Of the seven churches addressed in the book of Revelation, five were rebuked for specific sins. These sins were so grievous to the Lord that the churches were in danger of losing their status as His approved and empowered churches.
It would do us well to examine and ponder these sins, examine ourselves as a church for the presence of these sins or vulnerability to them, and resolve to implement a solution and/or prevention for these sins.
Let’s read the passages of sins:
“Thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4
“Thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. You also have them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.“ Revelation 2:14, 15
“Thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.“ Revelation 2:20
“Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead; I have not found thy works perfect before God.“ Revelation 3:1, 2
“Thou art neither cold nor hot: 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.“ Revelation 3:15, 17
The sins to avoid in these verses are:
- Leaving your first love.
- Allowing the doctrine of Balaam (sabotage) to go unanswered.
- Tolerating the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (destroyer of people). *
- Tolerating the membership of Jezebel (idolatry and enemy of God, prophets, and church).
- Failing to offer perfect works before God.
- Content to be lukewarm and self-sufficient. (They were Christians, but they lived by their wisdom and talents.)
* Who were the Nicolaitans? The hatred of the Ephesians toward the Nicolaitans in their church (Revelation 2:6) indicates that these were carnal Christians using their liberty in Christ for license. God commended the Ephesians for their adherence to sound doctrine and practice according to God’s Word. So it follows that their hatred would be focused on those who did not conform in doctrine and practice.