Revelation 2 contains four short letters to four of the churches. In each, there is a similar pattern. God calls out a few good things that are going on, and then blasts them for the bad stuff that is occurring. Let’s look at some of the positives that God calls out here:
- “You’ve done your hard work
- Refusal to quit
- Can’t stomach evil
- Never once denied my name
- Love and faith
- Service and persistence”
There were good things being done in these churches by those in their flocks. They got some kudos here. But then God goes on to get after them about the things where they were really missing the boat. And we want to take a look at those and see how they impact us today.
The church at Ephesus has “walked away from your first love”. They have turned away from God and fallen from Him. God calls them to “turn back”. God should not only be the center of our lives at salvation. He should remain center of our lives for our entire life. To the church at Smyrna He says “I hear the lie in the claims of those who pretend to be good”. We need to be careful to stay connected with the truth. That is really all that is acceptable to God. He doesn’t tolerate anything else than truth. To the church at Pergamum God says “why do you indulge….why do you put up with” false prophets and people that lead you astray? Definitely the same issue – truth is being ignored or not defended. And to the church at Thyatira He says “why do you let that Jezebel…..mislead my dear servants”? Four churches that are struggling to stay the course. They have some good things happening, but they all have lost their way a bit. They have allowed things to get inside their walls that are leading away from God, not toward Him. They are tolerant of things that are not of God. They listen to the wrong things – lies and untruth. God asks this very important question: “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches”. God was speaking then to His people just like He is today. God was giving them direction and they weren’t listening but rather following the wrong path. How about you? Have you lost your first love? Are you chasing something other than God’s truth? Modern or ancient teachings from somewhere other than the pages of God’s Word? Are you focused on walking in His truth? God loves the good things we do, but we don’t get a pass on the times we are “playing around with the devil”. There are no passes. We have to stay focused on the truth!