A Few Things Against

Revelation 2:13-15 ESV

“I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.”

Satan’s Throne

Satan’s throne is the earth, although certainly there are some places which are predominantly more evil than others depending on the influences of Satan in those specific areas. It is where Satan has his dominion, although God is still sovereign over all that he has made, so Satan has no dominion unless God allows it and he sets limits on it.

Even though the earth is Satan’s throne, still there are believers in Jesus Christ on the earth who are following the Lord Jesus Christ wholeheartedly. They are in the minority (the few who enter through the narrow gate), not the majority (the many who enter through the wide gate to destruction).

These followers of Jesus Christ hold fast to the name of Jesus, they do not deny him with their lips or with their lifestyles, but they remain steadfast in their faith in Christ Jesus even in the face of severe opposition, rejection, and persecution.

You Have Some There

Not everyone who professes the name of Jesus is genuinely a follower of Jesus Christ. Not everyone who genuinely believes in Jesus is now living in wholehearted devotion to Jesus Christ. And not everyone who regularly gathers with the church is living a godly and pure life.

In America presently, it appears that the vast majority of the church (or what is called church) is not living in wholehearted devotion to Jesus Christ but is living carnal lives in direct disobedience to the Lord and to the teachings of Scripture. And that is of grave concern.

They are following after smooth-tongued preachers who are telling them what their itching ears want to hear. And they are believing in a diluted and adulterated gospel which is not the gospel at all because it gives its adherents free license to continue living in sin without guilt or remorse.

Much of what is being taught in the name of Jesus is not from Jesus Christ at all, but is taken out of context, and is twisted to make it say something it doesn’t say in context. For, the purpose is to deceive, to manipulate, and to lead people away from Jesus and toward continuing in sin guilt free.

So, what is largely being taught is that we can acknowledge Jesus or say some words or profess to believe in him and heaven is guaranteed us when we die regardless of how we live our lives on this earth. Or else they are teaching people to not repent, to not obey and to not submit to Christ.

So, many people who call themselves Christians are living in sexual immorality, in sin in general, and they are addicted to their sins of choice. Their flesh has become their god instead of God being their God, as well as their addiction is their idol whom they serve, and not God who made them.

Revelation 2:16-17 ESV

“Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.”

So, the Lord is calling out to his idolatrous and adulterous church today to repent of her sins and to return to her Lord with wholehearted devotion. He is calling her to leave her sins behind her to follow him in faithful obedience to his word, to his will, and to his ways.

For, Jesus didn’t die on that cross just to pay the penalty of our sin, or just so he can forgive us our sins, and just so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He died to set us free from our slavery (addictions) to sin so that we might now be slaves (bondservants) of his righteousness.

Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, not so we could continue living in sin guilt free and without remorse. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20).

So, we must walk (in practice, in conduct) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh if we want to be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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