Some pretty interesting things happened during our second Sunday of the NUMB3RS series yesterday.
James-Michael Smith’s video intro was classic. Take a look:
It’s hard not to be inspired to preach well after that. Except at the 8:30 service I struggled. As a lot of you know, I preach without notes (some time I’ll blog about how that happens) and my mind just left me a few times. I had so much I wanted to say but kept forgetting how to get there. So imagine my surprise when after that service someone told me it was my best talk in her four years of coming here.
The 10:00 and 11:30 sermons went much better and through it all I believe the church learned some important things from Revelation 13:
- The person who has the number 666 is most likely the Emperor Nero, a Roman ruler who had this annoying habit of killing Christians in the first century.
- The churches receiving the letter would have known exactly who John was referring to with 666 and the mark of the beast. And they would also have known that he was encouraging not to compromise in the face of persecution and deception.
- The spirit of 666 is the spirit of compromise — whenever we are tempted to compromise our beliefs so that life may be easier, we are succumbing to the spirit of 666. We saw that with German pastors who didn’t stand up to the Nazi movement in the years before World War II and with American pastors who failed to support the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. And we see it today when local churches make decisions based on who they want to keep rather than who they want to reach.
I don’t ever want to be part of a 666 church.
Tomorrow, I’m going to post on some of most common mistakes people make with Revelation . . .