2015-10-15

The Qualties of Good Believers from the Seven Churches of Revelation

Many people think that we are living in the End-Times and Jesus Christ is coming soon. How should we live in this time? What does occupy till He come means? Why not let us find out in the letters to the seven end times churches of the Revelation? Jesus' letters to the seven churches of the Book of Revelation commended the good behaviour and rebuked the bad behaviour of the believers then. By collecting the commendations and reversing the rebukes we can come out a list of the quality behaviours of believers. There are seven of them. Read to find out more.
What kind of behaviour should a believer has? People can only see your external behaviour and not your internal intentions. Hence, as good testimony for Christ, we must be careful of our behaviour. We can follow the ten commandments as a guide. Ten commandments are reflection of God's attributes. Believers should exhibit behaviour that exceeds ten commandments. How can that be possible? Through the Holy Spirit in Christ producing the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit attributes like love, joy, patience, kindness etc are proactive positive  behaviour whereas the ten commandments are the prohibitive negatively stated behaviours. (Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.)  We can also find a practical list good behaviour and attributes in the study of the seven churches in Revelation 2-3. A consolidated list is shown in the mind-map below:

In the above mind-map. we consolidated the good behaviour and bad behaviour together from the seven churches. By just reversing the bad behaviour, we can change that to be good. The letter to the Thyatira church contains an also complete list of good behaviours, and hence we can use it as the starting framework to add in from the others. So after the consolidation, we can find seven attributes for good behaviour as described below.

The Seven Qualities

1. Your Love for Jesus
The most important thing in a believer life is Jesus. Without Jesus, there is no gospel and no Christianity. Every believer must start here. If we get this wrong, all the rest will be wrong. Hence, the very first rebuke to the Ephesus Church is their lost of the first love for Jesus. They have put doctrines to be above Jesus. What about us? Is Jesus the most important thing in our life? How can you tell? Check your relationship or fellowship with Him. How much time do you spend with Jesus. Are you aware of His presence in your daily work routines. The challenging, busy and increasing evilness in the world has made many people cold in their heart. They have become indifference. That was the greatest problem with the Laodicean church. They were lukewarm, neither cold nor hot which means indifference --- I don't care. They care more about their material wealth over relationship with Jesus. They got all the priority mixed up. Jesus invited them for fellowship with Him. What about you? Is your fellowship sweet and desirable? Is that the first thing you seek in the morning and last thing you say good night to? Be appreciative of the life and relationship we have.

2. Your Faith 
Our faith is best seen under test. Are we willing to die for the cause that we believe in. But before we go into such depth, can we answer a simpler one. When people ask you about your belief, are you shy to admit you are a Christian? What is stopping you for doing that? Is it because you feel you are not good enough to admit it so as not to bring shame to Jesus? If so, please know that Jesus died for us when we were yet sinners. Jesus did not wait for us to be good to receive and die for us. Relationship with Jesus is about being authentic and frank with Him. He understands and will help you out. The next thing is to get your life in order with Him help and then you will not shy to confess Jesus as your Lord. Actually admitting first will bring the empowerment to you to live out the good testimony. Take this small step first. I am a believer of Jesus and His gospel.

3. Your Service 
When we love someone, it is only natural that we serve him/her. The Ephesians were praised for their hard work especially in getting the right doctrines and filtering out the false ones. They are very critical and sensitive to false teachings. Service is not about doing what please you or what you think is good for the one you love. It is asking them what they love first and then we do what they love. That was precisely what the Philadelpians did --- they obeyed Jesus message. Prayer is not about you but about finding out what God want you to do. Of course, taking good care of you is God's promise to you and so can come to Him for your needs. But can you go beyond that and see the world from His point of view.

4. How You Have Endured. 
Suffering for our faith is a sure thing. Being good will attract attention and attacks from the evil ones. Your goodness is embarrassing their badness. But what is the meaning of endurance? One aspect is suffering for Christ without getting weary --- so as to complains, give-up or to deny and rebel against Christ. Another is do forgone materialistic and comfort lives --- being poor materially but rich in the eyes of God. People may question you about your foolishness to give up your career, money and time for Christ. They don't see the values of spiritual and eternal things. They live for this life only but you know better otherwise.

5. Doing More Than Before. 
Life is about change and about growing up. While we may be satisfied with what we have and achieved, we continue to go for more because there is no limit to knowing and experiencing the Jesus and His love. But we need to be careful. Having more activities do not means more life! It is about doing the right activities in the right time and effort. Have a balanced life with time for rest and reflections, with family and with Jesus. We may need to review our activities and get rids of those that are not in the will of God and start some that are. We need to prune the tree for more fruits by getting rid of energy wasting non fruitful efforts and channel them to the right ones. We don't want to get into the state of us doing a lot of work and yet God says it is incomplete!

6. Reject False Teachings
The mind-map above show quite a list of false teachings of Jezebel, Nicolaitians and Balaam. It serves as a good warning for us in today world as well, such as the prosperity only gospels, the ultra-grace with grace as license to sin, licentious living, and the more evil kind of demonic worship of all forms. False teaching mislead and bind their believers. Discover the truth in and of Jesus and be set free.

7 Get Rid Of Evil
A sin is sin according to the Word of God even though man may legalise it or give it some fanciful names or hiding behind seemingly good intention (e.g. I am not a busy body but just concern). The love for Jesus should be reflected in our purity and the same hatred for evil and sins as Jesus. May the Word and Holy Spirit reveal to us the true state of live .... making sure we are not pitiful, blind and naked as the Laodiceans. Let us not tolerate seemingly little evil or sin in our life or in our midst. We can love the people but hate their sins.

Lim Liat (c) 15 Oct 2015

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