Sunday, July 30, 2017

I Know Where You Live

I Know Where You Live
July 31, 2017
Revelation 2:3  "I know where you live. . . "

When Jesus was dictating the letters to the seven lamps, the seven churches, He was quite aware of the details of all situations surrounding their lives. More specifically, Jesus was aware of where they lived. That is a loaded statement, saying, "I know where you live." Today, if someone said those words, it would be akin to a threat, suggesting a person can be found for purposes of retribution should it be needed. Jesus wasn't reminding them of His knowledge of their residence so they could fear His arrival; He was acknowledging the events surrounding where they inhabited. Jesus was acknowledging they lived in Satan's den. They lived in a modern day hell-hole, with more sin around them then any other city. Jesus knew it was difficult to live in such a situation, full of temptations and stolen innocence. 

Despite Jesus acknowledging that their home was near Satan's lair, He still opened the brief letter reminding them He was wielding a sword while the letter was being written. The letter opened with an impending threat, though it was not a hollow threat, more of a promise that action was coming from His sword. He had something against them; He was angry that some of them held to poor teachings, the doctrine of the Nicolations. What was the doctrine of the Nicolations? The specifics of the doctrine was not discussed, nevertheless it was loathed and hated by Jesus. It was cult-like activity and it violated the first commandment. Jesus promised if they did not repent of it that His sword would kill them at their personal door-step.

It is no secret that cult-like activity is despised by the Lord. There are many around us today who claim to know the same God we know, following Him in their own version of truth, with their own Bible. True Christianity follows the teachings of the Bible. Any deviation of that is loathed by the Lord, punishable by a personal visit to your home with His sword. You might think of a cult as a crazy one-off person who convinces 50 people to follow him into bizarre practices. Satan is more subtle than that. He is more tricky and deceptive. There are entire denominations of believers who call themselves Christians, though Christ might consider them a cult. If they have special teachings of their own, with an ancillary Bible, it is a cult. If they use a doctrine in addition to or outside the Old and New Testament, it is a cult. If they require you to submit to one man as a leader over the entire church, like a special prophet, it is a cut. It is more than that, though. Any church not entirely healthy is not the right place for a growing believer. There are many churches started with good intentions. Sometimes good intentions can eventually get taken off course and on the wrong path. Even this unhealthy church can be considered a cult, if the teachings aren't aligning up with Scripture perfectly.

You may think your church is fine, and it might very well be safe. But there are some around you that are following a cult or are attending an unhealthy church. Warn them that Jesus is standing with a sword ready to visit their house. There is an escape from these churches, and Jesus knows it is difficult to walk away from them. He promises a special gift to those who can escape the denomination that is deviant of the sole Scriptures. I don't know what that gift is, but Jesus says it will be known only between Himself and the recipient of the gift. The gift will be a white stone with a new name. While this may or may not be enticing enough for you to leave your current church, Jesus said it would be worth it, a gift worthy of the sacrifice to leave the unhealthy church. I'd say not seeing Jesus show up at my door with a sword is gift enough for me to leave an unhealthy church situation. You may not attend the church of Pergamum, but you certainly know an unhealthy church when you see one.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:   Matt 16:5-12, 1 Cor 5:6-7, Revelation 2

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