The Seven Churches of Asia Minor

Written by Alex Fortson 

I have the unique opportunity to be able to write this blog sitting in a hotel in Turkey. Overloaded with information from days of visiting ancient ruins, of the 7 churches of Revelation. I encourage you to go read them in Revelation chapter  2 and 3. Here we find God writing a letter to each of these churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea; and as I walk these ruins of what once was and begin to think about what is and what could be in the future. My heart becomes burned by the amount of worship Jesus truly deserves from us all. As we approach Easter Sunday, there is something I personally am challenged with and I would like to challenge you with as well and that challenge is worship.

Easter is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what Jesus did for us on the cross. That Jesus made a way where there was no way. To bring praise and worship to the one who deserves all the glory, honor, and praise, and nothing less. We are forever indebted. As I sat in a 10,000 capacity theater, in Pergamum, hand carved into the side of a mountain, I began to weep. Looking down at the stage where Christians were killed by the sword for proclaiming their faith. Denying paganism and fake gods; pushing back the darkness and advancing the kingdom for Jesus; worshiping with pure and righteous hearts, knowing that their reward was not on this earth but was waiting in heaven.

Through all these churches, something I found in common was their worship or their lack thereof. Worship is the ultimate test of your faith. We may not be worshiping pagan gods like in Biblical times, but our gods may look different. They may be associated with our pleasures or desires. But the warning that I felt in my spirit for myself was a warning to make sure that my worship was to the one true God. To understand that it is not okay to dabble in a little bit of this or a little bit of that just as long as I make sure I worship God more than the others. No! All of our worship should be directed to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the one who crucified Himself on the cross for you and for me. That no matter what we go through or face we must find a way to slip up a hand or be driven to our knees in humility and worship God. There must be a difference in our worship to the one true God and others’ worship to the things of this world. If there is no difference then we must check ourselves and correct our hearts.

I do not know about you but I am thankful for a God of second chances. As you begin to read the 7 churches in Revelation you find some that are rebuked. God has something against them. But the encouraging thing that God always ends with is a chance for repentance. If you are reading this blog and are challenged and convicted like I was sitting on the side of a mountain, I encourage you to turn and repent. God has grace and mercy to cover all that has been done. Let all praise, glory, and honor be to God.

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