"I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things."
- Revelation 2:19
Ruth Graham once said, "The definition of a bore is someone who, when asked how they are feeling, will actually tell you."
Some people love to talk about their latest aches and pains and what is wrong with them. I am not one of those people. I am the kind of person who doesn't want to go to the doctor. I don't want to admit that I am sick. But sometimes, when the symptoms become too strong, I need to go. I need to find out what is wrong.
In Revelation 2, Jesus addressed a very spiritually sick church in a place called Thyatira. What is amazing about this church is they started well, but then they went into decline. But before correcting them, the Lord commended them: "I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things" (verse 19).
What was impressive about this church is they were growing, and there was more growth than there was in the beginning. That was good. But our best days should not be behind us, they should be in front of us. The problem is that some people live in the past.
A lapse was taking place in the church at Thyatira. Compromise had set in. And the moment you begin to neglect your growth, you will contribute to your decline.
How does a church die? The same way some people do. It starts with an unusual ache or pain. One thing leads to another, and things get worse with each passing day. Then one day, they find themselves on their deathbed.
A church dies through the process of getting sicker and sicker spiritually. And spiritual sickness, untreated, can lead to spiritual death.