Episode 228

Disciple Up # 228
7 Letters For 7 Churches, Pt. 2
By Louie Marsh

Intro. Last week we did the first three and I shared a nice graph on the letters in the show notes. This week we’ll be finishing off the last four.

Next week – I might be focusing on what I preached on September 12th – Gender with a special focus on the end of the message which dealt with why we are thinking the way we are in this culture/

Gender & Sanity:

https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/christschurchontheriver/02_reThink_-_Gender__Sanity.mp3

Last Four Letters:

 Website where I got what’s below from: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/end-times/what-do-the-7-churches-in-revelation-represent-summaries-and-explanations.html

  1. Thyatira. The Church that Follows False Prophets (Revelation 2:18-29)

Summary and Explanation: Thyatira was a wealthy commercial city. Jesus’ letter to Thyatira praises the church for having grown in faith and service (Revelation 2:19). The church’s downfall was its devotion to a false prophet that led some members to commit idolatry and immorality (Revelation 2:20). Although the false prophet remained unrepentant, Jesus affirms that the congregation can still repent by turning away from the prophet’s ways (Revelation 2:21-22).

The Lord reminds us in this revelation that He will repay each of us according to our deeds (Revelation 2:23). The payment for sin is death. Those who persevere in faith, however, will receive a share of Christ’s messianic authority over all nations and triumph over death (Revelation 2:26-28).

Significance Today: Just as some in Thyatira’s church were led astray by a false prophet, Christians today fall prey to cult leaders, occult practices, and other false teachings. To share in Christ’s victory, we are to avoid these “so-called deep secrets” of Satan (Revelation 2:24) and hold firm to Christ’s teachings.

  1. Sardis. The Church that is Spiritually Dead (Revelation 3:1-6)

Summary and Explanation: Sardis was a city that had endured two surprise attacks despite its fortifications. Our Lord faults the church in Sardis for maintaining an outward appearance of being “alive,” while actually being spiritually dead (Revelation 3:1). Alluding to the city’s history of prior surprise attacks, Jesus warns the congregation to “wake up” and repent, lest he “come like a thief” to bestow His judgment (Revelation 3:2-3).

Those in Sardis who heed Christ’s warning will be “dressed in white,” a symbol of purity and victory, and will be acknowledged in Heaven’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5).

Significance Today: Today, Christians can fall into the trap that ensnared the church in Sardis if we merely go through the motions of practicing our faith without really feeding our spirit. We can avoid becoming “the living dead” by engaging in our faith through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship.

  1. Philadelphia. The Church that Patiently Endured Despite Weaknesses (Revelation 3:7-13)

Summary and Explanation: Philadelphia was home to a synagogue community hostile to Christians. Christ praises the Philadelphians for remaining faithful in the face of trials despite their limited strength (Rev. 3:8).

Jesus does not reproach this congregation but condemns its persecutors. (Revelation 3:9). Christ promises that if Philadelphia’s congregants remain faithful to Him, He will protect them from the “hour of trial” and make them pillars in God’s heavenly temple (Revelation 3:10-12).

Significance Today: The message to Philadelphia shows us the blessings that come when we maintain our faith despite life’s tribulations. In fact, those who persevere despite weaknesses will stand strong as pillars in Heaven.

  1. Laodicea. The Church with a Lukewarm Faith (Revelation 3:14-22)

Summary and Explanation: Laodicea was a prosperous industrial and commercial center. Jesus’ letter to this church wastes no time denouncing the congregation for its lukewarm faith, threatening to “spit” the congregation out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16).

Christ scolds this church for allowing its economic prosperity to cause it spiritual bankruptcy and reveals that, despite its economic wealth, only He can provide spiritual wealth (Revelation 3:17-18). Those in Laodicea’s church who open the door to Christ will share in His Heavenly banquet and have the right to sit with Him on His throne (Revelation 3:20-21).

Significance Today: Like the church in Laodicea, it’s easy to become complacent in our faith during times of abundance. Christ warns us in this revelation that he will “spit out” lukewarm disciples. Instead, Jesus urges us to keep seeking the Lord’s face even after His hand has bestowed riches in our lives.

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Episode 216

Disciple Up # 216
The State of the American Church & Me!
By Louie Marsh, 6-23-2021

1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2“ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’” (Revelation 2:1–7, ESV)

I listened to a podcast today on Christianity Today website called, The Rise & Fall of Mars Hill, you can click the link below to check it out and can subscribe to this podcast on all the usual places.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/podcasts/rise-and-fall-of-mars-hill/who-killed-mars-hill-church-mark-driscoll-rise-fall.html

Necessity of judging (check out my sermon on Judging Like Jesus Judged if that bothers you: http://riverchurchparker.com/sermons/08-the-gospel-of-john-1-7-judge-like-jesus-judges/ ) our spiritual state.

  • My own growth and health
  • My family’s (if I have one)
  • My small group or ministry (if I have one)
  • My church’s health.

1“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. 6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” (Matthew 7:1–6, ESV)

12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (1 Peter 4:12–19, ESV)

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 205

Disciple Up # 205
Christians & Cohabitation
By Louie Marsh, 3-31-2021

Article I read from:

https://tipsyredfox.com/news/2021/03/22/the-cohabitation-dilemma-comes-for-americas-pastors/

At least three ways to look at marriage:

  • Legal
  • Traditional
  • Biblical

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Gen. 2:22

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  Ephesians 5:25-27

32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Eph. 5:32-33

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Episode 143

Disciple Up # 143
The Most Oppressive Countries for Christians
By Louie Marsh, 1-22-2020

Christianity Today Article: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/january/top-christian-persecution-open-doors-2020-world-watch-list.html

Disciple Up YouTube Page where the video is available: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpLH-5-lQzRDF2RtGe89W6A

Direct Link to the YouTube Video – https://youtu.be/3q89dTMp9iw

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Disciple Up #136
Christian Publishing Is Dying & Why You Should Care
By Louie Marsh, 11-27-2019

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/november/christian-bookstores-authors-publishers-changing-market.html

Those became mega-bestsellers, but the big retailers also demanded bigger discounts from publishers, in turn undercutting prices at evangelical bookstores. The big stores also sold fewer titles, so publishers increasingly looked for authors with some celebrity or platform, making it harder for unknown writers to break into the market.

On another side of the evangelical book industry, though, it’s just part of the business. Take Christian authors, who are competing for fewer bookstore spots and Amazon rankings with the already-famous: reality stars like Chip and Joanna Gaines, the Duck Dynasty crew, and breakout Instagram influencers like Rachel Hollis.

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 103

Disciple Up #103

Cultural Coercion

By Louie Marsh, 4-10-2019

Article From Christianity Today: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/april/barna-pastors-social-issues-speaking-religious-freedom.html

 Please Get In Touch!Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 98

Disciple Up #98
Wounded By the Church, Pt. 2
By Louie Marsh, 3- 6-2019

Very common problem –

My Personal Story: Don’t focus on blame – focus on responsibility and YOUR responsibility in particular. Get on with fixing that instead of futilely trying to fix blame – let God do that.

DO NOT buy into the Victim Culture! – Rom. 8:37 “…we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us…”

Three Don’ts:

  • Don’t DEMAND MY (OR OTHER’S) rights
  • Don’t focus on WHAT I’VE LOST
  • Don’t let my ANGER OR PAIN drive me

14  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15  See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15 (ESV)

Three Do’s:

  • Focus on WHOSE you are.

1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Whose am I? My self? My family’s? My culture’s? Or JESUS’?? 

You know what the right answer should be to that question. What you need to do now is to find out if the REAL answer and the RIGHT answer are the SAME answer!

  7  For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:7-8 (NIV)

  • Focus on OBEYING God’s Call.

18  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19 (ESV)

2  to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3  to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. 4  They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Isaiah 61:2-4 (ESV)

God’s Call on All Disciples: To Proclaim…

  • The Good News
  • Liberty to the Captives
  • Sight for the blind
  • The Lord’s Favor & Judgment
  • To comfort those who mourn
  • To strengthen them to maturity
  • To restore what has been devastated

3  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:3-4 (ESV)

You have to keep working for the Lord through this process. He will bring healing and understanding to you through the work you do for him.

 Right now there are people here who aren’t doing anything and others who are doing far too many things. Those of you not really engaged need to step up to those doing too much and say, “Hey, I’ll take that.”

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 97

Disciple Up #97
Wounded By the Church, Pt 1
By Louie Marsh, 2-27-2019

Very common problem –

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/february/wounded-church-harvest-bible-chapel-elders-resign-mars-hill.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/03/08/amid-a-wave-of-church-hurt-one-boston-pastor-tries-to-repair-christians-relationship-with-god/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.baf5369876bf

My Personal Story: Don’t focus on blame – focus on responsibility and YOUR responsibility in particular. Get on with fixing that instead of futilely trying to fix blame – let God do that.

 The CCR Story and My Response

Restoration: Rising From the Ruins Again

Remember Whose You Are

By Louie Marsh, April 14th, 2013

Christ’s Church on the River, Parker AZ

Three Don’ts:

  • Don’t DEMAND MY (OR OTHER’S) rights

38  “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39  But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40  And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. 43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:38-45 (ESV)

This runs against our fallen human nature. We want things to be “right” or “fair,” and can easily justify fighting for that. TALK ABOUT MY “RIGHTS” FROM 2 YEARS AGO, AND MY DECISION NOT TO PURSUE THEM.  But what does God say?

19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21 (ESV)

When I fight for my rights or others, I am pushing God aside and in effect saying, “I got this Lord, don’t worry about it.” But Scripture says we are to leave this to God, for only God knows what is ultimately right and He and He alone is the one judge.

34  And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Luke 23:34 (ESV)

This is the ultimate example of not fighting for your rights. Here is the great act of evil ever committed on planet earth.  How does Jesus respond? Not by claiming his rights, but by in effect saying, “Father, release these people from the consequences of their actions. No consequences Father, just another chance for them to get right with you.”

Don’t focus on WHAT I’VE LOST

19  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)

I lost my job, possibly my career, many friends, my house.  And that struggle became a revelation when I realized what it showed was not how bad they were, but that my heart was in the wrong place.

 Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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