News flash: There are different kind of Christians. Who knew? Well, my church just concluded a series on the seven kinds of Christians as we studied the seven churches of Asia that are written to in Revelation. I learned a TON through the study and thought I’d share some of the things that I was encouraged/convicted/thought was interesting.
- The loveless church (Ephesus) did the work of the gospel, but did it without love. To those who fall into that trap, Jesus says, “Repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place —unless you repent.” Some would even argue that a Christian who is loveless, like the church of Ephesus, is not really a Christian. Whether or not that interpretation is correct, it is fair to say that the ramifications of being loveless, as a Christian, is not appreciated nor taken lightly by Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be loveless!
- The persecuted church (Smyrna) suffered all kinds of persecution. To them, Jesus says that if they are faithful, even unto death, they will inherit the crown of life! He proclaims that, “he who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.” I don’t know about you, I don’t want to experience a lot of suffering, but even if I do, I want to remain faithful at ALL costs!
- The compromising church (Pergamos) said they were of Christ, but led a life of sin, without even struggling with the temptation (they just gave in). Jesus says that if they don’t repent, He will come quickly and fight against them with the sword of His mouth. I, for one, don’t want to compromise!
- The corrupt church (Thyatira) did have some good works (love, service, faith), but they, like the compromising church, participated in all kinds of evil. To those who overcome such a way of life, though, Jesus states, “I will give power over the nations… and I will give Him the morning star.” I’m sure we all agree, that we don’t want this harsh letter written against us!
- The dead church (Sardis) appeared to be spiritually alive, but was truly spiritually dead. Jesus tells Sardis to remain watchful and strengthen what remains. Is that not a message for all of us?! To him who overcomes, Jesus says, “I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Just imagine Jesus proclaiming your new name before the Father — how amazing!!
- The faithful church (Philadelphia) is definitely the church we all want to be able to truthfully say that we’re a part. Though in truth, I’m sure each of us can find a little bit of each church in our life. To the faithful Christians, Jesus proclaims that He is coming quickly that no one may take our crown. He says that those who overcome, He will make us a pillar in the temple of My God. How amazing! Not only that, but we will receive a new name! (I dream that mine will be loving or faithful).
- The lukewarm church (Laodicea) was neither on fire for God, nor were they cold against God. There is an interpretation of this text (people hot and cold) that suggests that being cold is being refreshing to the world (as cold water is refreshing to the one who drinks it) and that being hot is being healing to the world just as hot water seems to have medicinal powers. Whichever interpretation you take, there is no room to doubt that God doesn’t not like when you aren’t all in. But princesses, what Jesus says to the overcomes in this letter is AMAZING!!! He says, “to him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” I can just imagine sit on my Daddy’s lap just in awe of His glory (actually what I imagine pales in comparison to the grandness that it will actually be!)!!!! It leaves me speechless! AMAZING, EPIC, AWE-INSPIRING, INCREDIBLE, ASTONISHING!!!
Well princesses, that was a different kind of post, but I hope you have found it encouraging and that it makes you examine your spiritual life. I hope that we can all be found as overcomers. I love you!
Love in Christ,