Yeshua Ha Mashiach, our beloved Jesus Christ, reviews the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. He speaks of those things he hates and those things he likes. For example, He says of the Church in Pergamos, "I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells...but I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam...also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate." As we prepare to worship, let us examine our church and ourselves.
Christ says of Ephesus that they should repent because they "left thy first love." Jesus encourages the poor church in Smyrna to overcome and be "faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life." To Thyatira, Jesus says he knows their works of charity, service and faith, but that they suffer, or tolerate, the spirit of Jezebel, "which calls herself a prophetess" and teaches seduction, fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. To Sardis, he says, "that you have a name that you live, and art dead." To Philadelphia, he writes, "I know thy works: behold I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name."
To Laodicea he said: "I know your works, that you art neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knows not that you art wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye-salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent."
We most likely all "fit" in one or more of these end time churches. In fact, our church leaders are leading in the manner that Christ describes in one or more of these ways. If we wonder why our children, our families, our communities, our states, and our nation are in the condition they are in, they are likely a reflection of one or more of these churches. If we are honest, we can identify in ourselves some of the very things Jesus sees in his churches--both good and bad. In the cases of each church, the Lord says there is reward for "He that overcomes." He also tells most of them to repent. Let us honestly examine ourselves and determine what we have to overcome and how we are to repent. Then let's do it!