Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start # 3061

Jump Start # 3061

Revelation 3:19 “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.”

  A study of the seven churches of Revelation is a fascinating look into what is important to the Lord. We spend a lot of time, energy and money thinking about the church building, the size of our congregations, who is preaching and the finances. You’ll find none of those things mentioned in Revelation. Staying with the Lord, keeping His word, that’s at the top of God’s list. Churches that didn’t do that found themselves drifting, dead, and dancing with error.

  As on lumps all seven of the Revelation churches together, there are some overall lessons to be learned.

  First, churches can change through time. Sardis was considered dead by the Lord. Churches do not start dead. Can you imagine someone say, “We’ll starting a new church in the next community. It will be a dead church. So you don’t have to come. You don’t have to participate. You don’t have to do anything. Would you like to be a part of our new congregation?” It takes life to start. It takes energy, effort, resources and time to start. Laodicea didn’t start off lukewarm. Churches change through time.

  Look at the history of your congregation. Do you know it? There were peaks and valleys. There were good times and hard times. I know churches that a few decades ago were over 200. Today, 20 showing up is a good day. Churches change.

  A mistake we make is to assume that the current temperature of the church and the current size of the church will remain that way in the future. Churches change. People move away. People die. Wise leaders understand this and build a program to develop future leaders. They construct a legacy platform so the current faithfulness to God’s word continues.

  Second, culture can influence and reshape the direction of the church. We see that clearly in the churches of Revelation. The influence of idolatry, the compromising influence of false teachers had an impact upon some of the congregations. Remaining counter culture is hard, especially for our young people. The pull to have divorce for any reason, women in the leadership, acceptance of social drinking, and less emphasis upon the basics and doctrine has only weakened our souls and our congregations. Leaning towards the world doesn’t make us stronger. The distinctiveness of the Gospel and the Lord’s way has become less important to some. More and more are finding ways to build bridges of fellowship with those that are not faithful to God’s word.

  The lessons from Revelation is to repent of these wrongs and remain faithful to God’s word.

  Third, internal and external struggles happen. It did in the first century and it continues today. Some do not want to walk fully with the Lord in all things. This always creates headaches among the righteous and sends mixed signals to our families. Storms come. Trials happen. Hardships must be endured. Valleys must be crossed. As long as a congregation remains close to the Lord’s word, help, hope and the blessings of God will come. We long for days when everyone is right where they are supposed to be. We long for the time when Satan leaves us alone. We want peace and harmony. We want joyful worship. We want unity and fellowship. But the pressures from the world and our personal journeys often create struggles that must be worked through. Prayers and open Bibles are always the answer.

  Fourth, the seven churches of Revelation reminds us that it is possible for us to please God. Dead churches can be resurrected. Lukewarm churches can have a fire lit under them. Compromising can cease. The toleration of error can end. God never gave up on any of these churches. God never told them to close the doors. God never told some to leave the others. The hope was in hearts that could be touched by the word of God. The hope was in finding a spirit that would return to the Word of God.

  You may be in a season in which where you worship is stressful. There may be lots of problems. Discouragement may be running high. Understand, things do not have to remain this way. You can again please God as a congregation. It may take a lot of rolling up the sleeves and someone to be out front to lead them and show them, but it is possible to do what the Lord wants. Don’t settle. Don’t settle for the consolation prize. Don’t settle for second place. Push yourself, then lead others. Get that Bible open. Fire those engines up again. Remember you are part of the kingdom of God. Get busy. Get to worship. Get to doing what God wants.

  Lifelessness can be resurrected to a thriving and passionate congregation. Tepid can be warmed up to something that is useful, pleasant and pleasing to the Lord. It can happen. Jesus believed it could. Do we?