Sermon Transcript: The Dead and the Dependent

2/7/2021 Jeff Schwarzentraub 49 min read

- Lord Jesus we come before you now, and we ask that you would do a work that only you can do through the power of your Holy Spirit. And that is reveal yourself to us. Lord as your word is proclaimed today may it be proclaimed faithfully in such a way where we can hear you. That we can believe what you actually are saying about us what you're saying about our church and that Lord by faith we can put into practice the very things that you show us. Lord we wanna be changed by your word today. We wanna be transformed. We want to become more like Jesus Christ, Lord be glorified in this time for your great name. And now for all God's people who are gathered who desired to hear the word of God proclaimed. Would you agree with me this morning by very loudly saying the word Amen?

- Amen.

- Amen. When I was 16 I remember when my dad drove me to get my driver's license. We went over together. I took the test, drove around for about 15 or 20 minutes and they told me that I had passed. I had to get my picture taken. Then they gave me my driver's license. I remember getting that little plastic card putting it in my wallet and something changed inside of me. I now had freedom I did not have before. First thing I did was drop my dad off where he needed to be and I just drove. Just for the sake of driving because I had independence in a way I hadn't had it before. You see prior to getting my license I was dependent upon my parents or somebody else getting me to where I needed to be at that specific time. Or if it was close enough, walking or biking this changed all of that. And it's great to have that kind of Liberty and freedom. I don't even think about it much anymore because I have a license and so I just think that, hey that's just part of my privileges and rights. I never think about what it would be like if every time I had to go somewhere I needed to call somebody.

The reason I thought about that this week is my dad went to the Driver's License Bureau in the state of Illinois to get his driver's license renewed. Only to find out that at his age now you have to retake the driver's test every four years. And so he took the driver's test he passed, he's doing great. And my wife, I was telling her about that. And she's like, "I wish it was you who would take the driver's test every four years." And so, but my dad has freedom.

And it's interesting because we live in a world that wants us to have more liberties and freedom. We desire that the more independent we are the more we feel like we've arrived. The more independent I am of you financially the more independent I am a you of relying upon you the better off that I am. And yet the Bible gives us a different picture of what freedom looks like.  And for freedom in Christ it looks much more like dependence rather than independence.

Not too long ago I preached a sermon on Proverbs chapter five verses three... Proverbs chapter three, verses five and six which says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He'll make your path straight." In other words, depend upon the Lord more, trust the Lord more, lean into the Lord more, be dependent upon the Lord more. And yet in our culture as we have a culture that pushes for independence and we have a God that's pushing for dependence there's oftentimes a battle that's taking place into who's going win.

And today as we continue our study in the book of revelation what we're gonna study are two different churches the church in Sardis and the church in Philadelphia and based upon how they respond to God you're gonna see one that acts independently and one that acts dependently. And you're gonna see a different measure of fruitfulness based upon how they live. And really the question for us as a church.

And the question for us as individuals is are we dependent and growing in our dependence upon the Lord, or are we independent and growing in our independence on the Lord. To look at this today I wanna invite you to open up your Bibles to revelation chapter three.

We're going to look at the first 13 verses this morning. And as we study these different churches we've been so fascinated by everything that God's taught us. As we studied Ephesus we learned about how to make Jesus Christ the primary focus of our ministry by pursuing Him. As we studied Smyrna we learned that we didn't need to be afraid even in tribulation or death. As we studied Pergamum we learned we didn't need to compromise the word of God. As we studied Thyatira we learned we didn't need to be tolerant of sin but we could live holy.

And today we're gonna study the churches of Sardis and Philadelphia. Hear the word of the Lord. He says, "To the angel of the church in Sardis write. He who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this. I know your deeds that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up and strengthen the things that remain which are about to die. For I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of my God. So remember what you have received and heard and keep it in repent. Therefore, if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief and you will not know what hour I will come to you. But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments. And they will walk with me in white for their worthy. He who overcomes with us be clothed in white garments and I will not erase his name from the book of life. And I will confess his name before my father and before his angels. He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia, write. He who is Holy, who is true who has the key of David. Who opens and no one will shut who shuts and no one will open says this. I know your deeds behold I put before you an open door which no one can shut because you have little power and have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not, but lie. I will make them come and bow down at your feet and we'll make them know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the word of my perseverance I will also keep you from the hour of testing. That hour which is about to come upon the whole earth to test those who dwell upon the earth. I am coming quickly. Hold fast to what you have so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God and he will not go out from it anymore. And I will write on him, the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven from my God and my new name. He who has an ear let him hear what the spirit says to the churches."

And here's we study these two churches we're gonna get a picture of an independent church, one that's independent of God and one that's dependent on him. And you're gonna hear the Lord speak differently to those kinds of churches. And as we've been talking about Brave Church this is an overlay for what the kind of churches we wanna be like and the kind of church we don't want to be like because Jesus is giving instruction to the church.

And let me just pause and say this for somebody that are excited about the book of revelation, starting in chapter six, you're gonna begin to see how things are gonna unfold. And some of you are like, can't wait to get there. I can't wait to get there. If we miss out the fact that Jesus Christ cares about his church right now, we miss out on the fact of the entire book. God cares about his church, and God wants us to know how to respond to his church. And it's important that we understand who God wants us to be presently.

And here's what he says. He talks about Sardis. We call Sardis the dead church. Notice what He says to the angel or to the messenger of the church in Sardis, right. In other words, to the pastor, to the proclaimer to the leadership of the church, that's speaking to the church like this. "He who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this."

We've already been over what the seven spirits are. The seven spirits is the completion. Seven being the number of completion. The seven spirits represent the Holy Spirit. If you look at Isaiah chapter 11, verses two and following Zachariah chapter four verses one through 10, gives us a picture that it's not by might it's not by power. It's by the spirit, that the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity fully God's mission is to glorify the resurrected Christ. And he works on behalf of the father and the Son to accomplish His work.

And Jesus is saying the one who has the seven spirits the Holy spirit works on behalf of the Lord, Jesus Christ and the one who holds the seven stars. That means that Jesus is in control of all of his messengers in the church. Isn't that good to know this morning? That Jesus is in charge of His church. Jesus is in charge of what's going on. That Jesus is authoritative over what's going on in the church.

He's telling this church in start as, hey I'm the one that the church is about. I'm the one that's in charge. I'm the one that wants to be making change. He puts the attention on Himself. And He writes to this church in this city called Sardis. As we've been going around the circle and what's modern day Turkey and seeing these different churches, the last church we talked about was Thyatira. This church is Sardis.

Sardis was about 30 miles South East of Thyatira. It was located on an important trade route. What you should know about this place is they had earthquakes frequently there. It was a center of pagan worship and it was a very wealthy, wealthy town. And God writes to this church and as we've seen this book laid out, we see recipients and we see an attribute of Christ and then we see strengths. You're not gonna see many strengths in this Church. Because this church Jesus is gonna highlight a bunch of weakness.

Now we'll see, When we get to chapter four, that he's got a remnant of people in this church that are still doing what God wants them to do, that need to wake up. But the majority of the church He refers to is dead. Notice what he says to them. "I know your deeds that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead." I know that you have a reputation that you're alive but you are dead. Isn't it Interesting man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the what, heart. God is always looking from the inside out.

It doesn't matter what your reputation is. It matters what your character is. It doesn't matter what other people are saying. It matters who you truly are on the inside. It doesn't matter what other people are saying about Brave Church, but it does matter about what Jesus is saying about Brave Church. He says, some people say, well, it's kind of a compliment you have a reputation of being good. That doesn't sound like a compliment to me.

I mean, if I were to say to you I know you have a reputation of being good looking, but you're really ugly. That doesn't sound like a compliment. That you have this reputation that's so good. I know you have a reputation of being cool and being all that but you're really not. That doesn't sound like a compliment. It sounds like a rebuke to a church that cared more about what other people thought and what they thought of themselves and what they were putting out for other people to see rather than actually who they are.

And here's what Jesus says about their church. You have this reputation with others, I mean, people in your city are saying this church is alive. People in this city are saying, hey, good music there. People in the city are saying, I like the words of that pastor. People in the city are saying, a lot of people gather. Here's what I'm telling you. You're dead. You're on life support.

There's some changes that need to take place in the middle of this church. And you need to be aware of what they are. And so he begins to tell them about what needs to take place. In verse two, he says this, "Wake up and strengthen the things that remain which we're about to die for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of my God."

Think about this. Our church, Brave Church, 10 years old. If Jesus Terry's and doesn't come back for awhile say he doesn't come back for a hundred years. None of us are gonna be here supporting this church in a hundred years. When God talks about a church, when he's talking about the church of Sardis, He's talking about it from the time it was planted, until it continues into the day of Christ Jesus. And he's saying what you started and what you began you have not continued on.

There are churches today that have people talk about them as though they're alive but if Jesus gave his words about that church, here's what he'd say, you're dead. You're dead. Hr would say, wake up.

Now how do you know if a church is a dead church? And how do you know if a church is a church that's alive? And how would Jesus give his commendation or how would you just give his condemnation based upon a church? 'Cause it's easy for us to say, well, we're church is alive. We're not dead. We're doing it. How do you know?

What are markers of a church that's alive versus markers of a church that is dead? Here's what it is. It's the gospel of Jesus Christ. He says, wake up you're not complete. Do you know that you can have a church that has music but doesn't have a worship? Do you know that you can have a church that has incredible music and doesn't have worship? See worship is not just music. Worship is a heart attitude to give praise and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Right? You can have good music but nobody sings. You can have good music, but nobody's focused on the Lord. I mean, even if you go to a secular concert, what happens at secular concerts? I mean, is it good music is being played even at secular concerts, what do people do? They cheer. They clap. They make a joyful noise. They shout. They raise their hands. They high-five each other. There's community. But know what there's not? There's not worship of the Lord Jesus Christ for most of them.

Now there may be worship, but it's giving allegiance to something other than Jesus. Just because you have good music doesn't mean you have good worship. Worship is an attitude of the heart that says, Jesus, you are so worthy that through the way in which I sing and through the way in which I respond, I'm declaring to me and all those around you that you are worthy of my celebration and praise. And that's why I'm gathering.

But just because you go to a church that has good music doesn't mean it has good Worship. You can go to a church that has Bibles but people don't trust them. You can go to a church that has Bibles in the Pew or under the chair or in rack, you can go to a church where people even carry them in may even read them, may even have a pastor or priest up front that references them from time to time. But when it comes to the foundation of the church they're not trusting the word. They're not believing what God says. They're not wanting to put into practice by faith the things that God shows them. It's just a routine. We read it and that's about it. We may not even do that.

Do you know there's churches you can go to in our country where Bibles aren't even present. I mean, I don't know what they're talking about but they're not talking about Jesus and it's tragic. and there're churches that have a liturgy where the Bible is supposed to be read but then it gets closed and they'd talk nothing about the thing that they just read. They don't study the word. They don't trust the word. And you go to a place like that. That's a sign of a lifeless dead church. Or how about a church where you talk about prayer rather than praying? I mean, you ever been to a permitting like that? Prayer meeting at the church from 7:00 to eight o'clock and from 7:00 to 7:55 you just go around and ask if anybody has prayer requests. And then somebody pops up with about three to five minutes to go like, oh we haven't prayed yet. Somebody want to close this out. Lord we pray for all these prayer requests in Jesus name, amen. Well, that's not a prayer meeting.

A prayer meeting is when we're declaring our dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ and we're telling him, we need you. I need you individually. We need you as a church. As my good friend says, prayerlessness is our declaration of independence towards God. So here's a rhetorical question. How's your prayer life individually? How's your prayer life corporately? Like how dependent are you upon that? Like nobody can answer that question, but you, you know. Is prayer just going through the motions, is prayer when you're laying yourself down to sleep at night, is prayer just before meals? Is prayer once a week or is prayer this ongoing relationship you have with God all the time? Is it life to you to get with other people and declare God, I need you in this. Is it voicing requests? Is it desiring to know him better? There's churches all across our great land and all across the world that are prayerless.

How about when it comes to evangelism? Some talk about the fact that lost people matter to God but don't even understand the gospel to give it to them. Instead of presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world who died on the cross and rose from the dead, who paid for the penalty of sin instead, they just talk about Jesus as a benevolent God out there. And all you need to do is just trust him for good things in your life. And who cares about your sin? And who cares about righteousness? And who cares about judgment? That doesn't mean anything. Just get in on this cool Jesus thing, keep living yourself centered, sinful life.

Friends that's not the gospel. In churches that are lifeless what you'll notice about them is their programs are many but disciples are few. You can get on a website where there's 175 programs and they're look all good, but nobody's really growing in the fullness of Jesus Christ. Churches that are lifeless have a desire to be served rather than to serve. Instead of Christians who are filled with the spirit who are wanting to come give their best to the Lord Jesus Christ it's people start looking and saying, what's in it for me? What do I get out of this? Is the preaching good? Is the worship good? Am I gonna be able to close enough now to be able to go to this church anymore? Right?

I mean, we start thinking about us rather than have God how do you want to use me? And how do you want to use my gifts? And is this a place where I can center my life upon you and do that? We're having our needs met is more important than honoring the Lord but I want to tell you from Mark 10:45 even the son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. I mean it's easy to point fingers and say, well that's a lifeless church and that's a lifeless church and that's the lifeless church. That's not why he's giving us this text.

He's giving us this text because He says, apart from the grace of God, you'll become a lifeless church too. And that we need the Lord Jesus Christ so that we have fervent worship. So that we have proclamation of his word and centering on His word. So that we are a church that seeks Him in prayer. So that we're a church that glorifies Him by presenting the gospel to lost people. And that we're a church that is growing people in the gospel of Christ. So that we're a church that's not just centered on programs, but on making disciples. That were church that centered on serving the Lord with all that we have.

Here's what he says about Sardis. You got none of that going on. You got activity, you got routines, you got your rituals you got people in your city saying that's going on over there. Here's what's not going on over there. Jesus says, I'm not part of what's going on over there.

And I want to tell you in our culture, he doesn't talk about anything about the size. You can have a small church with nothing going on in it and you can have a a big church with not a lot of Jesus going on in it. See, it's what Jesus says about the church. All I'm all about reaching more people with the gospel. I'm all about the fact that we're growing as a church. I love that to the extent that the people that are coming in are growing and their understanding of God's word and worship and prayer and evangelism, I'm all for that. But filling up seats for the sake of filling up seats like who cares? You can have an event weekly without Jesus and fill up seats. They happen all over our country. Just saying that's dead because I'm not there. Jesus says, I want to be present in the church. I want the gospel to be present.

Notice what he says, verse three. "So remember what you have received and heard and keep it and repent." Well, what have they received and heard? The gospel, that's how the church got founded. Churches got founded upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. That He's the Lord of the universe. And they're called to keep it, keep it as the same word that you have in the great commission of observe or obey. If you truly believe the gospel you're gonna live the gospel. Okay?

Let me be clear on the gospel. You can be saved by grace through faith and not your own doing. It's a gift of God but I'm telling you this, if you're truly saved, there will be evidences in your life of you wanting to keep the word of God and obey him. And notice what He says and repent, repent.

Well, let's just talk about the gospel for a second because Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For it is by grace we have been saved through faith. It's not our own doing. It's a gift of God so that no one should boast." If you're saved, understand this. God saved you. You can't brag about what you did to get saved. You can't talk about I found this church. I found this thing online. I heard this preacher or I studied it for myself and look what I found Jesus, no. God went looking for you. If you're saved, it was his grace.

And let me tell you a couple of things you need to know about salvation. The Bible says to examine yourself make sure you're in the faith. Brave Church, I believe that you need to examine yourself make sure you're in the faith. Because just because you come to Brave Church, that's a life giving Jesus Christ exalting church doesn't mean you're saved. How do you know? Well, here's what the grace of God initially does. Here's how God's grace moves on your heart to help you realize that all your best efforts and all your religion or all your way weirdness or all your sin, it doesn't matter, what God wants to convict you of His sin, righteousness and judgment. And his grace goes before you to show you this no matter how good you think you are, or no matter how good you think you're gonna be that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and there is no one good. There is no one righteous, no, not one.

What God points out in your life is not only that you've done bad things, God points out in your life you are a bad thing. You're a dead thing. Because spiritually you are dead from the moment that you were conceived. That's what He points out to you. We don't like that part. We don't like to know that, but I'm gonna tell you if you don't that, what need do you have for Jesus? What need would you have? Well, I just want to get more money. I want them to prosper my life. That's not a big enough need. Here's your biggest need. You are dead from the time you're conceived and if you stay in your dead state, when you meet Jesus here's what you're gonna hear. Depart from me you worker of iniquity for I never knew you. Get away from me. We've been separate during your whole life. Now you're gonna be separate for me for eternity.

The spirit of God, through his grace, convict sinners of their need for something. He convicts you of your sin and at the same time he convicts you of a need for repentance. Romans 2:4 says this, "It's the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance." Not only does God show you your sin he gives you a desire to get out of it. If you really realize that you're trapped in your sin what you're going to feel is how do I get out of this? What do I do? You need to turn from it. You need to turn from your sin.

If you don't believe you're a sinner and need to turn from your sin, there is no good news. I have no good news for you. Those two things are what the grace of God produces in the heart of a person. The reason I'm saved is when I was 18 years old thinking I was a pretty good kid compared to my friends came to the conviction that I'm a sinner that God is every bit righteous to send me to hell for all eternity. And there's nothing I can do about it. Help me, do something. I need to turn to something. I need help. I'm drowning, I'm dead.

But with the grace of God also provides is that through Jesus Christ and through him alone, you can have salvation. It's called the substitutionary atonement of Christ. It means if you're dead in your sins there's only one solution. There is an exclusive solution to be found for your sin. And it's found only in Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through Him.

First Corinthians 15 verse three says, "But I proclaim to you as a first importance, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures." The only way a person's sin can ever be forgiven is in the person and work of the God, man, Jesus Christ. There is no other way. There is no other religion. There is no other hope. It's only in Jesus Christ.

God's grace points out your sin and shows you that you need to turn from it. And God's grace at the same time, points out that Jesus Christ is the only one that can save you and give you the understanding that you need to trust him by faith. Repentance and faith are foundational for life.

Means the church in Sardis can teach us anything, it's to repent and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. I mean, that's it. That's foundational, repent and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. I mean, even here in Inglewood, I mean the only things we have printed on our wall, we have a an empty cross over here to my left to show that Jesus paid for our sins, came off the cross was buried and rose. He's not on the cross anymore. And for words, Jesus Christ is Lord. You get those two things right, you got It. There's nothing else. That is so foundational.

And yet what I find in many churches is, yeah we already know that let's get onto the deeper stuff. If you don't get that right, there is nothing deeper. Hello, that's as deep as it's gonna go. But why is it we move away from the message of the gospel because I don't presume that just because you come to Brave, you're saved. And if you are saved here's the question that you should be asking and should be very easy to answer. When did I go from death to life? When was I convicted of my sin and knew I was going to hell? And when did God by faith come into my life through his grace to show me that he was the only way to save me. When did that happen? For someone that's saved that's not a hard question. Now you may not know the exact date. You may not know the exact time.  I'm not talking about an experience here. I'm talking about the fact that if you were dead and now you're alive, you would know the difference. That's what I'm talking about. That's the gospel.

In Sardis the gospel wasn't being preached. They're doing a lot of activity. They're doing a lot of religious things but Jesus isn't being exalted. The God man Jesus is not being celebrated. And if you don't believe that like what do you have to worship? What are you celebrating? Why are you reading the scriptures? Why would you pray to God if he's not even alive? It's only through the gospel that any of these things matter.

Listen to me, Brave Church. Listen to me if you're here today. If you can't answer that question as to when you went from death to life, why not make today the day? Why not make right now your time where you recognize I've been separated from you, Jesus but I need to turn to you. And by faith, I believe in you with my whole heart. That's the Gospel.

And friends people that pedal the gospel that pedal it wrong, that never talk about sin, righteousness and judgment. That talk about Jesus is just a benevolent God that's out there. That's gonna make your life better now and that's all there is. That is a false gospel that does not save. It will not save you. Well, I believe in Jesus. So does the devil. So what?

What do you believe Jesus for? I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for all my sins and rose from the dead in victory and he's my Lord. And I wanna give up everything I have to serve him. That's salvation. Does that mean I live perfectly from that moment on? Nope, I'm a living testimony that that's not true. But is there a desire to grow in obedience to Christ? Absolutely. Absolutely.

Friends here's the question, in our church just because you're around people that are saved, doesn't mean that you are too? When did you come alive? When did Christ make you alive? Hey, here's the challenge. He says, remember what you received? Otherwise he says, "Therefore if you do not wake up I will come to you like a thief and you will not know what hour I come to you." He says, if you're not saved you're gonna think you're living life just like in the days of Noah where everybody was being given in marriage and living their life up until the day that the door on the Ark was and God's judgment came and it was too late.

If you're not living for Christ, there will come a day for you when the day is too late, either you'll be dead in this life or Jesus Christ will come back before you get a chance to repent. Friends in time and space this is the time for you to turn from your sin and give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Because when He comes, He's coming fast. And when He's come, He's coming authoritatively. And when He comes, He's coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and you will want to be ready for Him. I'm just telling you as your pastor because I love you. Says remember, obey, repent.

He says this, I love verse four. "But you have a few people in Sardis. There's a few in the congregation. You have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments and they will walk with me in white for they are worthy." In other words, even in the middle of this dead church there's still some that are saved there.

Isn't it interesting to know that sometimes we look at dead churches and we say, why don't they close their doors, they're dead. Why don't they go to a life giving church? Here's why, because sometimes God places people who are alive in dead churches so that they can start to live for Christ and wake up so the church can be a reawakened as well. It's pretty easy to look at people that are going to a dead church and like, why do you go there? Why don't you go somewhere where there's worship and preaching and evangelism and prayer and life and service. And the answer may be because God may have you where he has you to give honor and praise to God. But if you find that you can't wake up in that place, run from that place because if Jesus isn't there, there's no reason to go to that place either.

And I can tell you having been an itinerant evangelist and traveling all over the world I mean, there were times I'm preaching churches of thousands. There are times I preach in churches of tens. And I remember preaching at church one time I had 24 people and as I was preaching, I mean, five of the 24 were asleep. Nobody was looking at me. And as I was preaching, I remember thinking as I was preaching, this is a waste of time. Like, why am I doing this? I mean, I'm kinda wanting to end this message. And I'll never forget walking out and it was one of those smaller churches where you shake hands with the pastor on the way out the door. And this guy came out in his '80s and shook my hand with kinda tears in his eyes I could tell was from his heart. And he said, thank you for the message, that was awesome. And I thought To myself, God, you have remnants in every single church that love you. He really does.

Here's what When the church truly dies when the Holy spirit leaves the church. When there are no more saved people in the church and there are plenty of those churches in our culture too. But even in some of those, there could be remnants of Christians that just haven't been disciple. Haven't been grown, right? Our job is to encourage people to grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and let him do the work for what he wants to do in the churches.

And here's what he promises to those who are believers. Notice what he says in verse five. "He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments." Remember what we talked about over comers? Who are the over comers? 1John 5:5, "Who is the one who overcomes the world but he who believes Jesus is the son of God." He who believes that Jesus Christ is Lord is an over comer. If you believe in the Lordship of Christ you are in over comer, you will be an overcomer. And here's what he says to the overcomers. You'll walk in white. Now what's the significance of that? White symbolizes purity. White symbolizes righteousness. To be robed in white, to be robed in righteous is to get ready for the wedding supper of the lamb.

It'd be similar today guys. You put on a tuxedo for the wedding. It's putting on those kinds of clothes. And those who trust in Jesus will be dressed appropriately for what's to come. He's the one who makes us righteous. He's the one who gives us purity. He's the one who does all the work. What else does he say? He says, "And I will not erase his name from the book of life. And I will confess his name before my father and before his angels.

Let's talk about the last part then we'll look at the middle part. What does it mean that he will confess His name before my father and before His angels? It means that the Lord Jesus Christ is gonna take every single believer and present you faultless before your father in heaven. I mean, you think about your life. You think about the struggles you have. You think about the sin that's going on. You think about these things that can't quite change. You think about the things you're wrestling with but the moment you die, the moment Jesus Christ sees you you're transformed into his glorious image. He's gonna present you before his father.

Two of my favorite verses in the new Testament are about a page back in your Bible in the book of Jude, 24 and 25 He says this, "Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory blameless with great joy to the only God, our savior through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, dominion and authority before all time and now and forever, amen." He's able. I mean, think about Jesus. What's he able to do to? To take you in your state where you're still being sanctified where you're not totally right and to present you blameless before the father with exceedingly great joy, proclaiming your name. I mean, this is my son. This is Jeff. This is who he is. And he's perfect. Look what I did, dad, I made him perfect. I mean, can you imagine what that's going to be like to be presented for the father before the father? Perfect without spot, without wrinkle, without blemish where Jesus is excited with great joy to present you before his dad.

That's a promise to everybody who believes. Because I talked to Christian sometimes oh man, I get to heaven. I'm I bragging to wait in the back for a little bit and wait until some other people come that I say, Hey, they're worse than me. Now I'm ready to go, right? That's not Christianity. Christianity is, you've been perfected through the blood of Christ. And when you stand before your father in heaven Jesus presents you as perfect.

Now think about this text. He tells us three things in that verse that he's going to do in revelation chapter two in verse five. "You'll be clothed in white garments and he'll present you before His father and His angels." Now in the middle here's what it says. He says, "And I will not erase his name from the book of life." Some people read that and they are okay, oh no. Can I lose my salvation? Am I gonna be erased from the book of life? I don't wanna be erased from the book of life.

Now, here's the context. The context is of believers, of overcomers. If you're an overcomer, you will be robed in white. If you are an overcomer, what does he say here at the end? He says if you're an over comer in that verse, he says that... He says that you will be confessed before his father in heaven. You're wearing white. You confess before his father in heaven. What else will he make sure of? If you are a believer he will never erase your name from the book of life. You're his for all eternity. He doesn't say, if you don't believe that I will erase it. He doesn't say this. He's saying, hey, I will never ever erase your name from the book of life, ever. Is that good news this morning or what?

It means if you're a believer in Christ you're his and you're his for eternity. He'll never take your name off the books. He'll he'll never remove you. In Sardis when you died they took your name off the books. You are no longer a resident. You no longer voted. You no longer did those things, right? But Jesus says, when you die, I'm not taking your name out. As a matter of fact, I'm gonna recognize your name and I'm gonna present you faultless before my father who's in heaven. How awesome is that? That's what the Lord Jesus Christ will do. It's a promise to all of us who believe.

And then he goes on to say this, "He who has an ear let him hear what the spirit says to the churches." Here's what he's saying. He's saying, if you belong to me no one can snatch you out of my hand. He's saying, if you belong to me I've already made a deposit guaranteeing your inheritance in the saints. If you belong to me, you're gonna be robed in white and you're gonna walk with me. If you belong to me I'll never take your name out of the book of life. If you belong to me I will confess you before my father and His angels. If you belong to me you're mine you're mine, nobody can take you away.

I mean, how secure is that? Isn't it great to know that my relationship is built upon Jesus Christ and not upon what I do with him. It's what he's done for me. I mean, in the book of Romans chapter eight and verse 37 and following where it talks about being an over comer. I love this verse. Let this word sink into you this morning. Here's what the Lord Jesus Christ says through the apostle Paul. In Romans chapter eight, verse 37. He says this, "But in all things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us."

Why are we overwhelming conquerors? Because of Jesus Christ. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height, nor depth nor any other created thing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord." You know what he says, what can separate you from God's love? Tell me what can? Nothing, nothing in all creation unless I'm, I look you were created and I was created, we can't even separate ourselves from the love of God. Our sin can't separate us from the love of God. When you belong to God, you're God's. He promises to clothe you in His righteousness. He promises he'll never blot you out of his book. He promises that He will confess you with great joy before His father in heaven. Those are promises from the Lord. In that awesome this morning?

And He's telling the church in Sardis, you're dead but there's a remnant in you that needs to wake up and start living for this. Otherwise I'm gonna come and I'm gonna come quickly and I'm gonna come in an hour you don't expect. Said for dead churches. Quit the ritual, the routine, the liturgy and all those things. Quit your independence and go back to the basics and be centered upon me in all you do. Then we've heard about the dependent church. As opposed to the dead independent church we hear about the dependent church. And this was a church that was perceived as weak but it was very powerful in faith.

And here's the lesson we can learn from the church in Philadelphia. It's to continually trust Christ alone. Continue to trust Christ alone. Notice what He says, "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia," Philadelphia the city of brotherly love was an agricultural town. It was 28 miles Southeast of Sardis as we continue to come around. It sat on a fault line so there were continually earthquakes there. They had changed the name at one point to Neo-Caesarea for the new Caesar. And it was that name for a number of years. And here he writes to that church in that city where pagan worship was prevalent. He says this, "He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David who opens and no one will shut and who shuts and no one opens says this."

So God's speaking to this church. He's Holy and true. Is there any other Holy and true one? Is there anyone else who is perfect? Is there anyone else who's completely righteous. Is there anyone else who's completely true? No, it's the Lord Jesus Christ. And how does he reveal himself? He reveals himself a little different than anything we've seen so far. He reveals himself as the one who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut and shuts and no one will open.

What's a key? We saw that Jesus had the key to death and Hades. what's key? A key gives us access and gives us the authority to someplace that we wouldn't otherwise have access and authority to, right. I have a key to my office. That key allows me to go in and out as I please. It allows me to let people in or keep people out based upon whether I want them or not.

So my kids after service regularly asked me, dad I need your keys. I need your keys, 'cause what are they saying? Dad, I want to go into your office. I wanna eat your food. I wanna drink your drinks. I wanna do what I wanna do, I want access. I want authority, right? That's what a key does.

What's the key of David. The key of David is the Messianic kingdom who has authority over the kingdom that's coming, the Lord Jesus Christ. He's all authoritative. He can open a door and bring in whoever He wants through the gospel. And He can shut that door and keep out whoever He wants. And when Jesus says it's open is open. And when Jesus says it's shut it's shut. He's the King of Kings. He's the Lord of Lords. He has all authority over heaven and earth. That's what He's talking about. He's Holy, He's true. And He has all authority.

So now He writes to the church in Philadelphia And He's gonna talk to them about their needs. And one thing that's gonna be really interesting when He talks to them about their deeds. This is one of two churches. We already studied the church in Smyrna. The church in Philadelphia he also does not mention any weaknesses. I find it interesting that the church in Smyrna was going through trial and tribulation and there was no weakness there. And I find that the church in Philadelphia that is hanging onto him and trusting him and all they do, they have no challenges either.

One point of note, just thinking back to Sardis it's interesting that the church in Sardis wasn't facing any persecution in it. I mean it's one of the few churches there is no persecution. Do you know why there's no persecution? Because there's no Jesus.

Churches that aren't living for Jesus don't experience persecution. What's there to come against? The devil's already got you under his thumb, right? It's the churches that are living for Christ. The Bible says anyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. It's a guarantee if in your life, you decide to live out the mandates of the gospel in all aspects. Some of you if you do that in your family, there's gonna be some persecution. Some of you if you do that with your friends there's gonna be persecution. Some of you if you do that in school, there's gonna be pushback and persecution. Some of you if you do that in your work, there's gonna be pushback and persecution. Some of you if you do that with your neighbors there's gonna be pushback and persecution, right?

But if you don't live for the Lord, nobody really cares. I go to that church. I'm cool with that church, they're nice. They don't make me feel bad about my sin. They don't make me tell people that Jesus is the only way. They're not all about Him and Him alone. They're not so exclusive. And while Jesus is exclusive to the gospel, He's inclusive to anyone who would want Him, right? No persecution in Sardis 'cause there's no Jesus going on.

But listen to what's going on in Philadelphia. He speaks to them and he says, "I know your deeds. Behold I have put before you an open door, which no one can shut." Now, why does God Put an open door before Philadelphia? Because you have a little power and I've kept my word and have not denied my name.

Now understand this, in the gospel when the Lord opens the door for the gospel no one can ever shut that. When you trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sin he opens the door for you to go to heaven. That door is always gonna be open until the day that you walk into it. He will never ever never ever shut that door. If you've never trusted Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sin, there's a closed door. And that door will never ever never ever be opened unless on this side of heaven you repent and by faith turn your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ. Right?

But notice this, Jesus Christ is not only the one who gives us salvation. Jesus Christ is the one who provides opportunities. This faithful church in Philadelphia was experiencing opportunity in their city. And why were they experiencing opportunity? Why were they experiencing opportunity that Jesus was opening up for them that couldn't be shut down even by people that didn't like the church?

Here's what he says. because you have a little power. Isn't it interesting that Jesus doesn't say the reason I'm not gonna shut down your church. The reason I'm gonna open doors with you is because you have influential people and you have a lot of money and you have a lot of people and you know that's not what he says. He says you don't have a lot going on for you. Unlike Sardis, wherever you're staying that that church is going on. People will look at this church and be like, they're small. They're poor. They're nothing, I mean, they're just dependent. Here's what Jesus is saying, because you're dependent upon me I will open doors for you that can't be shut by anybody. I will open doors for the church that even people outside the church can't shut. If you're dependent upon me I'll do things greater than you can ever dare dream, ask or imagine, It's your dependence upon me that I'm responding to. And it's not just that there were little in power but they kept His word and have not denied His name.

Now think about this. When the apostle Paul was calling out to the Lord for him to give him some grace and ask him to remove some of the things that were difficult for himself. In 2nd Corinthians, chapter 12 in verse nine he gets the response from the Lord. The apostle Paul hears these words, "My grace is sufficient for you. See if you know, the end of the sentence. For power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." What's Paul boasting in? His weakness. For where I am weak there He is strong.

The more dependent that you are, the stronger the Lord is in your life. You say, well, how do I become weak? Continue to spend time in the presence of the Lord. John chapter 15 verse five. Jesus makes this comparison with vine and branches. He says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me will bear much fruit for apart from me you can do, say it.

- [Congregation] Nothing.

- Nothing. Churches that see God do incredible things actually believe that verse at face value. Churches that believe that don't think well it's because of our pastors. Because of our worship teams, because of our staff. It's because of our people. It's because of our resource no, it's because of the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone. That's is it. Nothing else matters.

If we have Jesus, we have everything. If we don't have Jesus, we have nothing.

And we can create an environment. It's possible in our culture to create an environment where people attend a religious service every week without Jesus. It's possible to create a church with good leadership, good storytelling, good music, good activity, good programs and no Jesus. And it's possible to create a church like that that actually grows numerically. Because they're happening all over the place. It doesn't mean that large churches aren't faithful churches. 'Cause some large churches are very faithful churches and some small churches aren't. And some small churches are very faithful churches and some large churches aren't.  Size doesn't matter when it comes to the faithfulness of the Lord.

But here's what he's saying, He's saying it's imperative that we're a dependent church upon the Lord Jesus Christ. How's your pro-life individually? How's your pro-life corporately? How are you depending upon the Lord for the decisions that you're gonna make in your life. He says you have a little strength. That means you're depending upon me. and where you're weak there, I am strong. And he says, "You've kept my word and have not denied my name." See the reality is for those who know the Lord Jesus Christ, that he doesn't work in and through them.

You wanna know if you love Jesus, you keep his word. John 14 verses 23 and 24 Jesus said, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my father will love him. And we will come to him and make our abode with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words and the word which you hear is not mine but the father who sent me."

How do you know if you love Jesus? You'll obey his word. I mean, it's very objective. It's not a subjective thing. It's not an emotive. I love Jesus. How do you know? I'm just fired up about Him right now. Here's how you know. Do you keep his word? When God can convicts you do you do what he says or do you keep doing what you wanna do?

I mean, the church in Philadelphia was being blessed by God because why? They kept his word. They kept his reputation. They were depending upon the Lord. And because of that, the Lord was opening doors for them that no one could shut. Notice what else God was doing. God was doing so many amazing things. Let me just pause here.

When we planted this church my heart was to be a pastor that grew up disciples to send to people all over the world, to send people all over our city, to send people all of our community, to reach more people for Jesus. I still want that, but I don't want it based upon our earthly plans that we're dictating to God and telling him what we need to do. I want it based upon our dependents trusting the Lord for what he wants to do in and through us.

And can I just say this on record? I love this church. I see a growing dependence upon Jesus and people's personally I've realized. I see a growing dependence upon Jesus. I left 1st Tuesday this week and was driving home thinking just filled up with the spirit saying to the Lord, Lord, thank you for letting me pastor a church like this where hundreds of people, several hundreds of people will gather one time a month on the first Tuesday of every month to seek the Lord and demonstrate our dependence and worship His name. I love that about our church and that dependence is continuing to grow.

On Thursday night we had it an organic prayer meeting of about 40 guys that met here for two and a half hours. And we just sought the face of the Lord. And I drove home at about 11 o'clock on Thursday night saying, Lord, this is awesome. If we could do anything in our church to grow dependence upon the Lord, it would be a prayer ministry. And I'm telling you as your pastor I want us to continue to grow and continue to grow and continue to grow and continue to grow in our ability to seek the Lord and depend upon Him. Because if you know the word and you're dependent upon the Lord everything else falls off the bone from there, right?

And I'm just honored that the Lord is growing us in this. And I find the more I pray the more I realize I don't know about prayer. I find the more that I worship, I'm just kind of dipping my toe in the big ocean of worship and prayer and I have so much more room to grow. But I'm watching God give us testimonies of people that see His love. I'm watching God save people. I'm watching God heal people. I'm watching God do things that has nothing to do with anybody. It has everything to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. And we're growing in our dependence.

And notice what He says, Not only is He opening doors that no one can shut He's gonna protect us from our enemies. I love verse nine. He says, "Behold I will cause those at the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not but lie."

Remember we've talked about them already. The Jewish people in the first century who were unwilling to convert to Christianity who were saying, no we don't believe Jesus is the Messiah. We just wanna keep our Orthodox. Judaism we're not gonna submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ. But we're the real religion and those Christians are wrong.

He's talking about groups of people that would come against the true gospel and say bad things about the Lord Jesus Christ. You go to a church like that. That's a fundamentalist church. They're so old fashioned. They really believe all the Bible. I mean, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  Here's what he says that he will do with people like that, that come against the true church. Notice what he says. "I will make them come and bow down at your feet and make them know that I have loved you."

Now when I read that, that gives me awesome comfort. And here's why. Because on this side of heaven our goal is not to seek vindication. Our goal is to call out for mercy and ask God to teach us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. That's our goal on this side of heaven, right? Our goal is not to seek revenge. Our goal is not to go after people. Our goal is not say, God go get them. Our goal in our heart is to see people say, amen. Do you agree with that?

- [Congregation] Yes.

- Half of you agree with that. Do you agree with that? That's our heart. That's what we're agreeing to. So even people that persecute us mean to us, well God save them. They don't know what they're doing. They don't have a relationship but you want them to come into faith.

But here's what God says, for those who don't trust me, one day they'll know. I mean, the Bible says that the presence of Jesus, every knee will bow every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. people going to come bow before Jesus. But won't it be cool when you're standing next to Jesus and He's got His arm around you like, yeah you made fun of Him. That's my boy. That's my boy Jeff. He was totally right. Remember when you mocked a memory set all those things about he's my boy, I love him. In that cool to know, God will vindicate that? God will make the wrongs, right.

It also tells me this. I better make sure I make all my wrongs right. That I'm aware of before I do that because I realize God loves everybody. And I don't wanna enter heaven with unforgiveness in my heart. I want to make sure that right. And then he says this, "Because you have kept the word of my perseverance. He says, I also will keep you from the hour of testing that hour which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth."

Now here's what I want you to do. I want you in your Bible to put an asterisk by this verse, Revelation 3:10. We're gonna come back to it. This is the first hint as to what God is going to do. He says, he's going to keep this church from the hour of testing because they've kept his word. So here's a church that loves God. Here's a church that's keeping his word. And here's the promise in the book. I will keep you from the hour of testing.

Now different people read it different ways and we're gonna get into it when we get to some of the timeframes and things that God promises. Some people read that and say, that's a hint at the rapture. Here's what God's gonna do. He's gonna take the entire church out of the world. He's gonna keep us from the tribulation that's coming on the whole earth for a period of time. Other people read that same verse and here's what they say, no, He's not taking us out of the world, but He's gonna protect us in the world from some of the harms that we're gonna see much like when Israel was protected as God poured out the 10 plagues upon Egypt. He's gonna keep us from that.

Now we're not gonna get into that today. We will I'll make arguments from both sides so that you can see this way and this way and then you'll hear my way and know what the right way is. And we'll be all good from there, right? But the point today what I want you to see is that God's gonna protect you. See a lot of times when we begin to study the book of revelation and you see all the evil crazy things that are coming which we're gonna address. There's a lot of people that get scared in their heart. Like I don't want to get into that. I'm totally terrified. What if, what if, what if

here's what you can know about your God. He loves you and He's gonna guard you and He's gonna protect you from the evil that's gonna come on the world. That's what He does, right. So we'll talk about that but I want you to put an asterisk by that verse because we will come back and visit that as we lay out a case for what we believe that the word of God is speaking. And we'll look at it from some different perspectives so that you can choose what you believe.

But I find it interesting that God says, I'm gonna protect you. I'm gonna keep you from that. I'm gonna take you from them as the testing comes upon the whole earth. And notice what He says in verse 11, "I'm coming quickly. Hold fast what you have so that no one will take your crown."

See if the gospel is just God's blessing in my life I really have nothing to hold on to. I'm just trying to hold onto blessing. If the gospel is the Lord Jesus Christ who saved me from the penalty of my sin, freed me from the power of sin and is the one that's gonna deliver me from the presence of sin someday, what am I hanging on to? I'm holding fast or I'm seizing the person of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, I'm not letting go no matter what. That's what it looks like.  It means In this world there's gonna be Hills and valleys and difficult things. Just keep hanging on to Jesus. It doesn't mean He's ever gonna let go of you cause He's never gonna let go of you but just hang on to him too.

I have three children. My youngest one is my Daredevil by far. No doubt about it. We, my kids love going to Disney World, right? I mean, they love roller coasters every year that I've gone to Disney, because my grandma lives in Orlando. My aunt and uncle live in Orlando. We end up going to Orlando all the time. And every year we go to Disney for like the 300 millionth time, I say at the end of the vacation that's the last time I'm ever going to Disney World ever, right? And then we go the next year. And so this last time we went about a year and a half ago I didn't say it. Because I'm like, if I say it we're gonna be coming back anyway. And then Corona virus hit and we couldn't go. It was awesome, right.

But when we go down to Disney, there's one of these roller coasters at one of the parks that my kids like doing, which goes forward and backwards and it's high. And my youngest one loves it. I mean, the huge smile on her face and all this kind of stuff. But what I'll tell her is like, cause I know I got her. She's not going anywhere and it's safe, but I'm like, hang on. Like hang on. This is gonna go up and down and backwards and everywhere. And she's just smiling but she's hanging on.

When you know that Jesus Christ is Lord over your life and you're hanging on to Him, you can go through about anything 'cause you know He's not leaving you or forsaking you. And it doesn't matter which way the rollercoaster goes. You're hanging onto the one that's taking you all the way home and glory, amen. That's what he's saying. He's saying hold fast so that you don't lose your crown. Your crown is a crown of victory, is crown of life that is promised to those who love him.

And then he makes this challenge. "He who overcomes," we've already talked about the over comers. "I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God and he will not go out from it anymore. And I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven from my God and my new name."

Now it's interesting in a city that was a prone to earthquakes where all buildings around you were crumbling. Here's what Jesus says. You'll be a pillar in my temple. You'll never crumble in my temple. You're part of the living stones that I'm gonna use to build my eternal temple and it isn't going anywhere. And we read about the new heavens and the new earth in revelation chapter 21. They're gonna descend upon the earth like a bride, right? It's gonna be incredibly awesome. And here's what God says. You get to be a part of that. I'll write my name on you.

And he talks about the name of the new city the New Jerusalem, interesting in that culture in Philadelphia where they named it, Neo-Caesarea the new Caesar where we're gonna give worship to Caesar again, just like I'm gonna tell you about my name. It's the New Jerusalem. And in that city, I'm the King of Kings and I'm the Lord of Lords. I'm putting my name all over you. So hang fast and hold fast. No matter what happens outside the church or inside the church.

And then he says, "He who has an ear let him hear what the spirit says to the churches." What's he telling us? He's asking us are we a dependent group? That's relying and trusting on the Lord Jesus Christ to open doors that no one else can open or are we relying on ourselves to do a religious activity?

Friends I wanna rely on the Lord to do things that when He does things in and through our church, that we're able to say, Whoa like that had nothing to do with us. That's Jesus. I already know of some things that are brewing and I'm not able to talk about, but I know it's Jesus if that things ever happen, right. God is at work when His people are dependent upon Him. I wanna see more of God and less of us, right?

John the Baptist said what? He must increase, We must, I must decrease. That's spiritual life. That's growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And I look forward Brave Church to one day if we can remain that type of people that continue to grow in His grace, where when we all get to heaven and He taps us on the shoulder and shows us around as to all of the things He was able to accomplish through each and every one of us that our jaw would drop saying, Holy God, how in the world did you do any of that? And he goes, I did it all 'cause you were dependent upon me. I'm the one who gets the glory.

When I read these two churches, like I read every other one, here's what Jesus is saying. Let me be central in everything you do. Let me be the Lord in all you do. Continue to grow in your dependence upon me. Don't grow on your independence. Continue to trust me more. Continuing to rely upon the people in the body more. Know that you need each other to accomplish what I want. Let me do a work in and through you that only I can accomplish.

And friends, if you don't have a relationship with Him today's your day. And if you have a relationship with Him it's an encouragement for us to grow in His knowledge and grace, to become more dependent upon Him so that we can have our spiritual eyes opened. And we can see more of the majestic things that he wants to do in and through each and every one of us and among us. Brave Church, we're a great church. We're not a great church because of anybody who's here. We're a great church because of our great God the Lord Jesus Christ who is celebrated and honored in this place, amen.   So let us just continue to let Him be the Lord of all things.

Would you stand with me as we pray. Lord Jesus We give you all the glory and honor and praise for who you are. Lord we believe that you're the God who revives our heart, who makes us right so that you can work in and through us to advance your kingdom through your church in this world. If you're here today and you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior or you just believe some false idea that you were supposed to just do some religious act but you realize today you're dead in your sins. You realize today that you're separated from Christ and you need a relationship with Him. Here's how you can pray, Lord Jesus I know I'm a sinner. I know I'm dead. I know I'm separated. but I believe you died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead and right now by faith I trust you and you alone to forgive me and to remove that penalty and to come into my life. And Holy Spirit as you enter the lives of those who are praying that prayer we pray they would never ever be the same.

And Lord for those of us who love you who know you, who wanna continue to grow in you, Lord protect us from the danger of thinking that we've gotten to a place in our walk where we're not really needing you as much anymore or that we don't need your church as much anymore. Lord the more we grow the more we need you and the more we need your church. Lord would you do works in and through Brave Church so we continue to play on campuses as your work continues to grow. That brings you great honor. That brings you brings great glory. Lord revive us and use us to spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ both here and around the world for your great name, the mighty name of Jesus. Amen and amen. Can we give God praise this morning.

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