#11 The Seven Churches of Asia

Revelation One – Verse by Verse
#11 The Seven Churches of Asia
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References: Revelation 1:11

…for the long period until his second coming, now nearly 2000 years. For all of these years, if Jesus could come back and do one thing on this earth, if he could go to one important person, if he could go to one body, one place, where would he go that would have the most effect on the next 2000 years?
You know what I think? We wouldn’t have chosen what Jesus chose. He didn’t go to the high priest in Jerusalem, though the temple was destroyed by this time, but here’s God’s people, here’s the nation of Israel. He could have gone to Caesar. What a corrupt empire Rome was.
What a filthy place it was. How they had slapped God in the face, if you will. And he could have gone to Caesar to Domitian. He could have gone to the Roman Senate. He could have said, you men need to straighten up and do this because this is a time when I want my gospel to go around the world. He could do all of that.
And he didn’t, didn’t go to any of those people. The world was in turmoil. If you have a book called Josephus at home, it’s a historian that lived in the first century and he was actually writing his books and finishing them up in the mid 90s AD, the same time that John is writing the book of Revelation. Here’s Josephus talking about how the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the wars of the Jews had begun and persecutions and putting people to death and it will partly end in Masada, you remember, where they commit mass suicide and all of these terrible things are happening. Jesus could have gone to Titus, the Roman general. He could have gone to any of those men and said, this is what I want. Maybe he could have gone to Josephus and said, Josephus, this is what I want you to write.
But he didn’t, he’s not an inspired writer. Instead, he goes to an apostle, an old man, feeble old man, exiled out to an island. No one cared about him anymore. No one knew where he is and Jesus said to him, this is what the world needs to know for the next 2000 years. This is what is important.
You know, I was writing to Des Moines yesterday. What a joy that is. Every time I get to do it, up by 35 and back. And on Saturday, you know, I am kind of a talk radio listener when I’m in the car during the week. But on Saturdays, you know, there’s all kinds of stuff on. So I had Christian stations on and I was listening to all kinds of good people and good Christian groups who are monitoring things all over the country and all over the world, you know, what’s going on in our government, what bills are being presented, what might be passed in the near future.
Of course, a lot of talk about embryonic stem cell research and all of this. And even a bill before the United Nations, however they do bills, but a motion wanting to be passed that would make the world court, all of us subject to a world court and the world court subject to any of those places. He would come to the local churches of the Lord Jesus Christ just like he did in the first century. And here he is at this time when the world is in turmoil, people are being put to death, people are being slaughtered by the thousands, financially is collapsing, even Rome itself will collapse. And Jesus comes to seven small churches on the land of Asia, so small that the people in the town and the local governments hardly recognize them and said this is what is important.
And this is what I want to say to you. You know folks, the implication of this is this, that what we are doing here this morning in the churches of Jesus Christ, here in a local church is the business of God and the most important business in this age. And what we are doing pleases him more than the United States government, the United Nations, the ambassadors that travel the world or anyone else.
This is more important to him and has more far reaching implications in this world than they have. And Jesus knew that and he gave this plan to his church for this dispensation. We call this the church age, right? Sometimes the age of grace. This is God’s plan for this age is the local church. This is what he has ordained. You’ve heard it said before that God has ordained government and he has. He intends for government to walk correctly and walk honestly. And when government protects the righteous and punishes the wicked, then it is doing God’s will. And when governments begin to punish the righteous and protect the wicked, they’re not doing God.
will, no matter what government it is. But the home is God’s institution. But the local church with those is God’s plan for this age to carry out his business. You are not here by mistake. You are not here because someone twisted your arm and forced you to be here today.
You are here primarily because the Spirit of God wanted you here and this is the place you ought to be and every time the doors are open in this age. Do you know that we know that principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places control this world? Do they not? In ways that the average person does not understand and we do not with our physical eyes see how Satan and his emissaries control things in this world. But let me tell you something, they are more concerned with the eternal souls of human beings than they are with the fate of the United States or the United Kingdom or Russia or any other country. They are controlling things so that people will end up in an eternal hell when those countries are long gone and this world is long gone. That is their main business and they know that the main opposition to their business is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the local pulpits and congregations of people in this world.
They know that and Jesus Christ knows that. The songs that we sing make the devil flee and make the angels glad. The prayers that we pray make God bend down his ears.
His eyes are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their prayers and he listens to the prayers of his saints gathered together in his churches and changes the world because of those prayers. It’s amazing what power we have in that. It is pleased the Lord that the gospel would go forth from preaching the Word of God in churches like we’re doing here and our missionaries have done already in many parts of the world and in a few hours we’ll be doing it in other parts of the world and all across this country.
These are powerful things. God’s people come together and they hear the Word of God and the Holy Spirit speaks to their heart and they begin to confess their sins and they say Lord this is standing between me and you. This is hindering the Holy Spirit and God is pleased with that because now he can use us in this business in this age that we live in.
Don’t despise the day of small things. This is God’s plan and more will be done through the meetings of God’s churches than any other thing in this world. You know all the way over to chapter 22 by the way and the very last chapter of this book in verse 16 he says, I Jesus have sent my angel to testify unto you these things in the churches and reminds John again I am the root and the offspring of David the bright and morning star the spirit and the bride that is we are the bride the church say come let him that heareth say come let him that is a thirst come whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely what we are doing here in presenting the gospel in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s business even the whole book of Revelation is written for that reason and with that in mind. You know what chapters 2 and 3 will tell us if we could go on and the reason I’m emphasizing this this morning as we have these churches named in verse 11 is that the local churches effectiveness will depend entirely upon its relationship to the head of the church and that is Jesus Christ. If our relationship to him is not right if our personal lives are not right with him if this church is not pleasing to him then the very work of God will not go forward in our lifetime and in our generation or our locale and where we live it is that important notice chapter 2 and verse 1 for example here is Jesus Christ saying unto the angel of the church at Ephesus now I’m the angel don’t I look like an angel you say maybe a fallen angel I don’t know about a good angel but under the angel of the church at Ephesus the pastor right these things say if he that hold at the seven stars in his hand by the way I’m a star too from verse 20 who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks and if you go down to the to verse 7 where he ends this first letter he that hath an ear that’s you let him hear what the spirit says to the churches as I am supposed to rightly divide this book and I am supposed to say these things that are pleasing to God that all of us that have ears are supposed to hear these things that the spirit is saying to all of us. We are all believer priests. We all stand before Him.
But you know there’s a picture done here. He has these seven stars in His hand and He walks amidst the seven golden candlesticks. I had Jeff read down through verse 12 because we need to be reminded. The churches are the candlesticks and I’m going to preach about that next week. We are the ones that give out light. We are the ones that hold the oil of God.
We are the seven candlesticks. And it’s as if Christ comes and He says, here pastor put your hand in mine. We are going to go for a walk in your church. We are going to walk down the hallways and we are going to see what’s going on in that room. We are going to see what’s going on in that room.
We will look in the nursery and see how that’s going. We will walk into your service. We will listen to the prayer meetings. We will maybe go to the homes of the people. We will see what’s going on in my church. We will walk in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.
He walks through the churches and then He says to every church seven times, I know Thy works. I know what goes on. I know what goes on in this building. I know what goes on in these classrooms. I know what goes on in the homes of every person sitting here today. I know it all.
I know Thy works, Jesus will say. Why is all of that? Because it is vitally important to the work of God in this world. Now, as you look at this verse, first of all, you have again a description of Jesus Christ. I am Alpha and Omega the first and the last. I’m going to tell you and remind you from Ephesians 2.20 that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the church.
He is the cornerstone. I am Alpha and Omega. In the text as John was writing it, he simply put the first letter of the Greek alphabet. He put the last letter of the Greek alphabet. Not a word, just a letter. Alpha, Omega.
That’s who Jesus is. I am the first of all things before anything. I am the last. I live forever and am eternal.
I am the first and the last. The protoss and the eschatosh, you recognize those words. In chapter 2 verse 8 to Smyrna, he’ll say the same things. These say the first and the last. And then he says, which was dead and is alive, that is forever more.
Or look at chapter 1 and verse 18. I am he that liveth and was dead. Behold, I am alive forever more.
Amen. And I also have the keys of hell and death. And I will control eternity for all souls forever.
Here is the foundation of the church. Let me remind you of that verse in Ephesians 2. Ephesians 2.19 says, now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners. The world may think we are. The world may think we’re kind of strange in what we do. We’re not strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints. And of the household of God. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
And what does it say? Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. I had to dwell on that idea of that cornerstone a little bit. Because I think what Jesus is saying in verse 11 again is the same thing that the cornerstone idea gives us. 1 Corinthians 3.11, Paul wrote, For other foundation can no man lay than that that is laid which is Jesus Christ. The idea comes from Isaiah 28.16. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, behold, I lay in Zion a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation and he that believeth shall not make haste. And even Jesus said, did you never read in the Scriptures the stone which the builders rejected? The same has become the head of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.
And so I got to reading on this and you know what I found? There have been in the last 2000 years a lot of views or ideas as to what the cornerstone of the building would be. I mean the way they built buildings is a long time ago. We hardly even build them like that anymore by hand and by you know every thing being put in place like that. One idea is that it connects two walls together. All two walls need some kind of a corner piece. Some say it’s for stability and maybe all of these have a truth to them of course.
It gives stability to the walls. Some took this as the whole foundation. The whole foundation is the cornerstone so to speak.
It completes the foundation. It comes all the way around and ties the whole circle together. It encloses the whole building and a foundation does. It goes around the building.
building. Some said it was the first stone laid for the foundation. Other corner stone, acrynoias, if it means anything to you, is made up of two words, and it means the tip of the corner, the tip of the angle even. Acro means a sharp point, a tip, a top, even the end of something.
Word. Jacob leaned upon the top of his staff, acron, the top of his staff. Sin Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, the acron, the tip of his finger.
Or from one end of heaven to the other, the gospel will be preached. And so the very tip and the word corner means a projecting corner, an extremity. Now in all of this, what does it tell us? It means that Jesus Christ is the one who gives the angle to everything else that is done in the building. Let me been carried out to the architect specification. This stone will measure everything else in the building. Or another said the angle of the corner stone governs all the lines and all the other angles of the building.
Jesus Christ is the corner stone of the divine building, their line or angle in this building that is not determined by this stone. Let me ask you, how many of you in high school, probably you guys, ever took a class called mechanical drawing? Hey, a lot of us did. When I was in high school, my dad taught at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, which was in the same town of course. And he taught architecture, he taught surveying, he taught a lot of classes like that. And I took a mechanical drawing class in high school because I thought I may go into that field and didn’t know that the Lord had other plans for me.
And maybe I should have gone into that field, who knows. But you know what I remember from mechanical drawing classes this, that the first thing they teach you to do is to draw angles and draw them properly, draw proper perspectives to things. And so the first thing that we did, and maybe you guys remember this, is that you take a large piece of paper and you put a perpendicular line, a point at the top and a point at the bottom. And you then draw another line going this way as far out to the very edges of the paper and put a dot on each end.
And this line going across this way, this would be a nice time to have a PowerPoint presentation. The line going across like this is your eye level. And then you put a place at the bottom of the perpendicular line, which is going to be the ground level, and as high as you want this building to be. Then you take lines from this perpendicular line all the way up to the top, all the way down to the bottom, and you draw these lines all the way out to the two lines that are way on the end of this perpendicular line, or this horizontal line.
And you just keep drawing lines all the way out. You start from this, go all the way out. Start here, go all the way out.
Start here, up here, go all the way out. And pretty soon you have the center line, you have everything else going out like this and going down to infinity is what the idea is. And so it doesn’t look much like a building, but then all of a sudden you draw a line here as wide as you want that building to be, and you draw another line over here as long as you want that building to be. And all of a sudden you have a building drawn to the exact angles that you want it to be. If you’re going to put a bunch of windows in that building, you draw another line all the way out to the point of infinity, and you mark the windows on that line. If you’re going to draw the floor, you go all the way out, and then you mark that floor.
Everything is from the point at the top and the point at the bottom to infinity. Well, when I was reading these verses, I couldn’t help but think of that again, because here is Jesus Christ, who is the chief cornerstone, that is the very top, the very obtruding angle, and he is also Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending. And everything about the building, which is the church that he’s going to talk about, has to be in line with Jesus Christ himself, who is this chief cornerstone, and the eternal nature of Christ from Alpha and Omega. And if we will begin at the tip at the cornerstone, and always stay in perspective to the Alpha and Omega, everything we do in this building will be exactly right the way it should be. Now, I don’t know if your mind followed that whole drawing or not, and if you need that, I even re-drew it on the back of my notes here.
You’re welcome to have it. Or get your husband, who is in mechanical drawing, to do it for you, and see if he really remembers. So… So I think this idea of the cornerstone is exactly that. It was placed in such a position that if you look down this angle or you look down this angle you needed to put a wall here, an upright thing here.
Whatever you did it had to come from this point and then it was exactly right. He is the chief cornerstone of the building that he built. Now, secondly, John is told to write something, right? After again he is reminded that Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. What thou seest right in a book. Now the second thought then that has to come to us is that if Christ is the cornerstone of the church the Word of God becomes the outline of the church. Let me go back to my drawing illustration. I thought long and hard about this.
I said I argued with myself and maybe the Lord too. Is this going to fly? You know if I try to describe this by words. But if you can come back with me to this drawing. You have a perpendicular line and this is the corner of the building. You have these lines going all the way out to the very, as far out as you can draw them. Then you are going to draw a line here as wide as you want it to be.
You are going to draw another line here as long as you want this building to be and there you have your building. Well what happens is that the Word of God then given to us by Jesus Christ says I want the church to be here and I want it to be here. I want windows here and I want them here. I want a floor here and I want it here. And everything about this building is outlined with the perimeter of God’s Word so that God’s Word becomes the foundation and the outline of our building. If the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets it is because they wrote the Word of God. And so even if you put out a foundation and draw it and make a square or whatever it is going to look like then that is the outline of your building isn’t it? When Jesus Christ wrote the Word of God he basically outlined the church. And he said this is what is in the church.
And we shouldn’t take this statement lightly. I am Alpha and Omega the first and the last and what thou see is right John. Write this down. Do you know that he is commanded to do that twelve times in the book of Revelation?
Twelve times write this. As a matter of fact look at chapter 2 verse 1 again. Under the angel of the church at Ephesus do what?
Write it. Verse 8. Under the angel the church at Smyrna write. Verse 12. Under the angel the church at Pergamos write.
To every church they are commanded to write because they need the Word of God. I don’t want to show you something unique. Chapter 10 can you flip back there real quickly. In chapter 10 he is told not to write something.
Kind of an interesting little note here. So in chapter 10 verse 4 or verse 3. He cried with a loud voice as with a lion rower and when he had cried notice seven thunders uttered their voices and when the seven thunders had uttered their voices I was about to write.
Now think with me. Seven seals then seven trumpets and after this there will be seven vials or bowls. There were also seven trumpets. But you know what? We don’t know what they are and they never included in any outline of the book of Revelation.
You know what? Because I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me seal up those things which the seven trumpets uttered and write them not. There are some things God has decided not to tell us. When Paul was taken up to heaven you remember in 2 Corinthians 12 he saw things which is not lawful for a man to utter. What he saw in heaven he was not allowed to come back to this earth and tell us about. There are some things we don’t need to know.
Some things it’s better off that we don’t know. God decides where this line is and where this line is by the word of God. I am giving you this and this is what you need.
All things that pertain to life and godliness. Write it, graphé, in a book, Biblia. The word for book is Biblia. No wonder we call it the Bible. And this process that John is experiencing here happened for over a span of 1500 years, 66 different times.
Sometimes to the same man quite a few times. God will say now, right now I want you to begin writing and I want you to write these things. And these men wrote under inspiration of God, the God-breathed nature of the scripture. Let me remind you again of 2 Timothy 3.15, from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God. All scripture is God-breathed.
He comes out of the mouth of Jesus Christ Himself. He tells us where the lines will be. The building will be this wide.
The building will be this long. Everything about it and what we do in these services is outlined in the Word of God and by Jesus Christ. And we are constantly seeking to know exactly what He has said so that we can follow every bit of it. He has not as the Word of men, but as it is in truth the Word of God which effectually worketh also in you that believe. This is not the Word of men, it’s the Word of God. Now, when I’m speaking and I’m trying to elaborate and I’m trying to give the best thoughts we have from this, I’m speaking with the Word of God.
But when you read this book and you read these words, this is God’s Word. It’s exactly what He wants us to have. And so, you have Paul as the wise master builder.
He calls himself. Remember 1 Corinthians 13? As a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and other men build on it. The word master builders architectone. The writers of the Bible become the architects. You’re going to put these things inside the wall.
You’re going to put these details in there. And so, the writers of the Scripture, the architects, if you will, of the Scripture, for the owner of the building put this in and it put this in. God said, I want you to put baptism, for example, in there, in this building. And so, Paul describes to us baptism and other writers of the Scripture. And so, what do we do? We search this book and we say, how should we baptize, Lord?
Should we take babies and sprinkle water on them? And we look in the Bible and we find no evidence for that. We never found it even being done in the Scripture. How should we baptize, Lord? And then we find people being put under the water and back up. We find that we should be baptized in the name of Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We find that first people are saved and then they’re baptized as a testimony of that Son. Everything about baptism, for example, we find in this Word and we try to do it exactly the same way.
Now, if Jesus is the cornerstone and the Word of God is the outline, the limits of our church, let me make one more point and that is that the location of the church is on earth. Because the next thing he says is, send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia. This business of God has to be carried out here, not in heaven. That’s what I’m saying. This business of the local church, of the preaching of God’s Word, of making Jesus Christ the cornerstone, isn’t going to be done in heaven.
Well, it is, but it’s done eternally. This has to be done here. This is where the field is. The field is the world. And so we are here for this purpose. And so he begins to say, send it to these churches and he names them.
And you know what? You and I this morning are gathered here together and we have our Bibles open and I’m speaking as a speaker and we all have ears and we’re hearing, but what we’re doing right now is searching this Word to see whether these things are so. We are looking again at the same words written 2000 years ago and in some cases far before that and saying, are we doing this right? Is this what they did? Is this what Christ meant? Or have we gotten way off on a tangent that has nothing to do with the angle of the cornerstone in eternity?
And we get ourselves back in line and say, no, this is what we should be doing. Now, you know, I’ve noticed that all churches have some things in common and then all churches have some things that are unique. I mean, we all are candlesticks according to God’s description. I’ll speak about that next week. We all have ears to hear everywhere in this world where the Word of God has been preached today. God’s people are obligated to hear it and to do it. Jesus writes, the Holy Spirit says to every one of these seven churches, this is what I’m writing and he that had the ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. That’s true of wherever you go in whatever church in this world. To every church Jesus said, I know your works. God knows the church inside and outside. He knows every local church. He knows everything about every person, even every thought of every person in those churches.
And he needs to and he does it because this is his work. There are in every church overcomers and there are those who don’t. There are those who are true believers and follow this because of personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And then there are those who have given testimony but have never really received Christ’s Savior. I think that’s probably true in every church.
as well. You alone will give an account to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are all lively stones and so we’re built up a spiritual house and you know what if Metro Baptist Church is one brick in the large building of God you know if you’re gonna make a brick wall it seems to me you better have every brick alike. I mean maybe they can be different colors and all that but they better be the same size and they you know they better be all alike and so God wants His churches to be churches. God wants His churches to be according to this book and if we follow this plan then we will be.
Now I’m glad when I find that there are certain things common to churches throughout history. In May I’m going to take a trip to England and Scotland again. I do this every year. We go with students from the seminary and we will go look at some churches as far back as five or six hundred years back and you know what one of the great things about that is for example we’ll go see Wesley’s Church in London but you’ll find out in the museum in the basement of that church that Charles Wesley himself started in a foundry just a warehouse building started preaching and people started gathering and after he had been there a number of years they needed to build a church building so they build a church building. You know what churches still do it like that don’t they start out in the store front and end up in a building. As a matter of fact that the building that they built they had to scrape together what they could get and so the posts that held up in the balcony goes all the way around like this which most English churches do and the posts that hold up the balcony all the way around were built from the mass off of wrecked ships. I mean the big mass that hold the sales and those were the posts around the pillars now they’re gone because they’re rotted out and they’ve replaced them but that’s how they had to do it or we go see John Bunyan’s church the man who spent all those years in prison and wrote pilgrims progress and you’ll find when you go to his church it started in a barn.
John Bunyan preaching by a horse trough to whoever would come and hear him preach and they were in that barn for years and then they could build a building and they build a building. What I’m saying is we have these things unique with churches of all times folks and we have this same challenge and this same desire to say what is it you want from us God and show us and let us do it and he’s shown us in the Word of God. Now churches have things unique and as we read chapter 2 and 3 let me remind you it was the church at Ephesus first of all that left its first love. Not every church does that but every church could if it’s not careful right. We can all leave our first love a church can lose that perspective can get the angle away from the cornerstone and we forget why we’re here.
We lose the love for the Lord Jesus Christ and the testimony of Christ in this world. The church at Smyrna who does not receive correction is a faithful church unto death. They will be put it being put to death and and and verse 10 of chapter 2 the Lord says to them then you be faithful unto death. Oh Lord we’re going to be put to death somebody’s going to kill us and so the answer from the Lord Jesus Christ is then be faithful unto death. That’s what I’ve called you to do.
That’s the most important thing. We look back over the ages now and what bright lights do we have that’ll illuminate church history. I’ll tell you what it is the martyrs that have died for their faith. This is the business of God.
He says do this even though they may have said I don’t understand why we should do that. The church at Pergamus had problems they had allowed the doctrine of Balaam into their church and the doctrine of the Nicolaotans into their church false doctrine that had come in and turned many people’s hearts away from the purpose of their church. Thyatira had the the doctrine of Jezebel that wicked woman of the Old Testament and spread immorality throughout the church.
Sartan said but you are dead spiritually and I can’t use you like that. And the great church at Philadelphia the church of the open door the church that God said I will close the doors I want to close I will open the doors I want to open you are the church of brotherly love I’ll use you in this as long as you stay true to me. And then Lea de Silla and what can we say about Lea de Silla?
They were poor and they were blind and they were naked and so they needed to buy of God eyes for their eyes and clothing for their naked bodies and precious gold for what they had spoiled. God help us to desire that from him. All of these things were measured by the word of God and suppose there was an eighth church in chapters two and three and he said unto the church at Kansas City right. What would he say? I know thy works, he would say that. He would give a description of himself, I’m Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, those things will never change. You that have ears to hear, hear what I’m saying to the churches, but he would have something to say of us and five out of the seven times he says, nevertheless I have somewhat against you. What would he say about us?
Those things in our hearts, those things in the individual people, those things as a corporate body need to be made right with him. You know the Bible then says, as you know, that all of us will give an account before God. I will give an account as a pastor simply because I have volunteered to be in this position and yet in Hebrews 13 he says to me, to the church, as him that must give an account. I don’t know how many times I have laid awake at night or early in the morning and been reminded of God that this is a stewardship before God for which I will give an eternal account. But so will we all.
You that have ears to hear will give an account. As a matter of fact some say, you know, I would really like to be a teacher. You know, if everyone could fulfill their spiritual gifts we’d have 99 teachers to every one of everybody else. But you know, I want to teach. And you know what James says in chapter 3 verse 1, don’t aspire to be a teacher because you will receive the greater condemnation. You’ll receive the greater judgment. A man, a woman, whoever takes it upon themselves to begin to explain this word of God now has to stand before God in special scrutiny before Christ at the Bema seat because you took it upon yourself to explain this word to other people. And yet we all should be doing that to some degree, shouldn’t we? And so it ought to say, Lord, what does this say?
Lord, teach me this book. Let me not make mistakes about this. All of us should be that way. And all of us should say, Lord, what is it that you want me to do so that when I stand before you I’m pleasing to you? I want you to stand with me if you will now this morning. And as we’re standing before we sing a song of invitation we’re going to bow our heads. We’re going to think about these things. And I want you not to think about the person next to you or even the church at large, I want you to think about you. I want you to think about what’s going on in your life.
You’ll give an account before God. He has a will and a desire for you. He’s the cornerstone. The word of God is our outline. What are we doing for Him? Now Father in heaven, I pray to you, Lord, that you would speak to each and every heart. Father, you know how you excited my heart with this passage. And I desire to explain it, but I can’t without the Holy Spirit and the words will go nowhere without your work now in our hearts as you speak to each and every one of this.
However you will to burden us with our faults, to convict us of our sins, to show us the error of our ways, to instill in us a new desire and a new fire to do your work. Father help Metro Baptist Church. Help us to be this church, this place, this organization that you love, that you died for, the pillar and ground of the truth. Help us Father to be the church you want us to be and every church on this earth that calls themselves by your name may they follow your word. And so Father speak to our hearts individually and as a church today may we respond to you and your spirit the way that we need. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen. We’re going to turn to page 308 Jesus’ Calling.
And here’s our invitation today. You know that we believe and the Bible teaches plainly that a person must receive Jesus Christ as Savior before they leave this earth. And so God may have been working on your heart in a lot of ways up till today. And maybe for some reason today out of this message though it’s a message about the church God has spoken to your heart and said now is the day. Today is a day of salvation now is the accepted time. And because God has spoken to your heart and the Holy Spirit has been drawing you you would come even as we sing and say I need to be saved. I need to receive Christ as my Savior. Let us show you from the word of God how to be saved.
You can come even while we sing meet me at the front. Or maybe you need to surrender to baptism. We’ll have a baptismal service next month. Maybe to church membership or maybe just kneel at this altar and confess some things before God that need to be confessed. You let God work in your heart the way you need. And as we sing this song do what he wants you to do. Would you do that? 308 you know this song? Let’s sing it together on the first verse.

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