Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Sardis church is reformed? Rev 3

Revelation 3:1"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.....

A thought came to mind concerning this letter to the church at Sardis. A REAL letter to a PHYSICAL church addressing PRESENT matters, YET as with all inspired scripture there is also teaching, correction, rebuking and exhortation for us.
Concerning us (today) we naturally think of this church as being BIG, which seems reasonable to us in America since little churches don't have 'reputations' (how pitiful that is). Another thing we assume is that this is addressing a seeker-friendly, Willow Creek, word of faith, liberal, or emergent mega church, yet I would ask you WHY couldn't it be a 'solidly doctrinal' church?
It may very well apply to a verse by verse expositional preaching ministry, that upholds the doctrines of grace and rightly teaches the truths of the New Covenant! Would it be unthinkable that this church may be pastored by the most 'influential' and 'respected' leaders of our day? Oh and did I forget 'successful'!
This should come to NO surprise if the church is built upon a personality! A church that is built upon a personality is a church which is but a shadow to the pulpit of a man. A church which is not known by it's spiritual growth and unity but by it's size and many ministries. A church that would go through incredible strain if their superstar preacher passed. I would suppose that in such a church, the pastor has effected the members no more than he's effected his readers and listeners thousands of miles away.
What of the 'reformed' (Calvinistic) churches which have followed in the footsteps of seeker-friendly churches by broadcasting services at different campuses? Doesn't the NT example show us that we are to multiple disciples and disciple-makers, not multiple followers.

Who then am I specifically addressing? Does it matter? To be honest I'm not thinking of a specific church and though it's a fact that I don't care too much for the idea of mega churches, I don't assume that all of them are unhealthy.

Dear reader don't despise those small churches, or think little of a personable and touchable pastor who pours his heart and soul into his sheep for the glory of God. Perhaps you should bless God that you aren't in a church where it's easy to get lost, where you have never spent time with the Pastor, where the Pastor doesn't have time to write books and speak at tons of conferences because he's sweating in prayer over you!

Dear Pastor, would you rather be famous or faithful? Would you trade a flock you know by name and have seen individually progress over a MEGA multi-purpose super church? Sure if you get that mega church then you'll get the requests to preach with the big wigs at the great conferences and seminaries OR if you get some "Doctorates" after your name, teach in a seminary, and write books OR the only other way is to become a missionary (like Paul Washer) to somewhere real dangerous then come back and churches will assume that you'll tell lots of sensational stories before the 'real' preachers begin! Ministers I hope that you are seeking to use those who are gifted among you. To recognize and raise up ministers who have been called of God, not to further your worthless vision but to further the kingdom of God!

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