Love, Faith, Service & Endurance – Part 1

Love, Faith, Service & Endurance – Part 1


Revelation 2:18-29 ESV  “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.  (19)  “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.  (20)  But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.  (21)  I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.  (22)  Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works,  (23)  and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.  (24)  But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden.  (25)  Only hold fast what you have until I come.  (26)  The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,  (27)  and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.  (28)  And I will give him the morning star.  (29)  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Revelation 2:19 ESV  “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.

  • We now come to the church in Thyatira, the 4th church that Christ addresses in the book of Revelation.
    • Remember that these letters were written to real churches with real issues at the time.
      • But also that these letters can and should be applied to real churches today with similar issues.
      • As Seven represents completion, and as these letters God deemed fit to include in His holy Word, we can thus conclude that these letters should be applied to the complete church, including the church today.
      • It is my strong convection that every Church in the world can identify with one or more of these churches, and that the letters here-in are applicable to all believers. The commendation and rebuke.
        • If we are doing the good things they do, we too are commended by Christ.
        • If we are doing the wrong things they are doing, we should repent, least we suffer the consequences Christ presented to these churches if they did not repent.
  • So let’s put our feet in the shoes of those in the church of Thyatira, let us turn our ears on choose to hear what the Spirit is saying to us today, amen?
  • So this Sunday we are going to focus on the good things the church of Thyatira did, and hopefully we will be encouraged to start doing or keep doing these things so that Jesus will commend us as well.

Point One – The Work of Love

Revelation 2:19 ESV  “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 

  • So let’s start with that first work, Love.
    • I think it is interesting, and important, to note that love here is a WORK.
      • And the word in the Greek here is Agape, the word God uses to describe His own love towards us.
        • It is that unconditional love that we are talking about.
    • But it’s not a feeling, it is a work.
      • It’s not warm butterflies in our hearts.
      • It’s not extreme affection towards someone.
      • It is a work.
      • “I know your works,” Jesus says, “your LOVE!”
  • Let’s see what scripture says about love:

1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV  Let all that you do be done in love.

  • Interesting, it says “Do” let all that you DO be done in love. That’s an action word yall!

John 15:13 ESV  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

  • Love, here, is lying down your life… dying for someone. That’s an action, that’s a work!

Romans 5:8 ESV  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • How did God show His love for us? HE DID SOMETHING! He sent His son to die for us.
  • Love is a work, love is action!
    • Of course love can also be a feeling… I love you, therefore I allow myself to have an emotional and spiritual attachment to you, to your wellbeing… I weep with you and rejoice with you… those are emotional aspects of love, but they are false and empty emotions if not paired with action.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  (5)  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  (6)  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  (7)  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

  • Look at this description of what love is, it has both actions and feelings… let’s go through them…
    • Love is patient… that is a feeling AND a action.
    • Love is kind… that is an action, not a feeling.
    • Love does not envy, envy is a feeling, or boast, which can be a feeling and an action.
    • Love is not arrogant, again a feeling and an action.
    • Love is not rude… being rude (or not rude in this case) is an action.
    • Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices with truth, rejoicing is an action in response to a feeling.
    • Love bears all things, that’s action.
    • Love believes all things, that is both action and feeling (I feel this is true so I act on it).
    • Love hopes all things, that’s feeling.
    • Love endures all things… ENDURANCE IS ACTION.
      • So again, love is both ACTION and FEELING, and I think we hear all the time about the feeling of love, but today we are talking about the WORK of love.
  • What then is the work of love?  The work of Love is giving or sacrificing for the good of someone else and not yourself.
    • Love is not self serving… it is when  you DO things for others that either don’t benefit you or even more so, when you do things for others that cost something from you… that require something from you.
      • Listen, I gave a Kidney to someone. AND IT FLIPPING HURT! For a long time it hurt.
        • And it shortened my life.
        • And I can’t take many different medications now, including Tylenol.
      • Love is giving a kidney to a stranger so they will live.
      • Love is a church working it’s tail off to remove trees from roofs, driveways, and yards from cars after a Derecho and then cooking and serving hundreds of FUFU to strangers around the city.
      • Love is Kat and June babysitting young prophet so that Sharla can go to work and not worry about childcare.
      • Love is cooking meals for meal trains for people suffering.
      • Love is David Godbear, Sheryl and  Rev. Williams spending their days fixing your lawn up because you have been helping others.
      • Love is Shana and Mosses, and Stacey and James opening up their house for homeless people to live there because they desperately want them to succeed in Christ.
      • Love is sacrificially giving to a GoFund me for a hurting family even though your church has been raising money for a building, Mission Faith Pledges, and tithes and offerings.
      • Love is cooking Apple Pies for people you don’t know visiting town because you want to bless them.
      • Love is opening up your church to strangers from a different church two hours away so they can have a funeral or homegoing celebration.
      • Love is a WHOLE church driving two hours to Des Moines to morn with a family in the midst of horrible tragedy.
    • Y’all our church KNOWS how to love! Love is a work, love is an action!

John 3:16 ESV  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

  • For God so loved the world that He GAVE! Love is more than an emotion, love is an action, love is a work. Let our church excel in the work of Love!

Point Two –  The Work of Faith

Revelation 2:19 ESV  “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.

  • So here again, faith is called a work.
    • Sometimes we are taught that faith is just an ethereal thing… a belief… a thought process…
      • Faith isn’t tangible, we are taught, it is believing in what we can’t see… right? Well, not really.
      • That is a very oversimplified and shallow explanation of what faith is.
      • The Bible, however, tells us exactly what faith is…

Hebrews 11:1 KJV  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  • Faith is not simply “believing” in things unseen… that’s Santa Clause Faith… “I believe in Santa Clause even though there is no evidence for Him, I believe because I choose to believe”.
    • Santa Clause faith is not Biblical faith.
    • Biblical faith is not the Belief in the unseen, but the EVIDENCE of the unseen, the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for.
    • Faith is the REAL and SEEN things that PROVE the unseen and hopped for things.
      • I have faith in God not because someone told me to believe in an invisible deity… but because I have talked with God, I have heard his REAL voice.
      • I believe in the cross not because someone told me to, but because I have seen it’s power in my life and the life of others.
      • I have faith that Jesus can raise the money for a small church to buy a building because I watched him raise the money for a small church to buy a building. I HAVE ACCESS TO A BANK ACCOUNT WITH 130 grand in it, and each one of those 130 thousand George Washington’s testify to the provision of God.
      • I have faith that Scripture is true because it prophecy’s physically and literally come true… it’s instructions always lead to life and life more abundantly.
      • Peter was able to walk on water because he had faith, not because he believed really hard… but because he watch his Lord walking on the water, and trusted in Christ that if the Christ who walks on water calls you out onto the water then  you too can walk on water!
    • So then, what is the WORK of faith, the work of Faith is really the proof of faith.

James 2:14-24 ESV  What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?  (15)  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,  (16)  and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  (17)  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  (18)  But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  (19)  You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!  (20)  Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?  (21)  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?  (22)  You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;  (23)  and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.  (24)  You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

  • Faith is believing what God says and proving you believe it BY acting on it.
    • If you believe someone is starving to death, the work of faith is to feed them.
    • If you believe someone is freezing to death, the work of faith is to clothe them.
    • If you believe God called you up to a mountain to Sacrifice your son, the work of faith is to take your son up the mountain, tie him up, and bring the blade down upon him.
      • Side note, Hebrews 11 teaches us why Abraham had such faith, because He knew that God had promised Him that his son would have many kids and he knew that God can raise the dead… please don’t sacrifice your children, it is EXPLECITLY forbidden by scripture. Ok? Cook.
  • Back to faith in action…
    • Faith is believing what God says and proving you believe it by acting on it.
      • Have you ever ridden in an airplane…
        • That takes a lot of faith…
        • You are putting faith in the mechanics who repair the plane.
        • The engineers that designed the plane.
        • The pilots that fly the plan.
        • The Air traffic Controllers that direct the plan.
        • You are even putting your faith in the aerodynamic principals that keep a plan flying.
      • Why do you put your life in the hands of an airplan? Because you have faith that it will all be fine…
        • You have faith because you have seen thousands of airplanes land and take off.
        • You have faith know that statistically you are significantly more likely to die in a car crash than a plane crash.
        • You have faith because you know that the pilots are highly trained.
        • You have faith because you know that planes and airports are highly regulated for safety in America.
      • But ALL OF THAT FAITH is useless if you never get on the plane!
        • You can say you believe all these things, that you believe planes are the safest form of travel…
        • But if you get to the gate and refuse to get on that jetbridge, refuse to get on the plane… THEN DID YOU REALLY HAVE FAITH? No! It was all false.
    • In the same way we can say all day that we believe in the Bible and have faith in Christ… but if we really did, WE WOULD OBEY Christ because we would know that is the best thing for our life.
    • We would obey the words of Scripture, because we know that is the best thing for our life.
    • We would, dare I say it, obey our pastor who was called out by God to lead this church.
      • I can firmly tell you that I believe that Pastor Matt is closer to God than I am, therefore when Pastor Matt rebukes me I don’t argue, I don’t dance around the subject, I don’t smile and nod and then forget what he said.
      • No, when pastor Matt Rebukes me I CHANGE. Because I have faith that God placed him over my life. Then after I change I seek understanding.
      • And I will probably continue to do that for the rest of my life, unless Pastor Matt tells me to do something that goes against Scripture.
        • Why, because I have evidence and substance of Matt being the man of God that he says he is.
          • I am a Christian because of Pastor Matt.
          • I am a Pastor because of Pastor Matt.
          • I am a church planter because of Pastor Matt.
          • For heavens sake, I am MARRIED because of Pastor Matt, he introduced me to Pastor Amanda!
      • And so it is with Scripture…
        • Time and time again I have reasons to believe that Scripture is true… therefore I obey.
    • This is why Psalm 103 is so important, it reminds us to have faith in the evidence and substance of what God has done for us.

Psalms 103:1-5 ESV  Of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!  (2)  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,  (3)  who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,  (4)  who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,  (5)  who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

  • Remember all the Lord has done, that should encourage us to continue obeying Him, seeking Him, fellowshipping with Him, worshiping Him, growing toward Him.
    • Remembering all the Lord has done encourages me to continue to do the work of faith, the work He has called me to.
  • That brings us to the conclusion of todays message…

Conclusion – Our Latter Works Exceed our First

Revelation 2:19 ESV  “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.

  • Our latter works must exceed our first.
    • While other churches will undoubtably lose their first love…
    • While other Christians will undoubtably lose their first zeal…
    • While other congregations will undoubtably mix with the Nicolaitans and compromise with the world.
      • We will grow wiser, we will grow better.
      • It is my earnest ambition as pastor of CLC that we as a church do more and more and more for the kingdom of God.
      • More acts of love.
      • More works of faith.
      • That we will grow greater and daily go from glory to glory.
        • CLC is not a place to turn down, church, it is not a place to relax and turn off and check out.
        • CLC is a place to turn up, to work, to grow, to THRIVE in Christ.
        • We have a work today, and until Christ comes back we are going to keep doing it, and getting better and better at doing it.
        • AMEN?!

Gospel Call


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