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The Rapture According to Jesus

Philadelphia: The Rapture According to Jesus

Jesus taught such a comforting, hope-filled message of His return to rescue His Church before the Tribulation, that His disciples went everywhere teaching this same truth. When Paul had only a month in a pagan city where he planted a church, the Rapture was central to their doctrine.

The Rapture was First Taught by Jesus

The Rapture is a doctrine started and taught by Jesus, continued and spread by His disciples, and believed and passionately lived out by His Church. The early church heard and understood this doctrine of Christ’s any moment return, and radiantly lived, looking for ways to please Him when He came to rescue them.

Christ's Rescue of His Church

Philadelphia: The Rapture is Christ’s Intentional Rescue of His Church – From What?

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.

Laodicea - Seven Bad Habits

Laodicea – Seven Bad Habits of Believers that Sicken Christ and Make Him Vomit

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

Habits of Sanctified Believers

Laodicea: The Seven Habits of Sanctified Believers

Today, and every day of our lives, the Cross of Christ is the source of our power to live in this world of sin.

Living a life that glorifies God is called sanctified living.

Sanctification means that God is leading and controlling our lives.

As we return to Christ’s Last Words to His Church, we find that His Church at:

Laodicea was not Living in the Shadow of Christ’s Cross

For two generations, all the local churches around Laodicea had savored the truths about the Cross of Christ. Today as Christ’s Church we gather to hear again for our generation His warning to: Never stop living in the shadow of the Cross.

Shadow of Christ's Cross

Laodicea: Living in the Shadow of Christ’s Cross

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.

Jesus the Amen of God

Laodicea: Listening to Jesus, the Amen of God

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.

Too Much Stuff

Laodicea: Jesus Warns of the Danger of Having Too Much Stuff

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.

Clothed for Christ's Sake

Challenge #5: Getting Clothed for Christ’s Sake Daily

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

Self-Induced Spiritual Blindness

Challenge #6: Beware of Self-Induced Spiritual Blindness

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.

Repenting of Any Spiritual Laxity

Challenge #7: Believers are Constantly Repenting of Any Spiritual Laxity

As we open to Christ’s last words, we have come to the last church He addresses in Revelation 3:19. Here in the last words to the last church we find a grand summary of the entire life of the believer, reflecting the theme of most of the New Testament epistles.

In other words, Jesus ends His words to His church asking us to live a life of constant repentence, we are to avoid getting lax about sin. V. 19 brings us to:

Challenge Seven: Jesus wants us to Repent of any Spiritual Laxity

v. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Dining with Jesus

Getting Ready for the Best Part of the Day: Dining with Jesus

Jesus changes the tone of His Voice as we open to Revelation 3:20. After seven rebukes to the most disobedient church of the seven, Laodicea is hearing something amazing. Jesus makes them an offer that is unbelievable. Jesus invites anyone who wants to spend time with Him, face-to-face and one-on-one, to join Him for the most refreshing meal of the day: the unhurried evening meal that every laboring person longed for after a hard day’s work, and every rich person looked forward to as the best time of the day.

Possessing Life

Jesus Describes Overcomers as Possessing Life the Way God Designed it to Be

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.