Letters to the Church: Hinckley

October 31st, 2016

Letters to the Church: Hinckley

Various Texts

Recap

·         As we have examined Jesus’ letters to the 7 churches of Asia Minor in Rev. 2-3

·         We have been seeking the Lord to see what He wants to say to us

o   This is a process that the Elders have been going through

·         From this process, God has shown us some areas that we are doing well in

o   And others that we need to focus or refocus on

 

A Vision of Jesus

·         Each letter opens with a vision of Jesus

o   A reminder of who is leading the Church

·         Jesus is:

o   Present with the church (Rev. 2:1b)

o   The eternal & victorious One (Rev. 2:8b)

o   The Conqueror (Rev. 2:12b)

o   The all-knowing, Ancient of Days (Rev. 2:18b)

o   The Possessor of the Holy Spirit and the churches (Rev. 3:1b)

o   The holy One who gives us unlimited access to God (Rev. 3:7b)

o   The faithful Ruler of all creation (Rev. 3:14b)

 

Jesus would commend us for:

·         Our commitment to the Word, which includes:

o   Sound Biblical teaching & doctrine

§  Like Ephesus (Rev. 2:2)

§  “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)

o   Staying focused on the ‘majors

§  Not being divided by ‘minor’ theological differences (Rom. 14:1)

§  “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”

·         Our unity (1 Pet. 3:8a)

o   We are not easily divided

o   But tend to focus on the One who brought us together

·         Our welcoming and gracious spirit

o   “Come as you are” mentality (Rom. 15:7, NIV)

o   Allowing people to fail and still feel loved

 

Areas to Grow

·         Like Ephesus (Rev. 2:3) & Laodicea (3:15) we have lost focus in some areas

·         Community

o   Being the church beyond Sunday mornings (Acts 2:46)

o   Something that used to come naturally

§  But has faded as we have grown

·         Service & Giving

o   Ministering to one another and our neighbors

o   Through our time, talents, and tithes (1 Pet. 4:10)

·         Prayer

o   Both individually and corporately coming before the Lord (Jas 5:16)

o   Not just to talk, but to listen

o   And moving beyond our comfort zones to before the throne of God

·         In a word, what we have lost focus of is our Vision (Pro. 29:18)

o   We need to return to the vision that God has for us as a church

 

The Good News

·         Just like the churches in Revelation, Jesus is not done with us

o   This is a wake-up call!

o   There is hope and healing for us in all these things

·         We need to return to that which we know God has called us

o   While not abandoning that which we are doing well

·         We will spend the next few weeks with this as our aim

 

So What?

·         Are we ready to let God refocus us on His vision for His church?

·         Are we willing to be challenged and changed by His word and His Spirit?

·         We don’t do this alone!

 

Meditation Verse: Revelation 2:1b

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