Thursday, May 30, 2013

Are You Ready For Some "Football?"

This blog is actually an adaptation of sermon notes preached on the Super Bowl Sunday 2010
New Orleans “Saints” vs. Indianapolis Colts
Taken from [Luke 24:1-8]
A “Super-Bowl” Sermon
“The Greatest Contest—Ever”
(...God vs. Satan—Who Do You Think Is Going to Win?)

Opening Statement:
I thought that since everyone’s mind is already in Super-Bowl mode already, that I would take advantage of  this opportunity and talk to you about The Greatest Contest—Ever…a cosmic conflict of epic and eternal proportions.

Today all around the world folk will be watching the Super-Bowl. It is estimated that more than 100 million people will be watching the live game and the same amount or better will be recording the Super-Bowl to be watched later.
And out of all of those people, you would be surprised as to how many really even know the rules and signals of football. But because it has been hyped as the greatest one day sporting event by its sponsors—all available eyes will be focused on this contest between two football teams.
I can only imagine how many times today—during the span of the game that folk will inquire as to;
“Who’s Winning and What’s the Score?…”

This sermon could be as short as me saying that; God’s Word says the devil loses…So, who do you think is going to win? But since we live in such a skeptical society, I thought I’d better lay out the facts about this contest so that as a Christian you’d be educated and equipped to tell people why you believe what you believe about God, Satan and spiritual warfare… so I’ll be using familiar football language and metaphors along with Scripture to get you as excited about God and His victory over Satan—as you and others are and will be excited about the Super-Bowl.   
*Can you believe it? But right now—before the contest even starts, they are people so confident that the team that they have picked is going to win—that they have put financial wagers on it.
They are people so confident that the team they want to win is going to win, that they have painted their faces, their team’s color, they are wearing their teams color, they are even planning to ridicule, make-fun-of, and insult everyone who doesn’t believe, what they believe about the success that their team is going to have…
I find that interesting that people can be so confident, cocky, and certain about football and the Super-Bowl…
But some of those same people lack having confidence and being certain that God can’t defeat Satan
*Now I said I find it interesting—but God finds it insulting that folk will get excited about a temporary champion, when He is a permanent-eternal everlasting champion…
I pray after this presentation you will be as excited about God as you will be today while watching the Super-bowl.

Contextual Points:
In this contest between God vs. Satan
Kick—off [Genesis 3:15]
Half—Time [Calvary/Graveyard…Luke 24] Everything in life leads to or away from the Cross—Half-time…
2 Minute—Warning [Rev. 19… 2nd Coming of Christ] As believers we won’t be around for this so I’ll stop at halftime today
End of 4th quarter and—the Game [Revelation 21:10]

Every year during the two weeks prior to Super Bowl there’s a lot of trash talking between the two teams—about what they are going to do to each other and with each other on the field…
Well, even though God did something similar—I feel it would be irreverent for me to call it trash talking, but both God and Satan engaged in some “I Wills”-talking
Satan [Isaiah 14… declares 5 “I Will’s”] and God [Genesis 3:15… declares 1 “I Will”]
Notice that it doesn’t matter what we declare, no one and nothing can stop what God declares.

With that look at what verses 5-8 says in Luke chapter 24

 Today at half-time they are going to review all of the exciting, game-changing and scoring plays…
So,  me not wanting you to miss any of God vs. Satan, game-changing and scoring plays I thought we’d spend a little time reviewing some of them.
And like the commentators on TV, I’m going to do my best to be as descriptive as I possibly can…

The first notable play by God that we will review is when God created the world which included the entire angelic host Gen. 1. [God Scores]

Satan’s response to that is he rebels and encourages a third of the angels to follow his foolishness. [Satan moves the ball but no score]

The next highlighted play is God creates a man named Adam who is not an angel—but lesser than an angel, to rule over earth. In other words, God goes to the bench and brings in a scrub, a 2nd-string player. [And guess what? God scores again]

Satan’s response to that is—he’s goes after the cheerleader and tempts her to mess-up the only player on the field. [Satan doesn’t score with that move but God now has an injured player on the field an play was halted]

God shows just how powerful He is—by telling the opposing team [Satan] what His next play was going to be… God tells Satan that through Eve another man would be born that would redeem mankind, so Adam and Eve began to have children—Cain and Abel. [God scores again]

Satan thought when God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected Cain that Abel had to be the fulfillment of God’s prophecy for redeeming mankind—Abel had to be the number 1 draft choice that was going to be a threat to Satan’s team…So Satan put murder in the heart of Cain and Cain kills Abel. [For the first time, Satan looks to be in field-goal range]

God blocks the punt of Satan by sending in a substitute Seth; another man-child of Adam and Eve who would reintroduce the godly linage and now according to Gen. 4:26 men began to call upon the name of the Lord again.
[God scores again but this time from deep in Satan’s territory]

Satan now is thoroughly confused because he don’t know who has the ball—he don’t know who the righteous seed is, that is going to redeem mankind because there are hundreds of thousands of men on the face of the earth, and since he couldn’t be sure which son was the righteous seed, he just corrupt the whole human race. [During this entire contest this is the first time it looks like Satan is going to score he’s on the goal line, but he doesn’t score]

Because God still had one righteous man named Noah who still had favor in God’s eyes, Noah listens to God and even though it doesn’t seem like the right call, he builds an ark, a big boat on dry land, which would provide salvation for Noah and his family while preserving the righteous seed. [Not only does God scores but with this play He sets a record for the longest scoring drive in all of history]

After all the unrighteous people are destroyed with the flood, and the world is being repopulated through Noah’s family Satan gets him a number 1 draft pick named Nimrod, who lead a world movement that tried to declare its independence from God by building the Tower of Babel [Gen. 11]. [Even God said that since they had so much unity that might be able to pull off what they were planning—but once again God stop the drive and Satan was unable to score]

The next season God drafted a Heisman trophy winner named Abraham they eventually end up calling him “The Father of Faith” because of his moves on the playing field. And with that one man God build a nation that would obey Him.
After God acquire Abraham, and did what He did with and through him, every Heisman Trophy Winner from there on wanted to be on God’s team; Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses. After Abraham there was never a season where God didn’t have at least one Heisman Trophy Winner on His team. God was scoring every time His team had the ball… [God scores from every place on the field, in the mountains, in Egypt, Jericho, Jerusalem, Canaan, Babylon, in a valley, in a sea, on a river, in the wilderness—it didn’t matter where God’s team was they always scored when they listened to God]

Listen, God had ran the score up so much that for 430 years in between the Old Testament and New Testament, God didn’t even send in any plays, so even when God wasn’t coaching, Satan’s team was moving the ball but they weren’t scoring

Satan tried to score in Bethlehem, by calling a play to kill all the baby boys that were a couple of years old, but once again no score—he missed…

So Christ become a young man and Satan now knows that this is who God is going to redeem all of mankind with so right after Jesus wilderness experience Satan tempts Jesus [Matt. 4:1-11]. But he puts no points on the Celestial Score Board. What you must know about this is, that prior to this point in the game of history every play was played on God’s side of the field, but now every play is played on Satan’s side of the field.

Satan realized that before half-time came he had to put at least one score on the board—or people wouldn’t see him as a worthy opponent. So he gets drastic, instead of continuing with the contest by beating, or out-maneuvering God, Satan tries to end the contest by killing God’s on Son, Jesus Christ. He must have thought that this would end the game and God would not bring the rest of the team out after half-time if he could somehow kill Jesus the Son of God.

Well, right before the end of half-time, he did, [Jesus died]… Satan was successful in killing Jesus…

But…I needed for you to know this; because what the devil thought was the end of regulation time, was just half-time

The devil thought he had won—when Jesus died… But Jesus’ death was God’s way of proving that we who are “In Christ” are more than conquerors, and we winWho wins? We win!
The “Saints” win

We don’t have to guess who wins—we know who wins…
The “Saints” WinNot the New Orleans Saints, but the New-Birth-Saints-in-Christ

*God said He would win in Genesis, God show us who He would win with in Matthew, Satan knows that God is the winner at Calvary and the Graveyard, The entire world comes to know that God is the winner in Revelation.
And each of us [who are In Christ] comes to know that God is the winner the day we accept Him as our Lord and Savior!... [Romans 8:37]…

That’s another interesting point: Today there are people who live in other cities, states, and countries—who are rooting for, teams and they don’t even know anyone on the team—not even the equipment manager, but if the team wins, they are going to be shouting “We win!” –I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad that I can say with confidence “We win!”

I can say “We win!” Because being “In Christ” means that Christ is in me, so when He wins and as He wins, I win also, so I can really celebrate each victory—unequivocally… And guess what? Everyone on my team knows my name… The Owner—God knows my name, The “Head” Coach—Jesus Christ knows my name, and even The Equipment Manager—The Holy Spirit knows my name.

The reason why I’m not going beyond half-time today is because the first half of this contest should have shown you that God wins…
I don’t know what the record is for Super-Bowl half-time comebacks in the NFL, but what I do know, is that one of the greatest comebacks that ever happened—happened in a graveyard and not a football field…

Things you should have noticed…
*There is no wild-card games are any divisional playoffs with any lesser ranked opponents…
*There is just one contest between two contestants and they are God and Satan…
*There will be no tie or sudden-death; this contest will end at the end of regulation time…
And finally, in this Greatest Contest Ever there were no fumbles or turn-overs on behalf of God, whenever Satan got to the ball to move it—it was as a result of a hand-over, not a turn-over…

I know it looks like some time that as a result of some fumble you made, that the devil is going to score, but that’s not the case—for folk “In Christ.” If devil is being successful with moving you up and down the field of life. If it seems as if the devil is being more victorious with you than God is…
Just remember if you are “In Christ” it wasn’t a fumble, it wasn’t a turn-over, it was a hand-over.

Don’t be surprised by a hand-over, because just like with Peter if the devil asks for permission God might let him use you for a while, but only for a while.

I want to close with this; it is said that some folk are more interested in the commercials that air during the Super-Bowl than the actual contest… Because the sponsors are aware of how many people are watching the contest that the sponsors invest a great deal of their budget into the brief commercials

Well, I got news for you, that business idea is not original with those sponsors, because God, way back before this contest between Him and Satan began, God had decided that every child of God who would trust Jesus Christ as their Savior would be used as advertisement for Him during the contest, so God invested not some of His budget but all of His budget in His Son, and His Son in-turn invested it all in us

Why do you think Jesus who is the Light of the World said to us, we are the light of the world?… [End]

*Keep returning to this blog site, soon I will list like in football the penalties that the church incur when it gets penalized by church members not playing by the rules…
Penalties like:  [false starts, illegal procedures, their acts of encroachment, holding, chop blocking, blocking in the back, clipping, making illegal contact, face masking, illegal celebration, unsportsmanlike like conduct, roughing the preacher, and last but not least…delay of game].

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Be Patient...God Has Got "It" Covered!

A few years ago I took five months to preach verse by verse through the [Mathew 13] what you have in this blog is what I taught from this single verse [Matthew 13:26].
The point that I drove home in conjunction with the rest of the chapter was[When God created the universe and man He thought of everything…]
So Be Patient…God Has Got “It” Covered—Whatever Your “It” Is.

Opening Statement:
I want to begin this one verse sermon by saying that, “All of the basic entities of the universe and life are all covered by God.” From thermodynamics, matter, time and space, [which include the atmosphere and hydrosphere, the solar system] to the complexities of order, and biological systems, plants, animals, and human life itself [I want you to know that God has it all covered!] Including the marvels of the reproductive process, and the almost-infinite complexity of the genetic systems of plants and animals [I want you to know that God has it all covered!].
When God created the universe and man God thought of everything.
So the next time anything challenges your faith, remember that, “When God created the universe and you He thought of everything…
Regardless if anyone ever admits it or not, we are a people who like to fix things on our own…
When we run into trouble, or experience things that threaten us—we almost always try and fix things on our own…
And I don’t think in every case and situation it’s not that we don’t trust God, sometimes I think it’s that we don’t want to trouble God with things we think that we can handle
But God wants us to take everything to Him [especially those things that threatens our walk with Him].
God is not concerned with the color of socks we walk around in, but He is concerned with our walk with Him…
So, if there is anything that threatens our walk with Him, He wants us to know that is worthy of us letting Him handled it… God is not surprised or threaten by anything that threatens us, and He wants us to know not only has He thought of everything, but He has everything covered that would seek to cripple our walk with Him…
When I think about God in creation and the attention that He gave to every detail to make sure that everything He planned for man, animals, and nature was covered, I can only conclude that our God is God
When I think of the cycle of life, how the seas are contained, how the earth is preserved, how the solar system and the stars protect our way of life and give us constant information, along with navigational directions, it’s very easy for me to admit that when God created the earth He thought of everything
When I think about how some bugs are food for some animals that become food for humans, I am more than impressed with God; I am humbled to know that I serve a God who has thought of everything
When I consider that since the initial creation of everything that God hasn’t had to redo anything, because He thought of everything, it makes my being submissive and surrendered to Him and His will very easy to do.
When I read the prophecies and the promises within the Bible and see how each and everyone has come to pass just as God said, I not only know that God has everything covered, I know that things yet to be fulfilled will be fulfilled, because God has “it” covered as well.
*So my best advice to everyone about God, is to “Be Patient” not only has God got your “it” covered, He has thought of everything, and He is in control of everything—even the things you might be tempted to think that He can’t control. God’s sovereignty tells us and proves to us, that He is not only in charge of everything but that He has thought of everything before hand as well…

In this parable about weeds and wheat earlier we saw that the devil had sown in weeds/tares that looked like wheat, so that this particular farmer’s field of crop would either be completely destroyed, or at least very devalued…
In explaining this parable I have communicated that the symbols represented in this parable were...
The man is Christ (v.37).
The seed is believers, children of the kingdom (v.38).
The field is the world (v.38).
The enemy is the devil (v.39).
And the tares or weeds are the children of the devil (v.40).
So when we put all of that together what we can conclude is the work of the sower/the man which is [Christ] has been counter-worked by his enemy [the devil], by comingling his weeds which initially looks like wheat but is eventually discovered to be weeds.  

Observation: [READ VERSE and 24-25…]
Being a Christian is not automatic—Christians are the growth of seeds sown by Christ in the world…And Christ is not satisfied with Christians having ideas about God, or having the ability to teach/talk about God, His aim is what it has always been—growing souls… And what a harvest of crops looks like to Christ is not just thoughts, philosophy, and doctrines—but men and women of God.
With that being true, then bad men are like tares/weeds sown by the devil that manifest their mischief by living wicked amongst the righteous crop with the intent of not only crippling them, but corrupting them as well.

It is obvious by the language here that there were a whole lot of weeds that had been sown in amongst the wheat. Actually what the enemy did was over-sow the weeds with the wheat. And this wasn’t an accident; the amount of weeds the enemy sowed was deliberate. So, the enemy [the devil] was not trying to just threaten the farmer’s crop, he was not trying to just reduce the farmer’s crop. This enemy wanted to destroy the farmer’s crop… This wasn’t just a sick joke; this was intentional deliberate sabotage…
From this parable we see the personality of the devil and his complete hostility towards God…

This parable teaches us so many things that I probably shouldn’t attempt to number them, but for the sake of order—and interest let’s see look at—at least 12 things today—knowing full well that we won’t cover or consider them all…
  1. …That evil will be present in the kingdom of heaven [which includes the church].
  2. … That evil has a source and a duration [a specified time limit and then it must come to an end].
  3. … That trying to forcibly expel evil is dangerous. Evil will be finally/fully exterminated one day.
  4. … That the devil is patient when it comes to ruining us—why can’t we be patient when it comes to God preserving us?
  5. … That every truth has a counterfeit. And the extreme length to which the devil goes to provide it.
  6. … That there must be some distinguishing factors between us [the wheat] and them [the weeds]. This is not conclusive, but if the wheat won’t show it—then it will be hard for the world to know it.
  7. … That when something of value is visible it exposes that which has no value at all.
  8. …That weeds won’t be exposed if the wheat never grows or matures.
  9. … That the enemies work won’t be seen immediately, but it will be seen eventually.
  10. … That evil can only be discerned by spiritual judgment and expelled only by spiritual power.
  11. … That the kingdom of heaven and the church universal and local has 2 kinds of imperfections………………
    (a.) the personal defects of the un-regenerated, (b.) the membership of un-regenerated people.
  12. … That God’s people have to do something—so that it will be evident that the devil’s people are doing nothing…
Here are some examples of what God’s people have to do…

We who are “wheat” must show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…etc.
Because as we the “wheat” demonstrate these things that there is no law against, we make evident the deeds of the “weed” which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outburst of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…

Let me try and say that another way: [using the “when” and “then”] found in this verse.
As I have said on many occasions; “You can’t have a “then” if there has be no prior “when.”
The “then” means it wasn’t until “now” [after the “when-ness” of the wheat’s sprouting and baring grain] that the “weeds” were exposed. Before this “then” – “when” the “weeds” were so much like the young immature “wheat” it was hard to tell the difference-between the “weeds and the young immature wheat.”
So, this tells us that both truth and falsehoods [weeds and wheat] are not known by mere professions [in other words by their green blades or leaves], but the way that truth and falsehoods are discovered is by the flower or fruit…
Recently I was having a discussion with an elderly gentleman who still plants a garden every year, and he told me something that I had never considered although I had always saw it. He told me, “It doesn’t matter what you plant if it is a fruit or a vegetable that grows above ground—when it first breaks the dirt/soil, it’s going to come out as two green blades.”
Did you get that?
Initially everything looks the same [that’s the when-ness of it], but eventually as it grows and matures, it will be obvious to what it is [that’s the then-ness of it]. Watch this!He told me that’s is why when you plant something you take the empty package that the seeds came out of and put it on a stick in the garden so you’ll know what it is before it matures…  

When I say that God thought of everything/that God has us covered… I am speaking of just like with the “weed” and the “wheat” God thought of everything—God put something in us who are “wheat” that in not in those who are “weeds.”
Guess what that something is? THE HOLY SPIRIT….
The words evident also: they mean that God sees to it that the world knows what “wheat” is and how beneficial it is to them.
As well, God sees to it that the world knows what “weeds” are and how detrimental they are to any crop.

Whenwheat is doing what God designed it to do,
Thenthe weeds will be exposed for what they can’t do…

When I say that God has it covered that means that nothing is impossible with God….
Although in the natural world “weeds” can never become “wheat.” I am just glad that my God is not limited to the natural world…
But in the spiritual world we who once belonged to the dark world of “weeds” [can by the grace of God] be transplanted [if you will] into the bright kingdom of God, it a monumental task but God can do it without ruining us...
Let me talk about how “weeds” and “wheat” get tied at the roots…When “weeds” are sown in with “wheat” it’s not long before they are inextricably mingled together
Even the closet scrutiny will often fail to detect the difference between the “weeds” and the “wheat.”
When both are young or less developed…
When “wheat” is not developed it’s not that it looks like “weeds”, it’s that “weeds” look like young/immature “wheat.”
In other words, there are many in the field who are not the Lord’s, yet they resemble those who are…
They go to church regularly, they pray, they read the Bible, just like Christians—but they are not wheat yet!
Some folk are shaped like a Christian, they have the make-up like a Christian, and they talk like a Christian, they hang out with Christians, they function like a Christian—but the fruit/grain, the substance of what makes them Christian is not there…
The failure and success of the seed is known by the quality of its fruit bearing…
No one can know someone’s heart until we can see their response to the gospel…
If the gospel produces in you holiness and love towards God and mankind “then we know” that there is good soil in you, but if a person only looks promising, but never performs—“then we know” that their soil is stony.

So, Be Patient… *Patience is proven when you are in no rush to remedy or change your situation.
Be Patient… Sometimes we’re too quick to want to remedy/change our situation.
Be Patient… You don’t have to pull it, God will expose it, and then everyone will know what to expect from it [them].
Be Patient… It will work out—after awhile.
Be Patient… Trouble sometimes matures us.
Be Patient… Weeds can’t change the nature of wheat.
Be Patient… The weeds will be exposed—one day soon.
Be Patient… Counterfeit members even in the church can be changed into genuine and profitable members.
Be Patient… And careful in your discriminating—it’s hard to tell the difference between weeds and young wheat.
Closing with Luke 22:31…Peter being sifted as wheat by Satan
There was an occasion when presumptuous Peter wasn’t being patient, he must have thought that God had missed something, he must have thought that God didn’t have everything covered, because when Jesus was discussing His betrayal and His soon death, Peter shouted that—that would never happen, Peter also said, if he had to fight, go to prison, or die—no one would ever mistreat Jesus…
But, do you remember what Jesus, said to Peter, “He said, Simon, Simon the devil has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you…”

Listen, if you going to be used by God, you need to know that the devil is going to oppose whatever you do, but know this God has “It” covered, whatever it is…

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Your Minister ~ God's Messenger"

I am writing this as a pastor for members to remember that maybe your pastor is just another man to you, but if He’s truly called by God—in God’s eye your pastor is an angel. I am using [Revelation chapters 2-3; 3:22] as a support for the use of the word angel.
Although this may flow like a sermon, this is just my thoughts put to paper on how and what you should think about your pastor [if he truly recognizes the dignity of the office of pastor].

Let me begin by asking a question:

How many of you know that many churches have ministers who are not God’s messengers?
If you want to be able to distinguish a God-sent pastor from one who sent himself: Just listen at what he is saying, and not saying to the church. If he is not saying exactly what God said, (Preaching exposition ally from the Bible) then God did not send him.
Because if God sends Him, then he is only going to say, what God said…  “Are you listening to me?”
with the intent to obey is becoming a lost art,
[2 Tim.4:3].
There is a difference between listening and hearing… See, listening precedes hearing… You can listen without hearing, but you can’t hear without listening
And God has given every one of His churches a
god-called pastor with a message to hear… When people neglect to listen to their pastor, they cannot hear, and thus they contribute to their church not conforming to God’s perfect will for their church.
One thing every church needs is a preacher sent by God to listen to, and one thing every preacher needs is a church member to preach to… Both the preacher and the member can exist without each other—but they cannot become better without each other…
So to you your pastor may be just another man, but in God’s eyes he’s an angel!
The word angel means “messenger.” Angels act under the control of God’s command. Angels deliver the message of God, without changing it in anyway.
Angels protect the integrity of the written Word
of God.

When we analyze the contents of these letters to these churches in the Book of Revelation, we will find that they constitute a message to churches today with similar challenges. I know you thought you attended the only church in town with problems, but the truth of the matter is every church in town has problems and challenges. (Why?) Well, what I’ve discovered about church and not just our” church, is, the church [local assemblies] are full of problems because they are full of people with problems, and the only way you will ever get rid of all the church’s problems is by getting rid of all the people in the churches. Because, as long as your church has people in it, it will have problems in it. [1 Thessalonians 5:14-15] tells us that there will always be wayward people, worried people, weak people, wearisome people, and even wicked people in the church.

But God has given you an angel in the form of your pastor who knows what they are going through, to whom if you would listen to, he [the pastor] would be able to guide you through, around, under, and over your problems.

Let me just say this…
The only reason why there are corporate problems in the church is because people haven’t resolved their personal problems at home…  Can I go further? The problems in homes stem from the problems in people’s hearts that live in the homes that make up the communities that go to the church.  “Are you still listening to me?”

Let’s look at a few of the churches and their problems…

The members in the Ephesus church in (2:4) had become a Loveless Church that had drifted away from its devotion to Christ. “Are you still listening to me?”

The members in the Pergamum church in (2:14) had become a Compromising Church by departing from the biblical faith and truth. Some of them had brought the things of the world in the church and no one in the church was willing to address it, even though they knew it was wrong. “Are you still listening to me?”

The members in the Thyatira church in (2:20) had allowed a false prophetess to cause their church to be an Immoral Church, and the only way you become comfortable with immorality is by practicing immorality… “Are you still listening to me?”

The members in the Sardis church in (3:1) had become a Dead Church that was only alive in name. They were not physically dead, they were spiritually dead. “Are you still listening to me?”
You might be thinking, “How can a church be dead, but alive?” Sardis… for example…
Light; - the nearest stars to us that give off the light we see in the night sky are trillions of miles away. Astronomers in their quest to explain the vast distances between us and the stars, came up with an appropriate measurement called the light-year. One light-year equals the distance that light, traveling at more than 186,000 miles per second, travels in one year; that’s more than 6 trillion miles. So with that information consider this, if a star thirty light-years away from the earth imploded and died five years ago, we would not be able to tell by looking at it for another twenty-five years. Though no longer in existence, the light from that star would go on shining as if nothing had changed….Well, this illustration perfectly sums up the situation in many churches today.
They still shine with the reflected light of a brilliant past. And since we only can look at them from a distance, one might think that the church is still shining and that nothing has changed.
When the truth is the church imploded and died a long time ago.
They may still have a reputation [the church] but their light is only an illusion!

And lastly the members in the Laodicea church in (3:15 – 16) had become a Lukewarm Church, this church was filled with people who were not genuinely saved, but they didn’t openly reject the gospel either. They attended church and claimed to know the Lord but they didn’t. Listen, some churches make the Lord cry, others make Him angry; but this type of church makes God sick
“Are you still listening to me?”
When you neither hot nor cold = you are unmoved by the gospel, and it evokes no spiritual response from you. Then you nauseate the stomach of Christ.
Listen, I don’t know much about much. But I do know, that if there’s anyone you don’t want to make sick (in the sense of being tired of what you’re putting down) it’s Christ.
“Are you still listening to me?”

Think about it: The book of Revelation shows us that all hell will break loose when the church is removed from the earth. “Are you still listening to me?” 

If you want to assure that your church is hearing what the Spirit is saying to it, (first) protect your pastor’s time… (secondly)  pray for him daily… (and finally) Pay him at least three times a week
Yes, I said “pay him.” And here’s how you do that.
Once a week you need to pay him double honor in salary, and at least twice a week “pay him” with your attendance at bible-study when he is teaching, and your attendance at church when he is preaching.

[Closing Illustration]
With all of the businesses in downtown Houston, many times during the day when one business needs to get information across town in hurry and it’s too much to fax, they call a messenger service. The service sends a messenger, “aka” courier who picks up the information and delivers it to the right person. The messenger’s only job is to deliver the message to the right person, without changing it in anyway.
Well,…  God the Father has a big business, and Jesus the Son runs it.
And everyday He’s trying get information to everyone in town, and it’s too much to fax, email, tweet, or blog, so Jesus uses a messenger service.
And these couriers called preachers, get the information and deliver it.
They have one job, and that’s to deliver the message without changing it.
We are not to mess with the message! We’re to just deliver the message…

Delivering the message consist of opening the Word of God and expounding on its truths so that the Voice of God may be heard, and the Glory of God seen, and the Will of God obeyed…

I know many times you might want your minister to change the message, but he can’t do that.
We cannot mess with the message!
(Why?) Because we are God’s messengers and not just your minister!

Don’t treat your mailman better than you treat your pastor.

You don’t quit on the mailman (the city’s messenger) when he delivers stuff you don’t want!

So don’t quite on your minister and God’s messenger when he delivers stuff you don’t want.