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The Fathers Love Letter To You
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Rev. 1:10-11; 2:7 WHEN JESUS BRINGS THE MESSAGE

ntro: Often the preacher takes some abuse for the sermons he preaches. Yet, if he is listening to the Lord, he is in reality only the mailman. When the sermon is Bible based and the preacher is Spirit-filled, then the Lord is responsible for the sermon and for it's contents! With that in mind, consider what it would be like if the Lord Himself came here to preach this evening. Many folks have the impression that Jesus was some sort of soft spoken, mild-mannered wimp of a preacher. But, I believe that Jesus was willing to preach the truth and expose evil among His people. Regardless of what people think, everything is not OK with the Lord! Sometimes sin must be rebuked and evil dealt with. So, what would it be like if the Lord came here this evening, looked around and began to preach to this church? In the book of Revelation, there are 7 churches mentioned. Jesus took the time to speak to all of them. Only 2, Smyrna - the persecuted church, and Philadelphia - the evangelistic church, did not receive a complaint from Jesus. 5 churches were rebuked for their failures. It might be today that some of the traits that caused Jesus to rebuke these churches, might be found here at Gilead. If that is the case, then we must deal with these flaws. How would Jesus preach to us if He came here today? Would all be in order? Or would the Lord find things to speak against? This evening, let's listen in as JESUS brings the message. Let's notice the 5 rebukes He levels at His people.

I. THE PREACHER

A. HIS IDENTITY - 1:10-18 - Jesus Himself. Jesus is interested in the activities of the church. He watches all that goes on. He misses nothing!

B. HIS INDIGNATION - The Lord is grieved by the sins of His people. They do not go unchallenged, or unnoticed - Num. 32:23; Gal. 6:7 (Heb. 12:29)

C. HIS INTENTIONS - He wants His church to able to fulfill His Great Commission - Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Cor. 10:31

II. THE PROBLEMS

A. 2:4 FIRST LOVE LOST - (Ill. First love - Orginal, Emotional, Motivational) Ill. all the trappings of Christianity, yet they had ceased to love Jesus first! - All we do must be done out a boundless love for Jesus, or it is all worthless! - 1Cor. 13:1-3. Do you love Him, as you should? (Ill. John 14:15)

B. 2:14-15 TOLERATED SIN IN THE CHURCH (Pergamos) - This church tolerated sin in it's midst. They taught that it was alright to sin, after all they were God's people. (Ill. Balaam - Num. 22-24) (Ill. Pergamous = Marriage) It is never right for the church to marry the world. Ill. 2 Cor. 6:17. (Ill. The Nicolaitians - Put a distinction between the Clergy and the laity - All God's people are priests! -Rev. 1:6) (Those who tolerate sin are just as guilty as those who commit sin!) 2 Thes. 3:6; Rom. 16:17

C. 2:20 TOLERATED FALSE PROPHETS (Thyatira) This church was probably founded by a woman, Ill. Lydia - Acts 16. Certainly confounded by a woman. (Ill. Our women!) She led God's people astray with false doctrine. False Doctrine must not be tolerated! (Ill. Jezebel!) (Ill. Jezebelism is prominent today!) There is nothing wrong with old-fashioned Bible based preaching! Gal. 1:7-8

D. 3:1 NO REALITY - (Sardis) This church had a reputation for life, but there was no reality. They had no flame to back up their fame. The most important testimony that a church can bear is that it's works are complete. (Ill. They do not reach Heaven.) (Ill. Doing and Dabbling) Ill. Reputation is useless unless there is reality behind it! (Are we real? Do our works reach Heaven?) (Ill. Signs of life - Growth, Harmony, Emotion!)

E. 3:15-17 LUKEWARM - (Laodicea) This church had two problems. 1. Spiritual Indifference 2. Spiritual Ignorance They had enough contact with the truth to know the heat, yet were indifferent to it. Therefore they were a mixture of Hot and Cold and they made God sick. (Ill. Many are here today!) Jesus knows the truth! (Ill. Lost, cross, No concern, unable to move for the Lord, Misrepresents Jesus.)

III. THE PRESCRIPTION

A. Jesus spoke to each church and gave them the remedy to their problem. If we have looked at ourselves and seen a problem, there is a remedy for us also. Notice what He said to each church.

B. THE REMEDIES

1. NO LOVE - Rev. 2:5 - Remember, Repent, Repeat or Removal

2. TOLERATING EVIL - Rev. 2:16 - Repent - Turn or face the wrath of Jesus.

3. TOLERATING FALSE PROPHETS - Rev. 2:24-25 - Stand firm on the truth. You'll never stand alone when you stand with the Lord.

4. LACK OF REALITY - Rev. 3:2-3 - They are to wake up and revive that which is lacking. Ill. Rom. 13:11

5. LUKEWARMNESS - Rev. 3:18-20 - Recognize a dependence upon the Lord and repent of failures. But, especially open the doors of both the hearts of the people and of the church itself and let Him in! So that He might be in first place.

C. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO CONCERNING YOUR WALK WITH THE LORD? Jesus has the remedy that you need. Always remember that regardless of where you are right now, Jesus can put you where He wants you to be. The key word for all the churches is to REPENT. If we come, He will cleanse - 1 John 1:9

Conc: If Jesus were standing before you tonight, with his eyes like a burning fire, how would you respond to this message? You may not see Him, but He is here! He is watching and He is waiting to see how Gilead Baptist Church will use the things she has been given. He is watching to see what kind of church we turn out to be. I challenge ever person here to look inwardly right now and ask yourself, "Where do I stand before the Lord? In service, in attitude, in evangelism, in spiritual growth, in love for God and the brethren, etc. Then, come to Him and make it right.

 



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