“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Do you ever wonder what the Spirit would say to our churches today? Has anything in man changed since Jesus spoke to the churches in Revelation?
Some of the sins that He brings to light are idolatry, sexual immorality, holding to the teaching of Balaam which we have defined in 2 Peter – “They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing,” (2 Peter 2:14–15, ESV). All these things can still be found in our churches today, only we have become better at minimizing and hiding them behind new definitions and our independent focused ways of living. Keep in mind that Jesus is speaking directly to the church not the world around us. Jesus leaves us no room for excuses, complaining, or shifting the blame away from us.
Jesus though provides the perfect answer, repent. Not just individual repentance but repentance as the body of Christ. This requires humility and a true desire to turn away from our sinful lives and turn back toward God.
Recently I heard a message where the pastor preached these words – “Will you turn from your sinful self-reliance, you sin minimizing, Christ ignoring efforts at self-improving salvation? Will you fall down on your knees before the Son of God who forgives all who turn to Him by faith – regardless of the sin”1
We must lay down our prideful “that’s not me attitudes” and realize that we all need some form of repentance every day. We must cling to the words He speaks to those who are willing, and fall to our knees in humility before our King and Savior.
The Spirit may speak warnings to the church, but there is also praise and reward for those who overcome, those who have been faithful. Simply reflect on these verses in revelation and ponder the reward for hearing what the Spirit is saying, even to our churches today.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’” (Revelation 2:7, ESV)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’” (Revelation 2:11, ESV)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’” (Revelation 2:17, ESV)
“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (Revelation 2:26–29, ESV)
“The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (Revelation 3:5–6, ESV)
“The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (Revelation 3:12–13, ESV)
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ ”” (Revelation 3:20–22, ESV)
Are we listening? If we are listening, are we obeying what we hear?
1Erik Spohr Sept 12, 2021 Forgiven Much, Love Much.