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Showing posts from May, 2010

Sermon on Revelation 3:14-22, for Pentecost, "Laodicea--I Counsel You to Buy..."

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today we come to the end of our sermon series on the letters to the seven churches in Asia. In each letter we’ve seen how Christ spoke to the unique situation of the churches—calling them to repentance and to conquer with Him to receive His blessings. Continually He points us to our eternal hope through His resurrection. Last week we heard from Philadelphia, the church that had an open door to heaven through Christ, and also an open door of ministry and mission on earth. With boldness and faith they were to enter that door. The last of the churches is Laodicea—noteworthy as the worst of the seven churches. It receives the strongest condemnation from Christ, and is the only one that receives no commendation or approval from Him. But as we shall see, even to a lukewarm church in the final stage of spiritual death, Christ extends a compassionate and loving call to repentance and His grace. Grace, mercy, and peace to…

Sermon on Revelation 3:7-13, for the 7th Sunday of Easter, "Philadelphia--An Open Door!"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. As we come to the last two churches in our Easter Letters series this week and next, we come to the best and the worst of the seven churches, Philadelphia and Laodicea. Last week we heard of Sardis, which was called away from a false trust in their own reputation to a living exercise of their faith and love, and to walk with Christ in white. Today we hear the letter to the church of Philadelphia, noteworthy in that it was given no specific call to repent, and that it received a strong commendation from Christ. Jesus addresses a church that had little power, but held fast to His Word and Name, and Jesus had set an open door before them. Let’s consider today what our own open door is here on Maui. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Philadelphia. The city whose name means “brotherly love.” Struck by the same earthquake that devastated Sardis in 17 AD, …

Sermon on Revelation 3:1-6 for the 6th Sunday of Easter, "Sardis--Walk With Me"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today is part five in our sermon series, the letter to the church of Sardis. Last week we heard about the church of Thyatira which was being lead astray into immorality and idolatry, and was called to repent and hold fast to Christ. Today’s letter is addressed to the church of Sardis, which was the most prominent of the 7 cities, and had a rich, storied history. Like the city they were in, they were a church that lived in the glory of their reputation. But Christ saw that they were in fact dead and dying. He calls them and us to wake up and strengthen what remains. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sardis. One of the great cities in antiquity—greatly admired by the Greeks. Once the capital of a kingdom, situated high on a rocky ridge with great cliffs—it held the reputation of being an impregnable fortress. The old saying went that to capture the c…

Sermon on Revelation 2:18-29, for the 5th Sunday of Easter, "Easter Letters: Hold Fast!"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today is part four of the sermon series, “Easter Letters,” and focuses on the church in Thyatira. Last week we heard about the church in Pergamum that was enticed by the rampant idolatry around them. They were called away from false worship at Satan’s throne to the true worship at the throne of God, and His hidden manna that sustains. Today we come to the longest and perhaps most difficult letter to understand, to the church in Thyatira. This was the least remarkable of the seven cities, the one for which we have the least historical background. We do know this was the city where the faithful believer Lydia, a seller of purple cloth, was originally from. She and her household were baptized by Paul on one of his missionary journeys. Today we’ll hear how the church of Thyatira and us are called to “hold fast” to their faith in Christ until the end. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lor…