I was just reading about the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:7). They had problems with some guys there who were false apostles and liars. I wonder what kind of trouble that caused, especially among the weaker members of the church. There were also people there called “Nicolaitans” whose behavior was so bad that God said he hated it.
Jesus warned the church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8)
that some of them would be thrown into prison for their faith. They already had blaspheming Jews among them who weren’t even Jews at all. Ominously, Jesus encouraged faithful members of the church to hang on… until death!
The church at Pergamum (Revelation 2:12) had already had one member, Antipas, to be killed for his faith. It is no wonder since Jesus said their town was where Satan dwelt. This congregation had also been infiltrated with more of those Nicolaitans as well as some others who held to the evil doctrine of Balaam. This church had it tough.
So did the brethren in Thyatira (Revelation 2:18) who had a false prophetess seducing their members and leading them to commit fornication and worse. She was so bad that Jesus called her “Jezebel.” But she was fixin’ to get hers, and so were those who followed her when Jesus would visit them with death for their deeds.
Now the church at Sardis (Revelation 3:1) didn’t have anyone bothering them, but why would the devil waste his time messing with a congregation that was already dead?
Laodicea (Revelation 3:14)? They were nearly dead, being neither hot nor cold. Jesus was about to spit them out. Oh boy… I hope Jesus sees that we still have a little fire left in us.
The next time someone tells you they don’t like church because it is full of hypocrites, just tell them they don’t know the half of it. These churches had lying false apostles, Nicolaitans, blasphemers, Balaamites, seductresses and dead folks as well as nearly dead ones. Why, a few hypocrites here and there ain’t nothin’.
Truth is, only those fully aware of the desperate state their own sinfulness and lostness has put them in will push through as many of the other sinners as they have to in search of Jesus. Think about it, who goes to an emergency room and acts surprised to see sick and injured folks there?
Nobody. That’s who.