other church. We all do it - some unconsciously, some more intentionally and every point in between. But think about the things we would highlight as important areas if we were given the chance by God to evaluate churches. What things would you put at the top of the list of the areas to address with limited space or time?
1. Be thinking of how we evaluate churches.
2. Then see if our list of priorities matches Jesus' list when he did evaluate seven churches.
3. What does it say if our top things are different than Jesus' top things and why is that so?
As we look at the main points and lessons of the churches, we need to ask ourselves the personal question of how those particular things relate to us individually.
About Sermons: Sermons are expository in nature (with some exceptions) because Scripture should be the focus not the cleverness or wisdom of the pastor. It is also because God Himself has spoken, why would we want the wisdom of man? Therefore it's in our best interest to discover what God has said on the various topics of life (not what a pastor has opinions or advice on) and learn to apply them to our own lives and situations.