Why Revelation
Last week, we began a new series in Revelation called, "The King's Manifesto". Have you ever wondered why we pick certain books of the Bible and subjects at certain times to preach through on Sunday mornings? Is it random or is there something more to our decision?

We are preaching through Revelation because in this book, we hear from Christ and what he desires of His church as we anticipate his return. We learn what it means to be on urgent mission, to persevere in times of crisis, to see the world as it really is, and to trust that the Alpha and Omega - Jesus Himself, is king over every circumstance, every trial, and every person. 

Our church exists in a world that is under duress. There are talks of nuclear war, there are rumors of wars, there are problems of poverty, sickness, and persecution. We ourselves live in a post-Christendom culture where the norm is no longer a religious affiliation but rather agnosticism or atheistic systems of belief. 

How is our little church going to make any difference at all? What does God desire of Stone's Throw Church? We are preparing in the coming months to mature into a permanent location and to have a consistent community presence. Revelation gives us a detailed manifesto on what the King expects and desires of this church in this community. 

This week, we will begin to take a look at the 7 letters that Jesus wrote to His church from the perspective of His throne room. Jesus doesn't hand out participation awards to his church but rather requires life and death perseverance until the very last day of our lives. Jesus doesn't just spend time encouraging his churches with what they have done right, but rather rebukes them for what they need to get right. 

We have much to learn because Stone's Throw Church is not a perfect church. We do some things very well and other areas we do very poorly. Let us compare ourselves to the King's manifesto - what does he want from our church? What are we doing well and where must we continue to persevere until we do it well. 

Many of you know that I coach a high school girls volleyball team. Over the years I have worked with some great athletes and some not-so-great athletes. Each one of them has this in common - they all do some things very well and other things not so well. It is my job to help them see where they need to improve and to praise them for when they get it right. The reason I go through the trouble and heartache of coaching teenage girls is to help them persevere until they achieve victory. 

That is precisely why Jesus wrote to his church - to help us to persevere until we achieve victory. To that end, he has a very specific vision for us. I hope that over the next few weeks, you will make it a point to attend Sunday morning worship together, to hear from the King and listen to his manifesto. I hope that you will prayerfully consider how you might be excelling in some areas but lacking in others. I hope that you will see the areas in which, we as a church are lacking, but instead of pointing fingers, figure out ways that you can help the church excel. 

This week, we will take a look at Ephesus - a church that excelled in what they knew, but was in last place in ways that they applied their doctrinal superiority to an urgent mission. They had lost the way in which they had first loved those that needed Jesus. 
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