No church or leader is perfect because no human is perfect. Even if your church is ignorant, deceived, or “off track”….you do not need be. You can hold fast to Father, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit in your personal relationship and personal revelation of wisdom and understanding of truth. Maybe you can even help bring your fellowship of believers back into Truth. But, if there is no repentance or change, the light of that church may go out.
If Jesus came to speak at your church, I think everyone would come and listen very closely. Well, He did speak to those of the church age at the beginning of the church age through His words in the book of Revelation.
Check out what Yeshua says to the 7 churches in Revelation 2-3. As you read, remember that Yeshua is addressing them as His churches, His people! He is encouraging them, warning them, and calling them to repent! Or their lights may go out! “He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”! Open your Bible and read along with the comments below (Revelation 2-3). These messages apply today too! I think He chose these 7 churches because they were dealing with satan’s main forms of deception. Are we willing to listen to warning, correction, and then repent and change, as individuals and also as churches?
- Church at Ephesus: This is just what we have been talking about! Even if the leaders and members are true believers and are doing good things together, we still need a personal relationship and a personal revelation of how that applies to us and our lives. I recall when I was a wife and mother of young children. I had to take effort and time to consciously keep my husband my first love and give him my priority attention. It is also easy for a church to start running like a business, religion, and/or charity organization and let passion for the Bridegroom grow cold. Things can run on “automatic”, “be taken for granted” and even run on “my plans”. Where is that first passion of marriage? We must come back to our first love, our real priority, the Bridegroom – in passionate personal relationship!
- Church of Smyrna – What if your church and its members keep facing persecution and trouble. You are unpopular and criticized. People here suffer, grieve, and mourn over a fallen and lost world. Members are scorned and mocked as intolerant, uncompassionate, outdated, no fun, negative, unconventional and crazy. Will that stop you from following Yeshua/Jesus in truth? Be strong. Stand firm. Be bold. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6). This church keeps on keeping on and is standing in truth and personal relationship. Yeshua/Jesus told us that His followers would also be viewed with contempt in this world, just as He was. Yet, He also promised His followers who endure will get the eternal reward.
- Church of Pergamos – What if your church holds to man-made traditions, even when those traditions are proven unscriptural. What if your church departs godly standards in order to tolerate the world’s standards? They will say it is OK, even if it is not, to placate the masses. After all, they might get more people in the door that way and maybe more money. At the same time, the leadership hierarchies will hold the people in bondage to man-made doctrines and rules by telling them they are the rules and ways of God. They will insist the leaders are anointed, should be honored, and “you should not touch God’s anointed”. There is deception in this church. This kind of church also exists today.
- Church of Thyatira – What if this church sets up leaders who create their own doctrines to “tickle people’s ears” and appeal to their flesh? They look good and do a lot of charity work. They are nice people. They are beautiful, attractive, talented, and charismatic people. They know how to make their members feel good. Their words are smooth. Their touch is said to heal. But they are operating out of a harlot Jezebel spirit. It appeals to the flesh and prosperity. This bride of Christ is counterfeit. It is a trap of satan to lure people into pleasant sin and covetousness in riches that will eventually lead to destruction! They claim to have the revelations and blessings of God. These churches are popular because this deception is pleasant.
- Church of Sardis – This church has leaders and members who really are of the family of the Heavenly Father, but their relationship is dying. They are now dirty. They have gotten off in the wrong territory, fallen in the pits, become distracted with many things….and therefore no longer pursue righteousness (right clean being and right clean living). They are the Prodigal Sons who are wallowing in the pig pen….and need to come to their senses and come home to the Father! They need to wake up! They need to repent and put on new white robes of righteousness. They need to change! They need to go back to a personal relationship and living out the Father’s Way!
- Church of Philadelphia – Is your church one that speaks and keeps the Word of God…one that flees temptation…one that keeps on keeping on in seeking Father’s face, will, and way? Is it a church that knows His name? Is it a faithful unto death church? Is it one that recognizes deception and false prophets? Well, hold fast and overcome. You have the open door! You can help others in! You may have only a little strength, but Father, Son and Holy Spirit are there with you! He will never leave or forsake you!
- Church of Laodicea – This church has good fellowship with peers and does good deeds. Sometimes this church comfortable and their needs met. They have wonderful social events with plenty to eat and drink…even great music. Any troubles they cannot handle? Any concerns? No. They likely believe if they think positive everything will work out. Power to the people. The more the merrier. We can do it together if we try. We have all the programs you need…including entertainment. But where does that leave the heart towards the Heavenly Father? They do not need a Father. Their hearts are lukewarm. They only call on Him when they have no other resource. They believe they are a terrific inspirational people by their own efforts and plans! Have you ever attended one of these assemblies/churches?
Do you see the deceptions and dangers with which Yeshua/Jesus warns His church, the assembly of His people? Now do you know why you need more than church….why you need to KNOW Him for yourself and to KNOW His Word? We cannot just go to church and think we have following Jesus covered. I hope these insights will help you in establishing your good foundation on the Rock and in finding and/or maintaining a good fellowship of believers!