Monday, June 27, 2016


In the parables about the Church Age (Matthew 13; Mark 4; Luke 13), Jesus taught about two kinds of people in our churches:  the born again believers, and those professing to be believers.  In the Book of Revelation, John shares Christ's message describing seven churches (Revelation 2-3).  In both cases, it is clear that the visible church is larger than the Body of Christ.  Here is a brief summary of my understanding of what these passages have to say:

The Parable of the Sower - There are four responses to the Gospel:  three result in the Word of God being believed, but only one remains focused upon the will of the Lord.
The Parable of the Tares - There are two kinds of church members:  those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord, and those who remain lord of their own lives.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed - What starts out as the single "tree trunk," becomes so divided and varied that its "branches" provide a "home" for "birds" (unbelievers- Mt. 8:20).
The Parable of the Leaven - Leaven always represents sin in the Bible.  Even genuine believers will continue to sin (Rom. 7:15-25; 1 Jn. 1:8-10).
The Hidden Treasure - True born again believers will be a "mystery" hidden from the rest of the church and the world (2 Cor. 4:7).
The Parable of the Pearl - Within the "sea of humanity," there are those who are like a worthless grain of sand, which the Lord has covered and made precious.
The Parable of Dragnet - When the Lord comes for God's children, He will separate those that are His from those who are not.

The Church of Ephesus - The Apostolic Age (to A.D. 100) - It slowly began to lose its love for the brethren, and began to focus on doctrinal purity.  Perhaps it consists of believers, many of whom are concerned with "the rocky soil and the thorny soil" of the Parable of the Sower.
The Church in Smyrna - The Age of Suffering Persecution (A.D. 100-312) - The Church was considered the enemy of the status quo, and was hated world-wide.
The Church in Pergamos - The Age of Acceptance (A.D. 313-606) - Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome.  The union of the unequally yoked.
The Church in Thyatira - The Age of Roman Catholicism (A.D. 606-the Tribulation) - Roman Catholicism became a religion controlling nations.  The R.C.C. mistakenly sees itself as the Kingdom of God, totally ignoring Revelation 20:1-15! 
The Church in Sardis - The Age of the Reformation (A.D. 1520-the Tribulation) - Protestantism, merely a divided Church which focuses upon doctrinal differences.
The Church in Philadelphia - The Age of Brotherly Love (A.D. 1750-the Rapture) - These are the born again believers who love the Lord and love His children (see Gal. 5:13-14).
The Church of the Laodiceans - The Age of Churchianity (A.D. 1900-will continue during the Tribulation) - Laodicea means "the people rule" as opposed to the Lord ruling.

The Church began on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, and it consists of former Jews and former Gentiles, who, though they still sin (Pentecost involves two leavened loaves - Lev. 23:15-25), they recognize Jesus as their resurrected Lord!  He died to save all who will call upon Him as their Lord (Rom. 10:9-13)!  If Jesus is not your Lord, you are not God's child!  

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