Jesus Outside the Church Revelation 3:14-22 This is it. We are at the end of our series the Greatest Reset. We have taken the first 7 weeks of 2021 to look at the 7 churches of Revelation. We have discovered that although these 7 churches were actually congregations in the roman province of Asia Minor. They represent the church through the last 2000 years. The struggles, failures and successes found in these 7 oracles to the 7 churches are universal to the community of believers known as the church. Today we look at the final church that was written to. The church is Laodicea. There are two commonly quoted images in this letter. The first one is Jesus spewing out the church community like lukewarm water. The second is Jesus knocking at the door wanting to eat with those inside. We are going to explore these two images as well as trying to figure out why Jesus called his followers, wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
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This week we looked at the church in Laodicea in Revelation. This church was sternly warned about their deeds by Jesus. The church in Laodicea was also mentioned as an intended audience for the letter to the church in Colossae. So for this week please read the book of Colossians.
Day 1 – Read Colossians 1
Day 2 – Read Colossians 2
Day 3 – Read Colossians 3
Day 4 – Read Colossians 4
We Also talked about Ash Wednesday and Lent – Click on this link to access this resource explaining how Lent connects Mardi Gras to Easter Sunday. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Elypoc6sXyE2PqxZYj4JWPhTQQQnVETu/view?usp=sharing
We are continuing our series called the Greatest Reset. Matt Peters is our speaker check out what he has to say about the Oracle to the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia.
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To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
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Revelation 3:1-6 To the Church in Sardis 3 “To the angel[a] of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b] of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Sardis has the most in common with our modern North American evangelistic style church. The church has been a significant force in our culture for a number of years. However, we have also seen the church lose it’s way when we deal with politics, social injustice and righteousness. The rebuke in this section is the strongest of the seven churches in Revelation and so we need to take this message to heart.
Discussion Questions 1. Why do you think that the Christians in Sardis had become their own worst enemy? 2. Why does the church seem to be less influential when they are not encountering opposition? 3. How do you guard against becoming your own worst enemy? How can encourage each other to escape this trap?
Devotions for the week. Day 1 – Read Matthew 23:27-28 how do we avoid being like the Pharisees? Day 2 - Hebrews 10:23-24 – who in your life spurs you to love and good deeds? Day 3 - Read 2 Corinthians 13:5 – why is self examination crucial to our faith? Day 4 – Romans 12:9-13 – How do these instructions help us create a welcoming atmosphere for those struggling with mental health issues? Day 5 – Philippians 4:7 – what are some ways that you experience the peace of God in your life?