In Part 4 of The letter to the church in Pergamum, we’ll look at the “So …” section. As in, so what’s next? In this letter, the next thing is to get an answer to the question we still had at the end of part 3, regarding whether Jesus’ words, Yet you remain true to my name, were for everyone or just for some people in the church.
The Greatest Commandment - Matthew
In this section of The letter to the church in Ephesus, we’ll look at the “So …” section. As in, so what’s next? As in, when Jesus says I may “remove your lampstand from it’s place” – is that a warning to do a little bit better, or are they really very close to just that happening?
In each of the letters, this could be good or bad news for the receiving church. It depends on everything that came before this. It’s like Jesus saying, “Given everything you’ve read so far, here’s where things stand between you and Me”. Often, it’s a caveat that goes along with the Divine Knowledge.
You may remember So in love with two. It comes from a song about a girl in love with two boys. But I look at it as a Christian, in love with Jesus and someone or something else.
Ultimately it’s not up to us to decide what Jesus is asking of us.
It’s up to us to decide whether we want to do what He is asking.
If we decide which things we want to do and which we don’t – the result will be like that camel going through the eye of a needle – it’s not gonna happen.
If we do what Jesus asks – then all things are possible – including that camel making it through the eye of the needle.
So – what did Mikaila’s song choose?
Hey, hey, hey
I choose the both of you
How did Christianity get to be like this? You ask, Like what? Let me answer, initially, with a hint, rather than a direct answer. Some think one of the worst things to happen to Christianity was when Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. As history is showing, that’s more significant that most people probably realize. The parallels to what’s going on in the U.S. today are incredible.
Historians now debate whether “the first Christian emperor” was a Christian at all. Some think him an unprincipled power seeker. What religion he had, many argue, was at best a blend of paganism and Christianity for purely political purposes.
What happened to Christian transformation? You know – becoming more Christ-like? It used to be important. But now, does it mean anything more than switching to a church that we like better? One that supports our view of God, the way we created Him? That’s as opposed to a church that teaches and helps us to become more like Jesus. The Jesus Christ who’s the namesake of the Christianity.
In light of that, should our hot button item be strictly focused on preventing abortion?
Or should our focus be on spreading the Gospel?
On getting people to understand why abortion is against God’s will, rather than only trying to make it against man’s law?
Shouldn’t we focus on the eternal souls of both the mother and the baby? Helping the mother to navigate a difficult time?
Loving the mother, no matter her choice of whether to go through with the abortion or not? Loving mother and baby if the mother chooses to go through with the birth?
Ultimately, shouldn’t we be more like Christ? We are, after all, Jesus’ representatives here on earth – until He returns. And that is part of what we’re to do per the Great Commission. Judgment is His, not ours. We are to love. Even, and maybe especially, when we don’t want to.
For the church in Pergamum, being where Satan lives and has his throne means there will be plenty of false teachers and false prophets. The question remains for this study though – were Jesus’ words a reminder, a warning or a wake-up call?
The same is true for us. In a way, these words are for all of us. Remember what Jesus said about Satan and this world. The entire passage is important for us to remember and to live out. It’s full of important things for us – the Holy Spirit, living as Jesus taught us, not being afraid, having peace. And for this topic, especially verses 30 and 31 at the end, regarding the prince of this world – Satan.
Do all religions lead to the same God? When Americans were asked to react to the statement, God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, more than half agreed, with 46% strongly agreeing. Just based on an approximate 70+% of Americans claiming to be Christian, that number is surprising.
And disappointing. It means, right or wrong, only about two-thirds of American Christians even think they know enough about their claimed religion to have a strong response to the statement.
Why can’t America deal with the Coronavirus? Maybe for the same reason we can’t seem to deal with much of anything these days? We’re so split on just about every issue. If you ask people what color is the sky, I bet we couldn’t even agree on that!
But maybe it’s not what you think. I don’t believe it’s really political, although that seems to be a big factor. I don’t think it’s race either, even though that also appears to be another big factor. The question is, are those really the problem? Or are they symptoms of the real problem?
Do you know what’s the problem of hating people of color? Well, one of many, actually. So, so many. But if you’re a regular here, you should know what’s going on with that question. In “the problem of …” articles, I often write about things that might keep someone who claims to be Christian from entering Heaven. On this site, that generally means things we love so much here on earth that we’d rather try to hang on to them than go to Heaven. But this one’s the other way around.