Church of the Dead and Proud
Rev. 3:1-6 Write this to the Messenger in the assembly in Sardis: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your actions - you have the reputation of being alive but you are dead! Keep your wits about you! Put your footing on firm ground for what remains yet is on the point of death! I have not found your actions complete in God’s sight! So remember what you have received and heard - hold on firmly to it and change your minds! But if you do not keep your wits about you, I will come like a thief, and you will not recognize the point of time that I will come upon you! But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk around with me, dressed in white, because they are worthy. The one who conquers will be dressed in white like them. I will never blot out this one’s name from the Book of Life, but will acknowledge their name in front of my Father and his Messengers.
Those of you with ears listen to what the Spirit says to the assemblies!
Write this to the Messenger of the assembly in Laodicea:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ultimate source of God’s creation.
I know your actions - that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were either hot or cold! So, because you are lukewarm and not hot or cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth! You say, “I am rich - I have become wealthy and I don??t need anything!” But you don’t know that it is you who are the wretched one! You are to be pitied! You are totally financially poor, naked and blind! I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you can become rich, and white clothes to hide your shameful nakedness, and eye salve so that you can see!
I indeed rebuke and educate those I love. So be eager and change your minds! Indeed, I stand at the door and knock! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and we will have dinner together! To the one who has the victory, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I had the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne.
Those of you with ears listen to what the Spirit says to the assemblies!
So many in the churches today are in these conditions. They are blind to the prophetic signs of the times, yet they mock any who see. “There is no Rapture!” they scoff. They are the people Peter wrote about:
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ”coming“ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” ... But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.Did you see that “looking forward” by the faithful, in contrast to the scoffing and disbelief of the mockers? We typically apply this to the lost, but a large portion of the “churched” says exactly the same thing. And it ties right in with the letters to the two churches above. They think themselves to be alive and prospering, but they are deaf, blind, and sick.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (1 Peter 2:3-13)
But the faithful, those who look and long for Jesus’ coming, are motivated to live holy lives. Jesus does not make idle threats! This is a wake-up call, a warning to repent that he is making. Those who are indifferent or hostile to his return are like the foolish ones in this parable Jesus told:
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.This parable immediately follows Jesus’ description of the time of trouble coming upon the earth, which ends with yet another warning to those who despise his return:
At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.”
“No,” they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.”
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. “Sir! Sir!” they said. “Open the door for us!”
But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.”
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Mt. 25:1-13)
Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, “My master is staying away a long time,” and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Mt. 24:45-51)Knowing these scriptures, who but a fool would mock the idea of Jesus returning, or even show apathy about it? We expect that from the lost, but can the saved truly have this attitude?
If you are one with this attitude, I urge you to take a good look at the foundation of your faith. Is it true and Biblical, or is it “a house built on sand”? When he returns, will Jesus tell you to your face that he didn’t know you?
Those of us who have been watching and waiting know that his return is very, very near. Even the lost sense that something catastrophic and global is on the verge of exploding, as we observe the natural, political, religious, and technical climate.
I honestly believe that the Rapture will be “covered” by an alternative story, a spin of global proportions. Perhaps a massive earthquake, which scientists are predicting in light of their belief that earth’s (and the sun’s) magnetic fields are in the process of reversing, as they believe has happened in the past. The many who will be raptured will be presumed to have been lost in the quake, and the Churchians who are left will congratulate themselves on their being right about no Rapture, never realizing that they were too blind to see it— and too lost to be in it!
A time of great deception is coming upon the world, and the Churchians will be fooled. Those who finally see the light after this will pay for their new faith with their lives, without exception. Repent!