Convenience Vs. Commitment: Revelation 1.10

Posted: May 12, 2010 in Lessons From Scripture, Revelation
Tags: , , , , ,

Revelation 1.10a says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…”

The Apostle John was an old man when he wrote the book Revelation. Most scholars agree that the book of Revelation was penned somewhere right around A.D. 96. With this in mind we can assume that if John was 20ish when Christ called him to follow him around A.D. 27 or A.D. 30. If this is the case John was an old man when he was sent to Patmos.

Patmos where John was sent was not an island resort. Patmos is a barren, volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, at its longest point it was about 10 miles long and 5-6 miles wide, and located some 40 miles offshore. According to the Roman historian Tacitus, exile to such islands was a common form of punishment in the first century. It is believed that those sent were not simply marooned but were put to work in harsh conditions. Emperor Domitian is said have exiled his own niece to another island for a reason that was politically motivated.

John was also living knowing that his closest friends had been murdered for their stance on Christ. He was segregated from other believers and probably suffered much mental anguish.

So here we find John: friendless, old, exhausted, enduring slave labor, harsh conditions, second rate food and probably not an overly comfortable. He had given his life to Christ and this is how he ended up. He had probable cause to become bitter and disillusioned or at least we might assume this. After all he had taken Jesus’ mother in as his own mother and this is how he gets repayed.

Yet John does not focus on his condition or frustrations when Sunday morning roles along. He sets aside time to spend with the Lord. Revelation 1.10 says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” Now we could debate what it means to be in the Spirit but that is not my intent. My intent is to show that John was focused on the Lord and had purposed to set aside time to spend with his Lord on the Lord’s Day. What an example!

Consider the early church…

In the first century Jewish believers worshiped on a work day. The Jews Sabbath falls on a Saturday and this is the day that all society paused and focused on Jehovah. Yet with the believers worship occurred on the first day of the week: the day Christ conquered sin and death.

Because Sabbath had already occurred, the Jewish people went back to work on Sunday. As a result the Jewish believers met early before the markets were open and the fields needed to be plowed. Most likely they met even before the sun began to rise. They became known a cult to many as they were said to meet in secret in the dark and sing strange songs and some claimed they embraced cannibalism because of their apparent obsession with eating the body and the blood (communion).

My point is this: convenience was not an option for the early church. They were tired and became social outcasts: yet they worshipped. John was tired, old, and not really accountable to other Christians to worship (he was in exile). Yet John worshipped.

Worship for John and many early church believers was a matter of commitment not convenience. I wonder how many Christians in modern day America would actually go to church if the only service was offered at 5 AM on a work day. After all people sleep in and miss church every Sunday. They skip for sporting events, hunting, and the list goes on.

So let me end with this question. Which word best describes your worship experience; commitment or convenience?

  1. debbie says:

    Good point!!


  2. Robin Morse says:

    Commitment and I hope it will always be! I can not wait for Sunday morning!


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