The first three chapters of Revelation present Jesus's assessment of the overall health, attitude, priorities, faithfulness, and effectiveness of the seven churches. He doesn't pull any punches, and He doesn't sugar-coat any issues! Roughly speaking, the grades Christ gives are:
- A+ Philadelphia (not PA!)
- A- Ephesus
- A Smyrna
- B- Thyatira
- B- Pergamos
- D Laodicea
- F Sardis
Why study the report cards of churches that have long since faded into history? Because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever! The problems He had with them are the same problems He'll have with us when we do what they did, when we allow what they allowed, when we ignore what they ignored.
And the rewards for obedience and constant faithfulness will be the same for us, if we continue in well-doing. Likewise, the judgements and punishments will be the same for us if we continue on in sin and compromise. Yes, Jesus punishes His church! Did not our Lord say, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten" ? God is good all the time, but sometimes chastening is the good thing to do!
So if you have "ears to hear", let's dive into this: it won't always be easy, won't always be fun.....toes will get stepped on, faces will get slapped! But these are the last of the last days, my brethren, and on that day, you wanna hear, "Well done thou good & faithful servant" or "Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity; I never knew you" ?
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Rend your hearts and not your garments! See ya next time.....Peace!