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Looking at the picture above it’s no wonder Sam & Ella’s Chicken Palace closed down? (try saying ‘Sam & Ella’ real fast). I’m sure the name of this shop had no correlation to this shop shutting its doors but it does make you wonder. But it makes me ponder as to what it takes to stay and remain faithful, open and active in today’s society.

Having recently studied the letters to the seven Churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, especially with the bad reports given to five of the seven churches, it’s no wonder that none of these churches exist today. They were given accurate accounts from Jesus telling them what they needed to do in God’s eyes to maintain godly standards but it seems the future had other plans. When God is involved, there is a need to stop what we think is best and do what’s best for gospel salvation.

Yet even though we seek to predict the future in lots of areas in our lives, we keep wanting to always seek to know what’s around the corner and what will become of us. People tend to want to read their stars, seek fortunetellers and other things to see what will become of us because we naturally are creatures who want to plan for our future and set up our lives for what’s ahead. Many of the things we’ve done today are preparing us for something that’s ahead of us this week. Someone once said with our ability to predict the future that it happens before we know it but no matter what we think, the future comes too soon for us.

And that’s really what the book of Revelation is all about. It’s a book of future blessings for God’s people but it’s also a book of revelation about a man called Jesus Christ. All throughout Revelation we see the majesty, the glory and power of Jesus Christ and if you want hope and expectations of a great future, then it has to include Jesus in it. If you’ve managed to read up to the end of the bible, then you should know, I hope, who Jesus Christ is.

In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, we read of some churches who are working hard for the gospel yet there are others who have been sidetracked in having lost their first love, who are compromising, apathetic, too comfortable in their ways, holding on to false teaching, worshipping idols, engaging in sexual immorality, being lukewarm in their faith and basically not dealing with sin. And it’s no wonder God closed the doors to these churches.

In each of the letters, they were given chances to turn themselves around and repent. The warnings are given but in each of these letters we see that there is a lifeline given to those who seek the right path. We must not tolerate sin within our churches but let Christ’s pattern be our way of living by grace and faith. We are far from being the perfect church but Jesus doesn’t say in Revelation we have to be. But we can be faithful to the truth and what we know through the Scriptures. What brings us joy is that Jesus can look on our church and still celebrate all the good that’s going on, encouraging us and pushing us on to greater things.

What is the church to do then, not just to keep its doors open but to maintain the passion to make Christ known? It says we are to listen closely to what Jesus is saying and hear what God’s Word is telling us. That means we are to make sure we stay a believing church, a true church and a church that pleases God by getting the gospel message out there so people know him but also that people will repent of their sinful ways. Let the death and resurrection of Jesus actually mean something in our lives.

If we stop loving Christ, we stop serving Christ and we can easily lose sight of our salvation. Being committed to Christ takes persistence and endurance so therefore let our goal in life be to gain him, not lose him or lose sight of who we are or what we are called to do. We want the church to be seen as alive and not dead.

The scary thing is that these letters represent so many churches that are still around today in the 21st century. What we need to do is work at sticking with the truth and not deviating from that. “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”