Yesterday, the brother who led our Lord’s Supper talked about the 7 sayings of Jesus on the cross. He referenced a short outline and I’m not sure of the source or author, but there are some great thoughts here.
- A prayer for His executioners – “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
- A word of comfort for a fellow sufferer – “Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).
- A word of tender care – “Woman, behold thy son…behold thy mother” (John 19:26-27).
- A word of loneliness – “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
- A word of need – “I thirst” (John 19:28).
- A word of triumph – “It is finished” (John 19:30).
- A prayer of resignation – “Father, into thy hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Look at our Lord in His darkest hour. Can you see His heart? Do you see His character and spirit shine through? Just an awesome thought for us today to think of what Jesus was like in the worst possible situation imaginable.
At our congregation we are studying through Revelation and right now we are in the seven churches section of chapters 2 through 3. Last night we had a discussion about some of the contrasts that existed among the churches.
The Seven Churches: Contrasts
- Ephesus could not tolerate the “deeds of the Nicolaitans,” while Pergamum was tolerating those who held this doctrine (Revelation 2:6,15).
- Smyrna was poor, yet rich, and Laodicea was rich, yet poor (Revelation 2:9; 3:17).
- Smyrna faced the tribulation from men because of doing what was right, and Thyatira would face the tribulation from Jesus because of doing what was wrong (Revelation 2:9-10,22).
- Thyatira was patiently enduring, serving and working for Jesus, but they had love as well, even though they were tolerating false doctrine and immoral behavior. Ephesus was patiently, enduring, serving and working for Jesus, but they had left their first love. In Ephesus they did not tolerate false teachers and tested every teacher to see if what was spoken was the truth (Revelation ).
With those contrasts came a few observations about Jesus and the seven churches:
- There are not several standards for different churches, there is one standard for all churches, and that comes from Jesus Christ.
- Each congregation had issues, problems, and sometimes even sin to correct, but Jesus was lovingly giving them time to repent.
- What makes a “sound church” is much more than standing on the right side of a few issues.
- All was not lost for a church that was dead, or tolerating false doctrines. Jesus was standing at the door, knocking and waiting for them to open and come to repentance.
- There were faithful brethren standing strong and pure in the midst of those congregations with all those problems. These faithful few were told to influence, hold fast and strengthen the church, not flee and go to another group.
- Jesus, not you or me, decides when a church loses fellowship with Him.
- Our hearts must be like the Lord’s heart. He is not as quick as humans to write people off.
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 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. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”