Jesus warns the Church!
Scripture reading for December 10th: Revelation 2:1-17
As John has been assured by Jesus Christ not to fear, but to write what he heard and saw, John was given a word for each of the seven churches under his oversight. We read, listen, and prepare to heed the words John wrote!
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: . . .”You have persevered and have endured hardships for My Name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”” (Revelation 2:1a, 3-5) This first prophetic word was written to a church founded by the apostle Paul. (Acts 19-20) Paul had left this church warning them about an invasion of false teachers that would try and destroy them. John received this warning from Jesus Christ to further remind this church of their need to keep love for God and Jesus Christ foremost in their agenda. They had stood against false teachers, but loving Jesus was their primary duty and that was being neglected! Jesus would remove them from their place of bearing His light if they failed to repent!
To the church at Smyrna, Jesus gave a word of encouragement. He told them of a time of suffering and testing that would come through Satan. They were to remain faithful, even to the point of death, and Jesus would reward them with the crown of life! How thoughtful of our Lord to remind suffering believers of their reward!
The church at Pergamum existed in a dangerous place. This was a city where Satan had his throne and believers were maintaining their faith. Yet Jesus gave them a warning because He loved them and wanted them to overcome! “You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore!” (Revelation 2:14b-16a) These false teachers were going to lead this church astray. They must take action immediately to avoid Christ’s intervention! These words are life-giving rebukes to those with ears to hear!