Our Urgent Ministry To A Supposedly Living Church By Pastor W.F. Kumuyi
TUESDAY LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT MESSAGE
DATE: JULY 21, 2020
PREACHER: PASTOR W.F. KUMUYI
TOPIC: OUR URGENT MINISTRY TO A SUPPOSEDLY LIVING CHURCH
TEXT: REVELATION 3:1-6
Today we are coming to another message sent to one of the churches. As I have told you, when Christ sends a message to each church, the message is for everyone. That is why at the end of each message, He says, he that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit says unto the churches, not just to a particular or singular church.
Tonight, we are looking at a very important message for our time, the end time, and the topic is, OUR URGENT MINISTRY TO A SUPPOSEDLY LIVING CHURCH. Note those words, ‘supposedly living church’.
1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
vs 1. Supposedly, the church seems to be alive and has the life of God, of Christ, and of the Spirit in Him, but she is dead. This is the verdict of Jesus concerning this church. Although the Lord is sending the messages to the leader of the church in Sardis, you could put your name, the name of your city and of your church there.
“These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God…”
There is only one Holy Ghost but He came in fullness of power and fullness of inspiration upon the Lord Jesus Christ, so He has the seven spirit of God. In the book of Revelation, the number ‘7’ is frequently used and it represents fullness, completeness and perfection. So, He is simply saying thus says the One who has the entire and complete power of the Holy Ghost on Him.
Revelation 1:20. The seven stars represent the angel of the seven churches, while the seven golden candles represent the churches. The Lord is saying He has the seven stars in His hand and the seven spirits of God upon, within, around, influencing and inspiring, and leading Him on. Everything He says, He says by the overwhelming power of the perfect, full spirit of God upon Him.
A. RECOGNIZING THE DYNAMIC SEVENFOLD SPIRIT IN CHRIST. Revelation 3:1; 1:4
Here, Jesus Christ introduced Himself as the One who has the seven spirit of God and we need to recognize what He has said concerning Himself.
ch 4:5. Those seven lamps burning represent the full, complete and perfect spirit of God.
ch 5:6. This is the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the whole world, the One who died for our redemption, salvation, cleansing, sanctification, and purification. The Lamb has seven horns which represent complete perfect power, authority and strength. Seven eyes represent perfect understanding, intelligence and knowledge of everything, about everyone anywhere and everywhere. Seven spirit of God sent out over all the earth: perfect and Holy Spirit of God sent into all the world.
1. The Sevenfold Perfection Of The Spirit On Christ. Revelation 3:1a John 3:34
Christ has the seven spirit of God. Seven means perfection, completeness and the fullness of the spirit of God (Isaiah 11:1-2) The Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God were all upon Christ. The same spirit with seven different aspects of God.
John 3:35. God the Father did not give a measure of the Spirit to Christ, or temporarily but without measure. All full measure.
2. The Seven Portrayals Of The Spirit For Completeness. The Holy Spirit is portrayed as:
i. Water. John 7:38-39
ii. Fire. Matthew 3:11
iii. Oil. I Samuel 16:13
iv. Wind. John 3:8
v. Dove. Matthew 3:16
vi. Guide. John 16:13
vii. Seal. Ephesians 4.30
Anytime you hear Jesus talk about the seven spirits of God, He is referring to these seven representations mentioned above. We who are Christians also have the spirit of God upon us. Anyone who is not born of water and the spirit cannot see the kingdom of God. We are saved and sanctified by the spirit of God. We are called unto holiness by the same spirit. This means that when we are saved, we have the spirit of God in us, otherwise, we are none of His. The spirit of God is involved in our salvation, sanctification and baptism in the Holy Spirit.
3. The Sevenfold Presence Of The Spirit In Christians:
i. The Spirit of LIFE. Romans 8:2,9,11,15
Anyone who has not the spirit of God is none of His. The Spirit of life quickens us and bears witness in our hearts that we are children of God. We no longer have the spirit of fear but that with which we cry Abba Father.
ii. The Spirit of HOLINESS. Romans 1:4-5
The spirit of holiness brings us into the kingdom and ministry.
iii. The Spirit Of TRUTH. John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13
The spirit of truth will testify of Christ, He will guide us into the truth and not into error. If He abides in you, He shall guide and show you things to come.
iv. The Spirit of WISDOM. Ephesians 1:17-19
The ministers need Him as the spirit of wisdom and revelation. When you read the Bible, you need illumination, inspiration and understanding. He will refresh, renew and revive you. When ministering to your congregation, the spirit of God will help you.
v. The Spirit of POWER. II Timothy 1:7
If we have the spirit of fear, it is not just fear but a spirit. So if anyone has the spirit of fear, then you will know who gave him or her.
vi. The Spirit of GLORY. I Peter 4:14
The spirit of God is the spirit of glory.
vii. The Spirit of GRACE. Hebrews 10:29
When we possess this spirit of grace, it gives us grace for ministry and for every situation, whatever may be coming upon our lives (II Corinthians 12:9) The grace of God will be sufficient for us.
I pray that the spirit of God in these seven fold will abide with you, and will be sufficient for you in all the duties that the Lord has given to you in Jesus name.
B. REVIVING DEAD, SLUMBERING SOULS IN THE CHURCH. Revelation 2:1b-3
We see that the majority of the members of the church in Sardis were spiritually dead, they were dead spiritual souls. So the angel of the church must wake, revive and resuscitate the church. He must bring spiritual life into the sleeping, slumbering souls in the church. That is our responsibility too. That is why He speaks to us as the angels and messengers in case we find our churches in this condition.
It is our duty to revive those who are slumbering in the church. It is not enough to only pray to God to revive His church, we must also do all that He commands us to do. The church will not be revived and the vital, great and propelling life that ought to come will not come, and the life of Christ will not be revealed. We ought to do our part. Our urgent duty is to be watchful personally and pastorally.
1. Description Of Dead, Nominal Members. Revelation 3:1b
Who can we refer to as dead members of the church? They come to church but their spiritual lives are dead (Ephesians 2:1-3) They are dead in trespasses and sin, walking according to the principles of the world. The spirit of the antichrist and the devil controls them. They are without God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Apart from dying spiritually, they wander here and there. Dead people do not know the right from the wrong (Proverbs 21:16) As a congregation, they might sing, pray and do different things, but they are dead. In their wanderings, they are exposed to more death.
Romans 7:9-11,13. At times, you ask someone if he is born again, and he says yes
But the most important is, does your faith bear the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, long suffering, meekness, temperance, self control, gentleness and characters of real children of God? (James 2:17,20,26) Faith without work is dead.
2. Our Duty Towards Dying, Negligent Members. Revelation 3:2-3
i. Personal watchfulness on your own family, life, character, utterances, behavior, spiritual life and ministry. Are you occupied with and concentrating on what He has given you to do? Is the ministry bearing fruits?
ii. Pastoral Watchfulness (Proverbs 27:23; Isaiah 52:1-2,8) You watch over the members of the flock and members of the congregation. Before you can help someone who is dead, you have to awaken your own strength. For you to help others, you must be awake. If you yourself have your feet tied, you will not be able to do anything to help others (Ephesians 5:14) We as leaders must not sleep. Our souls, spirit and inner man must not sleep. We must be vigilant and alert every time.
b. Strengthen. Revelation 3:2
As a minister, when you prepare your message, you ask yourself, will this strengthen, and awaken the church? Will this alert and alarm the unconverted? Will it give helping hands, energy, power and sustenance to the people who are struggling and dying?
The Lord did not say club and kill them. Instead of helping, waking and lifting people up, there are preachers who have the tendency to kill, destroy and put to death those who are dying already. Do not be a contributing factor to the backsliding of anyone. Do not be a contributing factor to the death of those who are not dead yet, rather strengthen the things that remain.
Acts 18:23. Spend time with those you need to preach to, those you are to awaken, revive and strengthen. Leaders must be reachable and accessible for the congregation to not be like sheep without shepherd. In some of our states, the lockdown is over and even in those areas where the lockdown is still on, you can still go around and visit your members in the afternoon, checking their spiritual conditions to ensure that they are still in the Lord. The work must be carried out in order, one by one, not disorderly. This is our duty to those who are dead, dying and still awake.
3. His Directives For Dedicated, Nursing Ministers. Revelation 3:3; I Thessalonians 2:7-8,10
Here, Apostle Paul shared his experience among the brethren. They were gentle as nurses toward the members, thus, we can call them nursing ministers. Paul saw the members as dear to him and other ministers. When the members of the church are precious to leaders, they will do all that are necessary to sustain them: nursing, encouraging and building them up. He will nurture and feed them with appropriate spiritual food at all time. He will not abandon them and travel far away.
- REMEMBER. We need to remember and revive the way we used to be in the beginning of our Christian journey, the way we used to run to services, programmes, retreats, etc.
- RETAIN. Hold fast your conviction, doctrines of the word of God, your duties and responsibilities.
- REPENT. You may need not have sinned, but how about the neglect of the souls just like a mother who neglected her baby and refused to feed him and the baby died. And she is saying she did not kill the baby. The negligence is a sin.
- RETURN. You return to Christ with all your soul, heart and mind so as to take care of the people of God.
- RENEW. Our strength, consecration, laying our lives on the altar again.
- REVEAL. All that you have heard from the word of God, you continue digging and searching so that we can reveal it to the people.
- RETRAIN. We retrain all the workers so they can put in their best in taking care of the members.
We will not be negligent in Jesus name. Amen.
C. REASSURING DISCIPLED, STEADFAST SAINTS WHO CONQUER. Revelation 3:
Those who conquer and are still conquering, are those who are overcomers living the upright life and has the life of Christ in them. We will encourage, bring the messages of Christ and disciple them to remain steadfast as saints who conquer.
You do not want to be a minister who has no concern for the people, but you will work on workers and ministers under your supervision in order for them to do better.
1. The Preservation Of Worthy, Undefiled Saints. Revelation 3:4
Although the Church was dying, yet there were a few names of those who have not defiled their garments. The Lord says they will walk with Him in white because they are worthy. Not the physical but spiritual garment. The Lord says He comes quickly, and the one who keeps his garments are blessed (Revelation 16:15; 19:7) Our righteousness must not be soiled or defiled (Psalm 119:1-3,9). We feed, nurture our congregation in the word of God in order to keep them till the Lord comes.
2 . The Promise For Watchful Unblameable Stewards. Revelation 3:5a
He who overcomes will walk with the Lord, they will be clothed in white raiments and their names will not be blotted out of the book of life but confess his name before His Father and the angels. At rapture, the people the Lord will take away will be clothed in white because they have overcome (ch 7:9-17). Their character, conduct, disposition and lifestyle are all like Christ wants. They shall hunger and thirst no more, neither shall the sun light upon them. He shall lead them to the fountain of living water and wipe tears away from their eyes.
3. The Privilege Of Wonderful Unspeakable Splendour. Revelation 3:5-6; Luke 10:20; Philippians4:3; Revelation 21:27
When we cross over as we are raptured to be with our Lord, we shall be clothed in white raiments and our names will be written in the book of the Lamb in heaven. As we consistently overcome, our names will not be blotted out, but the Lord will confess our names before the angels and the Heavenly Father.
He that has an ear… What kind of ear do you have? Christ wants us to have a:
- Listening ear
- Obedient ear
- Circumcised ear
- Cleansed ear
- Respectful ear
- Believing ear
- Submissive ear
When we have our ears with the qualities above, He will give us the privilege to walk in white because we are worthy.
Brethren, rise up pray for yourself. As a minister, man and woman of God, He has given us great responsibility. We have the duty to wake the slumbering and the dying church.
Pray that the voice of Christ will sound like a trumpet in the ears of our members and they will understand that He is coming soon and they will not continue to slumber and sleep in spiritual darkness.
Pray for our Pastor that the grace of God will sustain him to the end. He will not lose his reward in Jesus name. Amen and Amen.
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