Over the next two chapters in Revelation, the Lord identifies problems and potential problems within the local churches described in Chapter 1 to John. These problems will become increasingly prevalent within churches prior to the Rapture.
1. The Busy Church (Ephesus)
-This church became so focused on the work of the ministry that they took their eyes off of The One whom they served.
Rev. 2:2a, 3-4”I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
2. The Persecuted Church (Smyrna)
-This church had remained faithful during times of persecution, poverty, and ridicule. The cautioned they received was to not allow their fear of man to change their behaviors.
V9-10a “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer”
3. The Worldly Church (Pergamos)
-They followed false doctrine teaching that it was easy to profess Christ while simultaneously
living in sin.
V14 “...thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”
4. The Politically Correct Church (Thyatira)
-They refused to address people who perpetuated sin within the church.
V20 “...thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”
LESSON - We have a responsibility to first examine ourselves personally to see if any of these sinful habits are present. Secondly, we should address these sinful practices within our church. The remedy is found in V5a “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.” The reward for doing so is found in V26 “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” We will rule and reign with Him!