“I know all the things you do.” (Revelation 2: 2, 9, 13, 19 & 3: 1,8, 15)
“And all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.” (Revelation 2:23)
In another part of Scripture, it says that ‘nothing is hidden from Him’. How little do we realise what this means. If we were to step back every time we were to do something and think about just this, that He sees all and knows all. You think that perhaps you can sneak past a little mischief? You say, God won’t see and even if He does, He is not interested?
God’s judgement awaits those who take this lightly, for God ‘gives to each of us whatever we deserve.’ In Revelation, when Christ speaks to the seven churches, we get a picture of this judgement. Every time He speaks, He starts with ‘I know’. He knows exactly what we are up to and so judges accordingly. Even in this, His Grace is overwhelming and undeserved. Let us look at three different people He deals with.
Taking an example from Thyatira, ‘I gave her time to repent, but she would not turn away from her immorality. Therefore, I will throw her upon a sickbed, and she will suffer greatly….’ There are those who refuse to acknowledge God. They follow their own selfish motives and lead sinful lives. Some of the churches described had people of this sort. Every time, He fights against them.
Do you want to fight against a God that will always win? That will, in His righteousness, sentence you to suffering for eternity? Yet even then, listen to His words, ‘I gave her time to repent’. We still after all this have a God of Grace that gives us time to acknowledge Him. Beware that you do not get called one of these, like a Nicolaitan, or a Balaam, or a Jezebel. Such names describe evil people of the past who received their just reward.
Taking an example from Ephesus, ‘Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to me again and work as you did at first. If you don’t I will come and remove your lampstand’. There are those that know God but still have areas of sin in their lives. Who know God but live a life that does not echo the new life God has given. They are the people of ‘warning’, for God sees all they do and warns them against it.
He shows the right path to be following, we just have to heed the warning and take it. But who heeds His warning? We cannot know God and continue to lead sinful lives. Do not continue to rebel like the Israelites did in the desert. For God said this about them after refusing to do what He told them, ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’ And as the writer in the Hebrews comments, ‘we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to get there.’ Too often we as Christians sit in this place, with our hearts not right with God.
Taking an example from Philadelphia, ‘I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can shut.’ There are those that are ‘rich!’ Who have a relationship with God and have been faithful. No, they are not perfect as themselves. No one said that. But, they continually live in Christ who is perfect and because of this alone are given the ‘crown of life.’ Yes, we are still warned by God about the things we do wrong, but by His Grace we change and produce good fruit.
Often God warns us about the things to come and one thing we always know is that those who are His are called to suffer persecution. And always He encourages us to ‘remain faithful’ and to ‘hold unto what we have.’ His promise is to open the door that no one can shut. Read the words of promise God gives to all those who are victorious. For example, in speaking to Smyrna, He says, ‘Whoever is victorious will not be hurt by the second death.’ Let us yearn to be in the place of the victorious.
‘I know all things you do’, says the Lord. So we say with the Psalmist, ‘May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, Oh Lord.