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One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. It has such quotable lines, like when they bring dead Westley to Miracle Max for a miracle. 


Miracle Max: He probably owes you money huh? I'll ask him.

Inigo Montoya: He's dead. He can't talk.

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead.


Then Miracle Max gives them even more hope.


Miracle Max: [Lifts and drops the arm of the dead Westley] I've seen worse.


Unfortunately, it took time for Westley to heal.


Westley: Why won't my arms move?

Fezzik: You've been mostly-dead all day.


This week at church, we will examine Sardis, the Mostly Dead Church. It was a church with a great name, doing lots of positive stuff, with no mention of a Jezebel, or false teaching, or persecution. Yet God saw it as mostly dead. What makes it different has clear application to us today. But now back to The Princess Bride and a final terrific quote about death.


Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn't you wait for me?

Buttercup: Well... you were dead.

Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.

Buttercup: I will never doubt again.

Westley: There will never be a need.


What can you simply NOT tolerate in church?   

In the letters to the seven churches in Revelation, Jesus never complains about the music, the temperature, the meeting times or sermon topics. But there are things He can’t tolerate. 

What do you think of when you hear the name Jezebel?  

You can read her story in 1 Kings 16-22. She was Queen of Israel who incited her husband King Ahab to make the sexual worship of Baal and Asherah the state religion. She killed those who stood in the way of her husband’s advancement, and all the prophets of God she could find. Even Elijah was afraid of her. God made sure she wouldn’t worshipped after her death—by having her eaten by dogs before her body was recovered.   

If she was brought back from the dead, how would you like to have her as your Children’s Director? 

Or youth chaperone?  

Better yet, what would you think if you looked at your husband’s calendar--and saw her name down for a lunch date?  

In this letter from Jesus to the church of Thyatira, God complains that they are tolerating a prophetess in the church who was living and teaching like Jezebel.  

Come Sunday and see how that worked out for them – and what it means for us.  

Blessings,  

Dan

Here’s a story I found on the internet, so it must be true. During the Civil War, there was a guy who couldn’t decide which side he wanted to fight for, so he wore the pants of the South, and a coat of the North. Both sides shot him.

A few years ago, Rob Bell, a well-known pastor and author, put out his controversial book Love Wins. In this book, he seems to advocate an "everybody ends up in heaven someday" theology, that there is no literal hell for humans. Many evangelical leaders labeled his book heresy. When I saw him on TV, the interviewer--not a believer to my knowledge--accused him of simply trying to make Christianity palatable. Compromise killed him.

Church denominations most in decline tend to be those that most question the authority of Scripture, and lean towards the views of current culture. If there is no difference between the world and church, why go to church? Neither side wants you.

It’s our vision at AnchorPoint to be a gospel-centered family impacting our community with the hope of Christ. But we can’t impact our community if we compromise the message of Christ – we simply become the community. As A.W. Tozer wrote, "We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum."

That’s tough to hear in our culture. Today people seem to equate "no compromise" with intolerant, closed-minded bigotry. That’s a shame, because Truth is intolerant. Speaking of Jesus, the Apostle Peter preached,Ac 4:12 (NIV2011)    "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." There isn’t room for compromise in that message.

This week, we will be looking at the church located in Pergamum, the capital of Asia Minor. Pergamum was known for Caesar worship, idolatry, and mixing sexual immorality with worship. The church in Pergamum was trying to have it both ways, wearing the pants of immorality with the coat of Christianity.

How was that working for them?

Jesus said He was coming with a sword.

Bummer.

If you are like me, when we drift into sin we can usually track it back to a series of compromises. Each compromise puts something in front of our love for Christ. Each compromise weakens us. Each compromise weakens AnchorPoint. We lose our effectiveness. We lose our vision.

A.B. Simpson, a Canadian pastor (so he has to be right) from the late 1800s saw our day coming. He said, "The chief danger of the Church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down. Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict. Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis. God, give to us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost!"

Hope to see you Sunday!

Dan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Reason God Gave Us the Book of Revelation 

Revelation is such a cool book. It's scary, wild, comforting, and outrageous. But if it is still all about the future, it seems to have been worthless for 2000 years. So, why did God write it? 

Did God really want us to spend hours making and debating end-times charts? Speaking of charts – why didn’t He give us one? 

Did God want us to take a Christian stand by keeping amusement park stamps off our hand? When I was in High School, I had friends whose parents felt it was too similar to the 666 stamp of Revelation 13 for comfort, so their kids had to get a written receipt rather than a hand-stamp. It was more of an embarrassment than a witness--for us anyway. 

Did God think we would get closer to Him by discussing / arguing / writing books about rapture and second coming theories? Somehow, I think we’ve missed the point. 

The book begins, "The revelation of Jesus Christ…" It then reveals what Christ is like--scary, wild, comforting, and outrageous. Then this same Christ writes seven immediately important letters to seven churches.  

Why is there all this emphasis on Jesus and His church, rather than on the future? 

Because God loves us too much to leave us where we are.  

Come this week for the first of an 8-week series on the first three chapters of Revelation. It’s scary, wild, comforting, outrageous, and immediately important. Hope to see you here! 

Dan

Dads: You’ve Got This!

I’ll never forget the day Megan, our oldest was born. I was a new dad, stunned - in a dazed, lost, and maybe even a bit conquered sort of way.

Soon after she was born, they handed her to me. What was I to do with her? I’d never held a baby before. What if I dropped her? And JoLynn wasn’t much help.

She was using having a caesarian and taking morphine as an excuse.

I wanted morphine. Did I get any?

Sadly, no.

And then, when we were alone in the room with drugged out JO, Megan had her first meconium diaper. Did anyone tell me about those?

Sadly, no.

So I was in there scrubbing that tar stuff off her bottom as hard as a good dad dared. However it was stuck on there like carbon deposits on old valve stems. What made it so difficult was the harder I scrubbed, the more she screamed. About the time I was reaching for some power tools to do the job right, the nurse came in. Did she thank me for being such a caring dad?

Sadly, no.

The next day someone in the hospital called me a dad. Inside I freaked. It didn’t seem possible. I was dazed, lost, most definitely in a bit of a conquered sort of way. I wasn’t ready. Did anyone tell me God’s grace would meet me in my weakness?

Sadly, no.

But it did. He did. And my greatest joy in life is seeing my children walking in the Truth. Dads, we’ve got this because He’s got this. Will I see you Sunday?

Hopefully, yes.