We all have burdens to bear in this life. This was true for the first century Church and it’s true for us today. It would seem that burdens are part of the ride if you are a card carrying member of the human race. I love the words of Jesus when He appeals to His children regarding their burdens,
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle (meek) and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:29-30
- How many times have I found myself coming to Jesus with my burdens and my issues. As I peruse and pray over the requests that come in on our national chaplains’ prayer line, I am moved by the immense burdens that my brothers and sisters in Christ carry; the tragic loss, the pain and suffering they endure, the result of a fallen world and all that it entails. I am thankful that I don’t have to bear their burdens and yet, I bear my own that I am sure they are thankful they don’t have to bear as well.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that we are to ‘bear one another burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ’ in our bearing them. Sometimes I wonder if this concept of bearing with or helping to bear another’s burden’ has been lost in the NT Church.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken (caught) in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” – Galatians 6:1-3
- We must never see ourselves as better than others, rather, we must look out for others as the Lord enables and prompts us.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3,4
I am reminded of the words of Jesus when He addressed the first century church in Thyatira in Asia Minor. This church was as corrupt as it was lost and the words of Jesus to it (them) and any other corrupt church are as powerful as they are prophetic.
John the Revelator penned them this way,
“And to the angel (messenger, pastor) of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches (examines) the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.” – Revelation 2:18-23
- Briefly, a ‘Jezebeloc’ spirit is a spirit that is allowed to minister and influence with the approval of the governing authority within that church or system; in this case it was the pastor and the people. The body sometimes wants what it wants and will pressure the pastor to allow them to get what they want instead of the pastor leading that body in the things of the Lord. How true this is in too many churches today.
The result is sin, sexual immorality, adultery, eating things sacrificed to idols, which is basically indulging oneself with the pleasures of this world that are not fit or becoming for a believer.
What becomes of all of this is a church that allows for unrighteousness within its community and the blessing and sanctioning of it by the leadership. This church is not saved and as a result, will have to endure the tribulation, unless they repent.
Their offspring (children), are those who follow in such practices. They will also suffer as a result of the soiled behavior, example, and upbringing of their sinful parents (leaders). Sometimes this is so obvious that it’s not obvious. Any parent or leader that doesn’t train their children or followers in the ways of the Lord are already doing this; many of them don’t even know it, or worse, know it but don’t care.
John continues with the words of Jesus,
“Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ – Revelation 2:24-29
- The context infers that there are those who are part of this church, but who do not indulge themselves in her antics of sin and debauchery. These same will not be given another burden, but are instructed to hold fast, overcome, and keep the words of Jesus until the very end.
The reward is the millennial kingdom when Jesus will rule with a rod (scepter) of iron and any resistors will be ‘dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels.’ This speaks of the overcomers being spared from the judgment that is to come . It also speaks to the unrighteous ones who will be judged, these are those who have embraced the devil’s deception and lifestyle of sin. In context, it pertains to the Judgment of the Nations, which occurs just after the tribulation and prior to the millennial reign.
While this is not an in-depth study on this church so much as it is a brief depiction of how the Lord will not overburden His people who are struggling through and enduring the pressures and burdens of this world. We are burdened with the struggles in this life. We are also blessed with the many things that God has given to us. We recognize our need to be good stewards of what the Lord has entrusted into our care, both things and people, and we understand that we will give an account of all of it in the end.
This being said, we must endure, bear our burden, help others to bear their burdens when prompted to do so, and keep ourselves from acting like the person we were before we were saved by grace through faith in Jesus.
Paul said it this way,
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
- The idea of ‘no other burden’ being placed upon me is a comfort as well as a promise as I endure through this life and all of its frailties. While I am convinced that the leadership of this nation has lost its mind and is leading us into a path of debauchery and destruction, I am also aware of another group of people, the NT Church, who is looking for a kingdom whose Builder and Maker is God.
Until that glorious day when we are finally united with all those who have loved the Lord’s appearing, we will be faithful to God’s Word and the commission written therein to bear one another’s burdens and to help those that the Lord has entrusted into our care, beginning with our family.
Can someone please help me move into my new house today?