The CCN Daily Worship.
by Pastor Don. Roy Hemingway.
Gooooooooooooooooooooood morning brethren, peace unto you and the grace of our lord Jesus be with you. May the Almighty God of hosts stay ever with you this morning and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen.
The Gospel according to….
Revelation 3. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
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, and that thou hast a name that thou livest, but thou 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 who 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 from 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!’
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth:
8 I know thy works. Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it. For thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but do lie — behold, I will make them to come and worship at thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God, and I will write upon him My new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’
14 “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: ‘These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God:
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing,” and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable, and poor and blind and naked,
18 I counsel thee to buy from Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear, and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.
21 To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father on His throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’”
Lord God, our Father in heaven, we turn to you in these times when we are under so much stress and temptation. Let your light glow in our hearts to give us firmness, patience, and perseverance throughout the time of testing, no matter how long it lasts. Your hand can change everything. Your hand can shorten the time we must wait until your light shines out of the darkness of death and evil, until your light reveals your life to your children and to the whole world. You are our God and Father as you have promised, and remaining at your side, we look to you in faith and trust. You will bring about goodness, justice, and mercy as you have promised, and so fulfil your will and your purpose. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
A Lesson for the learning.
(10) Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
In Jesus Christ’s promise in Revelation 3:10, the core issue is perseverance. The King James reads, “Because you have kept the word of My patience,” and “patience” is likewise used in the other verses in Revelation. But “patience” tends to make us think of passive activity, which is not what the underlying Greek word, hupomoné,actually means. Greek scholar Spiros Zodhiates describes it as “constancy under suffering in faith and duty,” and commentator William Barclay defines hupomoné as “having the quality to stand, facing the storm, struggling against difficulty and opposition.”
Obviously, activity is involved; it is not just passively waiting. It describes active, spiritual resistance—against Satan, this world, and our own carnality. The most succinct rendering of hupomoné may be “courageous endurance.” “Cheerful or hopeful endurance” is another good rendering, as it includes a degree of optimism—and when we remember Who is on our side and how this story ends, we have every reason to be optimistic while persevering.
To put this command into perspective, we must imagine what the world will be like at the time when this letter will be most applicable. A great false prophet will be active, and deception will be so widespread that it will threaten even God’s elect. A powerful and blasphemous tyrant will encourage or even command worship of himself, and he will institute financial controls, such that commerce will be essentially impossible without paying homage to him. Yet, it will be our responsibility to be constant and unwavering under the suffering imposed by that system.
Further, it does not appear that the church of God will be unified at that time. Given the various prophecies that describe seven lampstands and seven letters to seven churches, it seems that division will be the norm within the church. Some of the letters in Revelation 2 and 3 indicate a low level of faith and a high level of carnality.
As Jesus says in Matthew 24:12, “Because lawlessness will abound, the love [agapé] of many will grow cold.” The world does not have any agapé, so He must be speaking of the church! True Christians will have to persevere through encroaching sin and dying love within the church. The temptation may be great to throw in the towel, to withdraw, to separate from the brethren because of offenses, but doing so would be the opposite of hupomoné—of courageously enduring.
The New King James speaks of “the hour of trial,” but the King James calls it “the hour of temptation.” This is a fitting rendition because during that time it will be tremendously tempting to give up, to give in, to compromise, to let down just a little, to sin (just a little!) in order to make life easier. It will be a time of pressure like never before and thus very easy to become distracted, not just because of the blatant idolatry and religious deception, but also because of the world’s increasing attractiveness and pervasiveness.
It does not have to be just a time of fascism and concentration camps. People will be eating and drinking and marrying—having a great time. Revelation 18’s description of Babylon focuses on luxury and ease and the avoidance of suffering. Jesus warns in Luke 21:34, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.” Distraction leads to idolatry.
Whatever the reality of that time, “persevering” or “courageously enduring” without compromising will certainly be no small accomplishment. Yet Christ says that because some of His people have been keeping His command to persevere, He will keep them from the worst of it. They have already proved their faithfulness to Him; He knows where they stand, He sees their track record with Him, and He will not require them to experience everything that the rest of humanity will suffer.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
May God bless you all and ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’, Amen.
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