Revelation 1-3

Revelation 3:14-22 Laodicea

Sun, 20/11/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Who would you like to have a meal with? Sit down. Eat. Chat.

Last May, a photo was circulating. It showed Barack Obama having a casual dinner with a TV chef. They were in a run-of-the-mill diner in Hanoi, and it cost $6. The reason the photo went viral was because the other diners seemed totally unfazed by the President of the United States of America sat at the next table.

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Revelation 3:7-13 Philadelphia

Sun, 16/10/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Being excluded feels horrible.

Children in the playground, deliberately leaving out a child they don’t like. A group of work colleagues going out for a drink, deliberately not telling one of their number where they’re going.

Even worse is religious exclusion. Being told that you’re not a proper Christian, not a true member of the people of God. If you care about God and his purposes, that hurts.

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Revelation 3:1-6 Sardis

Sun, 09/10/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I greatly respect our doctors. They work hard. And a good doctor knows how to measure a person’s vital signs. Not every death can be prevented. But if they spot that body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing are getting weak, quick intervention could save them.

That’s people. What about churches? They die too. How would you know if your church was on its last legs? What could be done to nurse a church back to health?

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Revelation 2:18-29 Thyatira

Sun, 25/09/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s hard to keep going if you feel isolated.

Picture the scene. You’re at Kings Cross, boarding a train to Edinburgh. A large crowd is watching the departure signs. Finally, a platform number: platform 4. The crowd surges that way, and you’re among them. But once you’re through the ticket gates, most people board the train the other side, on platform 3. You get on the Edinburgh train, along with a number of others. And you sit watching platform 3 fill up. And you wonder. Did I get on the right train?

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Revelation 2:12-17 Pergamum

Sun, 18/09/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Let me tell you about a church I’ve got to know, and some of the pressures it faces.

Some people in the town really don’t like this particular church. They’ve had major aggravation from the town council, and from the media. There’s real hatred from a few, but sometimes that’s all it needs to sway public opinion.

It’s a tough place to be a Christian, but they’ve weathered it well. They’ve kept worshipping. “We’re Christians,” they say, “and that’s what we’ll remain however unpopular it makes us.”

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Revelation 2:8-11 Smyrna

Sun, 11/09/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

On 26th July, a Roman Catholic priest named Jacques Hamel was murdered inside his church by violent Muslims. His funeral was attended by thousands. Since then, the British security services have issued fresh advice to English churches on counter-terrorism security.

From time to time in Britain, people who are preaching on the streets of Britain spend the night in police cells. What they were doing was perfectly legal, and they are eventually released without charge. But someone goaded them to say something that could be construed as hateful, and then the police are called.

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Revelation 2:1-7 Ephesus

Sun, 28/08/2016 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Many of you will remember the experience of falling in love for the very first time. You can’t get enough of the other person. Their voice. Time with them. Everything’s wonderful. Your friends comment that you’ve got a fresh spring in your step, a smile on your face.

It’s wonderful. But there’s a problem. It rarely lasts. Not with that delightful, initial rosiness, the fire, the intensity.

Over time, things have cooled off. And those memories of first love are just that: memories.

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