Monday, 24 April 2017

What Must We Do?

Scripture: Revelations 3 v 14 -22: "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
 16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
 17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
 18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
 19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
 21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
 22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

This is the final of 7 letters sent by Jesus through the Apostle John to the relevant churches of his day.  Jesus was giving an appraisal of each type of church and these still apply to churches today.

Hal Lindsay wrote about this in His best selling book, The Late Great Planet Earth, showing how each letter not only showed the state of the church through the centuries but how it evolved and is where it is today.

Paul wrote in Thessalonians that in the end times there would come a falling away from truth in the church and that many would depart.  He was prophesying of a Laodicean type of church that had become so worldly that Jesus could only describe this wealthy church as poor, blind and naked.

They may have material wealth but they have empty spiritual coffers which they vainly try to fill with an "anything goes" mentality to keep up the facade of prosperity means victory.  People have become hooked on pleasure and entertainment, laughing, dancing, and having fun.  

There is a spiritual famine in these churches that have to manufacture an anointing they lost when their candlestick got removed by the Holy Spirit.  They don't realise it has gone and been replaced by the spirit of the world.  The enemy rules and gives them false signs and experiences.  And because these are very entertaining and amusing they become the new norm.

To maintain belief in this new norm it has to spread rapidly as far as possible and become the established criteria for Christian living.  Those who are fuelling it push the delusion of super Grace.  They say if you are born again you can never fall back into sin.  You are forgiven forever and can never be judged again.

Then why did Jesus say in His letter to the church in Sardis (Revelations 3 v 5) If you overcome those works that are not found perfect before God, and have repented, I will not blot your name out of the Book of Life?  He is referring to the Lamb's Book of Life where the names of those who are saved are written.  

God writes His commands for your life on your heart daily in your relationship with Him.  When you worship, pray and praise Him, He is uplifting you and giving you something important to do for Him.  Are you hearing Him, listening for your specific task, or have the cares of this world drowned it out?  Do you have a backlog of unfinished tasks the Lord is waiting for you to clear? He is very patient and kind but He does expect something from us!

What must we do?  Repent i.e. tell Him you are sorry and overcome those issues that are more important than obedience to Him.  Make time to grow your relationship with Him through daily reading of the Bible and talking to Jesus.  Listen to His words to you and do them.

Your family, workplace or sport activity is your field.  There is where you show those around you the love of Jesus.  Without saying anything you can portray the new creation you have become.  Lift up Jesus in your attitude towards them and He will draw all men to Himself.  The Holy Spirit is the One who convicts of sin and converts their hearts.  You are the one praying for them to be reached.  He may use you or some stranger to pray them through but if you do nothing, nothing is going to change.

There may come a time when the Holy Spirit nudges you to share how you met Jesus and how He has changed your life.  The person in front of you has been made ready to hear from you and needs your encouraging words to make the commitment.  

I am reminded of talking to a lady at the bank where my home mortgage was being done.  Right in the middle of a business conversation with this stranger, the Holy Spirit said tell her your testimony of salvation, do it now!  So I interrupted myself and said I needed to share a personal moment with you.  She said okay and before I was done she stopped me.

She said, yesterday I was in church and they had an altar call and I really wanted to go forward but I didn't know enough about what I was getting into.  Thank you for helping me understand.  I felt bold to ask shall we pray together right now?  And she said yes and closed her office door.  I said she must talk to Jesus who was sitting at her desk in the chair opposite.  She said how do you know there is a chair opposite? Anyway she tearfully prayed the prayer of salvation and her name was recorded in the Book of Life.

Jesus came to save sinners.  That is His principal activity when He is alive in your heart.  He wants you to bring Him close to those in your vicinity that need a touch from Him.  Maybe healing or some other way that we can be useful.  What we must do is put Him first and always be available for Him to use us in some way that could change a life.  We may not always win but if we never try we will never know.

Prayer: Father God forgive my selfish obstinate and peer fear that stops me from being a true and faithful witness.  I want to do what's needed to extend your Kingdom.  I pray for those churches that have lost their anointing and candlestick and have become spiritual empty vessels.  Please open their eyes to their situation and cause them to repent and return to the truth.  Bring us all into a right personal relationship with You to hear and obey Your one on one commands to us.  In Jesus' name. Amen.