2018 Theme - "The One Who Conquers"
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
– Revelation 1:10-11
Our theme this year comes from Christ’s letters to the seven churches of Asia at the beginning of the book of Revelation. In these letters, Christ is fully aware of everything that transpires within each church. He compliments the good and admonishes the evil. Then he ends each letter with a phrase of motivation and hope, “To the one who conquers.”
What would Christ write to the church in Martinez? What would he notice that we overlook? In this year’s theme we’re going to learn to see the church more like Christ sees it. We’re going to discover that our decisions are a part of an intense spiritual conflict, with dangers looming on every side. Through Christ’s letters, we’re going to learn to identify these dangers and prepare to confront them in battle. This year’s theme will equip us to become the strong, battle-ready church that Christ intends us to be.
We’re going to be conquerors.
On Sunday mornings we’ll look at Christ’s letters to the 7 churches, focusing on five keys to conquering.
February – March
Conquering with Zeal
Sardis had a reputation for being alive, but they were actually dead. Christ called them to wake up. As we examine Sardis, we’ll discuss what causes a church to die spiritually and how Christians can stay spiritually awake.
Laodicea was neither hot nor cold. We will discuss the dangers of becoming lukewarm.
April - May
Conquering with Purity
The most notorious villainess of the Old Testament was the wicked Queen Jezebel. What would happen if Jezebel was a member of a church? That’s what happened in Thyatira. Satan wages war on us from many directions. This defense training will help us keep out of Satan’s clutches.
June - July
Conquering with Love
The church in Ephesus had a lot of good works, they kept false teaching out, and they were patient under trials. There was just one thing missing – love. Although they were serving God, somehow they had lost their love for him. We’ll study what it means to love God, how we can lose that love, and what we can do to renew it.
August – September
Conquering with Truth
Pergamum had a false teaching problem. Christ exposed the false teaching and called for repentance. As we look at Pergamum we will concentrate on the need for truth and the dangers of error.
October - November
Conquering with Patience
The Christians in Smyrna were in the midst of excruciating trials. We’re going to look at how we can patiently endure trials and come out as conquerors.
The church in Philadelphia had only a little power. Yet they kept God’s word and they endured. We’re going to talk about how to conquer when we feel weak and powerless.
Beginning part way through the year, we will have a Sunday evening study of Revelation. Every other Sunday evening Philip Williams will teach a class on the book of Revelation.
Revelation is one of the most intriguing books of the entire Bible. It has baffled, inspired, and motivated Christians for centuries. The message of the book is veiled behind a series of strange symbols and terrifying creatures. We’re going to unlock the message by seeing what it meant to the original readers and what lessons it holds for us today. We’ll watch Christ’s wage war against evil and see his glorious triumph over Satan. Together we’ll learn to be conquerors!