110911AM CLW-20 Sardis.doc Christ’s Last Word to His Church SERIES: Sardis: Where the Great Physician Felt their Pulse and Declared Them Dead Revelation 3:1-6 This morning Revelation 3 begins with the second shortest letter of Christ’s Seven, written to Sardis, hometown of Aesop’s Fables and Midas’ Touch. When we read these words we are […]
The last book of the Bible seems to be the most fascinating and revealing of all the books of the Bible[i]for believers. Nowhere outside of the first three chapters of Revelation is there such a concentration of church-related truth and they are the single most important source of understanding Christ’s present focus and work of any Book of God’s Word.
In the Four Gospels we find a quadrophonic symphony of Christ’s Earthly life and ministry. Acts shows what the Spirit of God, using the Word of God, can do through normal people. Romans through Jude records the doctrinal truths and foundation for everything in our new lives as believers, when we become a part of Christ’s Church.
When Jesus Christ introduces Himself to those precious and faithful saints in Revelation 3:7, He makes one of the greatest promises ever made. They, like us, lived in an uncertain world, and more than to any other church, Jesus explains His power in a way we all can grasp and hold onto today.
We each need to hear and understand and hold onto by faith:
The Most Amazing Promise
In a world of uncertainties, lurking disasters, constant unknowns, and endless potential dangers-Jesus Christ told these believers so much like us: here is truth you can hold tightly.
This morning we are looking back at where we’ve been. Much like getting home from a trip and spending time looking at the pictures that you took while traveling.
We have invested the past year, looking at the only part of God’s Word dictated by Christ, for the express purpose of: being sent to His Church, being read by His Church, and being obeyed by His Church.
There is no part of the Bible so clear, so personal, and so direct: as these three chapters. What exactly did we find in Revelation? We found that:
Posted a Picture
One of the things I love about the Lord is that He always saves the best for last. Unlike the world whose joys run out and fade, God’s path that shines brighter each day we walk it (Pr. 4:18).
Just like when Jesus turned the water into wine, all the guests said that the best had been saved for the last. Just like the promise to those who stay close to the Lord in Psalm 92, our God is the God who gives better and better joys so that those at the end surpass all others. As we turn to Rev. 3:21-22 we find that once again, our God has saved the best for last.
One of the greatest works of God in salvation was opening our blind eyes to see.
Protecting spiritual sight is the final of the three elements we are to deliberately pursue, according to Christ’s Last Words. Jesus counsels His Church in life-long, spiritual vision-care, promoting healthy eyes.
Christ Desires Us
To See Clearly
Please open with me to Rev. 3, and listen again to Jesus, telling the church at Laodicea what they needed to have lives that pleased Him. Please give attention to the public reading of Scripture.
There’s only one portion of God’s Word, specifically written to the Church, by Jesus Christ: Rev. 2&3. Join me there as we to continue systematically exame Christ’s challenges to this, the seventh and final of the churches.
If you had traveled to visited friends or family in Laodicea, three things would have stood out to you in the First Century. These three unique features to this city, are the framework of Christ’s words we are examining today in Revelation 3:18. These could be called:
Laodicea’s Three Key Industries
As we open to Revelation 3:17, we are opening to Jesus the Christ of Christmas, talking about something so timely to Christmas, so relevent to our choices this season, and so right where we are today that it is uncanny.
Jesus is addressing the condition that the believers at Laodicea had gotten themselves into. They were simply described by Christ as: loaded down with stuff.
They could afford all that stuff, they bought all those items with their hard-earned money. They stored their possessions carefully, and used them regularly. But, what the Laodiceans are confronted with by Christ is not that they had so much, but the danger that comes when we have too much stuff.
Perhaps the most unlikely words to be uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ are in our Bibles this morning. Jesus says in modern terms of the church in Laodicea, “You make me sick!”
As we open to Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus writes a letter that all scholars conclude is the most piercing, stinging and scathing letter He ever wrote to any church. That means:
Laodicea is the Worst Church
We all need a good dose of old-fashioned “living hope”, the kind that the teaching of Christ & His Apostles caused to overflow through the hearts, minds and lives of early New Testament believers.
When Peter addressed the most heavily persecuted saints of the 1st Century living all around the area of the seven churches we are studying in Revelation, he told them a foundational truth. He told them that salvation opens to us life-long lives of hope. Look at 1 Peter 1:3.
Life for us as followers of Christ is all about Listening to Jesus. Jesus said that as His sheep we need to hear Him and follow Him.
Listening to Jesus
Jesus came on an unannounced visit to a church in central Asia Minor two thousand years ago and then wrote a startling letter back to them about their deteriorating spiritual health. They really should have listened to Him.
As we turn to Romans, think of this: Christ’s death on the Cross is the heart of our salvation. His substitutionary death paid the penalty of our sin, removed the record of our transgressions, and purchased our eternal salvation.
Christ’s life, now lived in and for us, opens to us His sanctifying power to save us from sin’s destructive power and keep us useful for his glory.