A Sermon (#540) Preached by William “Bill” Touchton
Edited by Michael D. Lawson
Turn to Revelation chapter 3.
In Revelation 1, the resurrected Lord appears to John and tells him to write seven letters to the seven churches of Asia.
These were real churches, but many believe them to be problematic, they represent a problematic view of church history.
The Church at Ephesus (Acts 2; 100AD – ?) – They served. They shared. Yet got cold.
Smyrna (100-300AD) – A persecuted church.
Pergamos, Thyatria, Sardis (300 – 1750AD) – Corrupt, Carnal, Compromising churches.
Philadelphia (1750-1900AD) – Church of the Awakening under Whitefield…Wesley…Edwards.
Laodicea – the last of the seven. Represents the last church, how the church will be prior to the rapture.
Question: What would Jesus preach on (what would be his subject) if He could gather together every person in this country who has their name on a church roll? A church roll…Baptist, Methodist, Luthern, Charismatic…all the millions of people. What would He preach on? Inerrancy? And resolve the conflict between conservatives and liberals. Gifts of the Spirit? And solve the conflict concerning the tongue movement. The end time? And resolve the conflict between Amill and Premill.
If He could gather all those people. He would preach evangelistic and tell his church that having your name on a church roll is not the same as being in the body of Christ. He would say that Christianity is not what you say, it’s what you do.
Look with me at Rev. 3.14. My subject is:
“Christ’s Message to the Modern Day Church”
In 1984, Dr. Billy Graham agreed to have a crusade in Tallahassee. We decided to go, to hear that great man of God. He made this statement, “As I have traveled this country and spoken to 1000’s of professing Christians, I am convinced that 80% of all people who have their name on a church roll are lost.”
I told Gail, “I don’t see how that can be.” So I went back to Jakin and looked at our rolls.
50% of the people, we couldn’t find!
Listen, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, but Christians go to church!
The problem with today’s church is we want to be saved, but live like the world. That was the problem with the church at Laodicea.
As I studied these 7 churches, I discovered that Jesus came to them in different ways:
Ephesus – a groom, who misses the love of his wife.
Smyrna – a comforter.
Pergamos, Thyratria, Sardis – a guide.
Philadelphia – an encourager.
Laodicea – He comes as Judge.
And His judgments are:
- Absolute – “Amen” means He has the final word.
- Accurate – He knows our going, our hearts, our minds, our motives. He knows me better than I know myself. He makes no mistakes.
He charges them of sin by being lukewarm
Cold – No love for God.
Hot – on fire for God.
Lukewarm – blend them together. They don’t need God. His word. His blessing. They are called wretched, sinful, vile.
He is the judge. He found them guilty of being lost.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”