Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Church of Seven

by Erik Momsen

Early in 2011 I felt a seed of truth and faith being deposited.  The church is the hope of the world and the city church to be more precise.  The church in this city, despite its terrible weakness at present, will bring blessing and healing and especially wisdom and direction.

I know of no better description of the church and its function than that of the one in Revelation.  Revelation is a description of the condition of the world and how God will make all things new through His bride the church.
 Mary Gaitskill writes that Revelation no longer reads to her "like a chronicle of arbitrarily inflicted cruelty ... but like a terrible abstract of how we violate ourselves and others and thus bring down endless suffering on earth". 
Kathleen Norris continues ... "There seems to be no end to it, but Revelation insists there is.  It is a healing vision, meant to give us hope.  God's wrath is stirred by what we have done to the world he made, and that's the good news. God intends to take our mess and make it come out right."

Revelation is also intensely personal as the letters to the seven churches not only addresses the corporate but every individual in that collective.  Kathleen Norris says that John, "holds up a mirror to the human heart, and doesn't bother to ask if we like what we see there.  As he speaks to the churches, we can see ourselves: how our youthful, earnest heart soon forgets its fervor and grows lukewarm, distracted by the world, compromising faith and justice and love for comfort or gain."

THE PROS AND CONS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES

Ephesus
Positive - labour, and thy patience, and tested the truth.
Negative - left thy first love - do the first works - or else I will come remove thy candlestick.

Smyrna
Positive - tribulation poverty, (but thou art rich).
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.

Pergamos
Positive - works despite Satan's seat - holdest fast my name not denied my faith even in martyrdom.
Negative - 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.
 -  Doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
I will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Thyatira
Positive - works charity service faith patience and the last to bemore than the first.
 -  Those who remain doctrinally pure I will put upon you none other burden.
 -  Hold fast till I come.
Negative - Jezebel false prophetess teaches to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols

Sardis
Positive - hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments.
Negative - hast a name that thou livest, and art dead - the things which remain, that are ready to die.

Philadelphia
Positive - an open door, and no man can shut.
 -  Little strength kept my word & not denied my name.
 -  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Laodisea
Negative - neither cold nor hot - I will spue thee out of my mouth.
they said - "I am rich, and increased with goods" --- PRIDE
 -  Buy of me gold tried in the fire ... white raiment ... anoint thine eyes.

SUMMARY OF PROS AND CONS

Positives - labour, patience, testing truth, persecution, love, not deny Him.

Negatives - lost love - false doctrine - false sign of life - lukewarm.

Kathleen Norris writes; "Revelation uncovers the world as it is, and reveals to us our true condition.  And John insists that despite ourselves, God wills to restore the world to a beauty we can scarcely image It is a city, not a solitude, an important distinction in the narcissistic din of American culture.  It is a city as only God can envision it, without tears, which we are invited to envision as well, and by implication asked to strive for in the present, even if it means forgoing 'getting in touch with ourselves' in order to better constitute a community".

 -  The church is the new city coming down from heaven - even now - believe this.

Date Added: 2011-02-14

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