“…Then every church will know that appearances don’t impress me. I x-ray every motive and make sure you get what’s coming to you”-Rev 3:23b(MSG)

As a medical doctor,I often meet patients that demand for certain tests to be carried out on them because they are worried about their health.They do this even before I assess them to know if they need the tests or not.

‘Doctor I am worried about this cough,can I have an X-ray done to know what is going on in my lungs?’

If we are so worried about our physical bodies,how much more our spiritual condition.

Is something wrong with my spiritual life?

Am I okay spiritually?

Is the church of God sick or healthy?

Is everything alright with the body of Christ?

If you are not satisfied,then we can all ask the Great Physician to X-ray our hearts and mind and see if there is a problem there.

The Great Physician opened the eyes of John in the Island of Patmos to see the X-ray of the seven Churches in Asia.

It showed two major categories:

The ‘healthy’ but sick Church

The ‘sick’ but healthy Church

Some of the churches were doing good externally(‘healthy’) ,but there was an ongoing rottenness internally(sick).Others,humanly speaking,were doing bad on the surface(‘sick’),but they were healthy inside.

I will further sub divide the two categories into seven:

1)Impermissive of impostors but not progressing in love- Ephesus Church

2)Progressing but permissive of wrong doctrines- Thyatira Church

3)Persecuted but permissive of impostors/corrupt doctrines- Pergamum Church

4)Alive but dead-Sardis Church

5)Rich but poor-Laodicea Church

6)Poor but rich -Smyrna Church

7)Weak but strong-Philadelphia Church

1 to 5 represents the 'healthy' but sick Church while 6-7 represents the 'sick' but healthy Church.

Let’s look at the X-ray of these churches one by one:

1)Impermissive of impostors but not progressing in love- Ephesus Church

This Church promoted holiness and sound doctrine.They prevented the sheep from being exposed to the false Apostles but unfortunately they sacrificed their first love in the process.

“I see what you’ve done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can’t stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out- Rev 2:2-3

“But you walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen? A Lucifer fall! -Rev 2:4-5

Those at the forefront of the reformation going on within the body of Christ need to beware of forgetting their first love in the process.Personal bible study,prayer,fasting etc should not be jettisoned while trying to resist a fake Apostle.Tend your garden first:

Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye- Matt 7:5

2)Progressing but permissive of wrong doctrines- Thyatira Church

They were making waves in all indices.God was impressed by their works except that they permitted certain doctrines in the process of being open-minded.

“I see everything you’re doing for me. Impressive! The love and the faith, the service and persistence. Yes, very impressive! You get better at it every day- Rev 2:19

“But why do you let that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet mislead my dear servants into Cross-denying, self-indulging religion?- Rev 2:20a

The more we want to increase the number of people in our different denominations,the easier we might let down our guard to acccommodate certain men and women of questionable characters that may put us in trouble.

3)Persecuted but permissive of impostors/corrupt doctrines- Pergamum Church

One would have thought a church like this would be above board in the presence of God.However,the X-ray of their activities came out with a bad prognosis:

 “I see where you live, right under the shadow of Satan’s throne. But you continue boldly in my Name; you never once denied my Name, even when the pressure was worst, when they martyred Antipas, my witness who stayed faithful to me on Satan’s turf-Rev 2:13

“But why do you indulge that Balaam crowd? Don’t you remember that Balaam was an enemy agent, seducing Balak and sabotaging Israel’s holy pilgrimage by throwing unholy parties? And why do you put up with the Nicolaitans, who do the same thing?- Rev 2:14-15

4)Alive but dead-Sardis Church

The church in Sardis must have been one of the churches full of so many colourful activities in those days.They must have been one of the popular churches in town full of youthful exuberances.Let’s check out their X-ray report:

“I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead”- Rev 3:1

 “Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there’s life in you yet. But I wouldn’t know it by looking at your busywork; nothing of God’s work has been completed. Your condition is desperate. Think of the gift you once had in your hands, the Message you heard with your ears—grasp it again and turn back to God vs 2-3

Are you encumbered with many activities,jumping from one activity to another?

God says: ‘Calm down,I am not carried away by your various activities because you can deceive people that you are working for me without having a relationship with me.But you can’t have a true relationship with me without it resulting into my work.So secure the relationship first!’

To be continued…