Bible Pathways - Dec. 24, 2006
In Today's Reading:
Our Lord's messages to the churches at Sardis and Philadelphia; disapproval of the church at Laodicea; the sealed book
The church in Sardis could boast that there were no false doctrines being taught; but there was an equally serious sin. Unto . . . the church in Sardis write . . . I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die. . . . repent (Revelation 3:1-3).
A few names . . . in Sardis . . . have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh . . . I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life (3:4-5). During His earthly ministry, Jesus had also said: If ye keep (obey from the heart) My Commandments, ye shall abide in My love (John 15:10; see 15:6).
Jesus commended the church in Philadelphia for their faithfulness, saying: Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou . . . hast kept My Word. . . . I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world (Revelation 3:8,10).
The majority of church members in Laodicea probably congratulated themselves on being moderate and broad-minded. They probably pitied the narrow-minded Christians in other churches. The Laodicean believers prided themselves on their ability to compromise. But Jesus severely condemned this church: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue (vomit) thee out of My mouth (3:16). Still, he appealed to them: Be zealous (warm, diligent) therefore, and repent (3:19).
Jesus, the Lord of His Church, is still knocking on doors of men's hearts with the same words of encouragement: 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. 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 (Revelation 3:20-21).
For Revelation 3:5: See Exodus 32:32. Revelation 3:12: See Isaiah 62:2. Revelation: 4:2-3: See Ezekiel 1:28. Revelation 4:5: See Zechariah 4:2. Revelation 4:6: See Ezekiel 1:22. Revelation 4:7: See Ezekiel 1:10. Revelation 4:8: See Isaiah 6:2-3.
3:20 sup = dine, to share spiritual food and fellowship.
Pray for one week of The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Thomas W. Beaghen · Government Officials: Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers with a spirit of thankfulness and praise to the Lord (Psalm 79:13).
Memory Verse for the Week: John 13:34