December 4, 2012

Lately I have been thinking about the seven churches in Revelation.

If I view the seven churches as just seven churches of early Christianity I can gain some understanding, but I think there is more to learn if I also view them as seven churches in time.

As I view them in time, some of the churches are easy for me to identify. The first Church, the sixth church, and the seventh or last church are easy, the rest not so easy. The last church, because I believe that we are living in the last part of time, is the easiest and the most important to me.

The first church in time is the Catholic Church. Jesus told them that they had forsaken their first love. The first love, of the first church, was Jesus. He also told them, “Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” It is obvious to me that they did not repent and that he has removed their lampstand.

A lampstand gives light to the world and light reveals God. The Catholic Church no longer gives light to the world. I am not picking on any individual Catholic. What I am saying about the Catholic Church should be said, so that all can think about the plight of those in the church. The sins of others are much easier to see and proclaim than one’s own sin, so it is also easy to see that I am not Catholic, because the sins of the Catholic Church are clear to me. However, that does not mean that I do not also sin.

The Catholic Church gives glory to Mary the mother of Jesus, but glory should only be given to God and Jesus. Mary may well have been blessed to be chosen to bring Jesus into the world, but she was only human and should not be exalted. God is a jealous God and He has said that He will not tolerate the worship of any other god. It is easy for a non-Catholic to see that Mary is bowed down to, but all of the baggage that Catholics come with makes it difficult for them see.

Look at what Jesus said about his mother. Matthew 12:48 (NIV) “He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Did Jesus exult Mary?

Then there is baptism, which the Catholic Church has distorted and therefore nullified. A proper baptism is to be buried with Christ, but not before that person admits that, they sin and are in need of a Savior. A baby cannot repent, as they do not even know that they will sin and need a Savior: I say will sin because I am quite certain that God would not punish the innocent and they have yet to sin. I also might add that sprinkling a little bit of dirt on a dead body is not a proper burial.

Then there is Matthew 23:9 (NIV) “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” It should be apparent that Jesus meant a Spiritual Father, as we all have an earthly father. All of the priests in the Catholic Church are called father and the Pope is called the “Most Holy Father”. What do you think goes through our Father’s mind when some mere man is called “Most Holy Father”?

Then there is Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” The Catholic Church is a very rich church that got that way by serving money. I have to say that most churches try to serve both God and money.

It is clear that there is no light coming from the Catholic Church today. Jesus has removed their lampstand, just as he said he would.

The sixth church (Philadelphia) is the church of the rapture. Relation 3:10 (NIV) “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”

They were not told to do great things for God, but only to endure patiently.

That brings us to the last church (Laodicea), that is our church, and we had better wake up. We are truly lukewarm: neither hot nor cold. We say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing”, because we think that we have Jesus, the Savior, but we are ‘wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked’.

As I study God’s Word it seems to me that all God wants from us is that we love Him. Everything else is a result of that love. We say that we love God, but the truth is all that we love is what God does for us.

I see that most of the Christians of today do not think much about God after the church service is over. Everyone will say that they love God, but if you really love someone, you want to be with them all of the time and you hang on their every word.

Scripture says that we should hide and pray. Prayer is our side of the conversation between God and us. Reading God’s Word is His side of the conversation. If we really love God, then we would want to hear and understand everything that He says to us. So, if we believe that we love God, then shouldn’t we be reading and thinking about God all of our waking hours?

We have chosen spiritual leaders, that lead for money and we listen to them, but God has given each and everyone that has asked for a Savior, the Holy Spirit. Listen to Him. You can hear what He says, over and over, anytime, and anywhere, just read His Word.

Get hot or stop kidding yourself.