Same Package Less Stuff

 

Same package, less stuff: The price goes up and the contents go down.

Older, shorter memory and less height

With time, we tend to become complacent, apathetic, uninterested, unconcerned, halfhearted, dispassionate, detached.

Yet we claim: New and Improved. Now better than ever!

 

True, this is not true of everything.

Cell phones: Smaller package and more stuff.

We need less gasoline to go more miles.

Are we actually older and wiser?

Sometimes we learn from our mistakes.

Yes we claim: New and Improved. Now better than ever!

 

What about our walk as a Christian? Let’s take a look in the Bible. We will start with a few verses about growing tired, complacent, and detached. Then we will take a look at seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation

 

*   (Mat 24:12-13 NIV)  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, {13} but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

*   (Gal 6:9-10 NIV)  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. {10} Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

*   (Heb 12:2-3 NIV)  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. {3} Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

We’ve been warned. Paul puts it well in these verses.

*   (Acts 20:24 NIV)  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

*   (2 Tim 4:7 NIV)  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

*   (Heb 12:1 NIV)  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

 

Now let’s look at the churches in Revelation.

*   (Rev 2:1-4 NIV)  "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: {2} I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. {3} You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. {4} Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

*   Pergamum (Rev 2:14-15 NIV)  Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. {15} Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. See Revelation Note 2:6

*   Thyatira (Rev 2:20 NIV)  Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. Phoenician princess and queen of Israel as the wife of Ahab. According to the Bible, she encouraged idolatry and was ultimately killed by Jehu. A woman who is regarded as evil and scheming.

*   Sardis (Rev 3:1-3 NIV)  "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. {2} Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. {3} Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

*   Philadelphia (Rev 3:9-11 NIV)  I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. {10} Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. {11} I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Strong’s 2453. Ioudaios, ee-oo-dah'-yos; from G2448 (in the sense of G2455 as a country); Judaean, i.e. belonging to Jehudah:--Jew (-ess), of Judaea.

*   Laodicea (Rev 3:16-17 NIV)  So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. {17} You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

 

Interestingly each church is admonished in this fashion. (Rev 2:29 NIV)  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. So we need to change, repent, as we learn of our failings and shortcomings. Change may be good or it may be bad. So… (1 Th 5:21-22 NIV)  Test everything. Hold on to the good. {22} Avoid every kind of evil.

 And , to borrow from Nike: Just Do It!

*   (Luke 18:1 NIV)  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.