John McCracken - Milltown II - First Meeting, 2001

Revelations 2-3, we see here how God thinks about things. It is like a midterm report card regarding the condition of the churches. 
Have you ever wondered how God REALLY Thinks and feels about our service
There are four things, which are important! 
Who is giving the grade: God is the one.  The one who is going to pass or fail us, this is important, not what our friends think. 
The words we speak. God comes for just about all of them! 
Whose report card is it? Mine, no one else's. 
We are individuals before God. Someday we will stand alone before Him. Those who influenced us will not stand with us. We will be judged on what happens with our body and in our body. I Corinthians 5:10, effort counts! Best is the only thing, which is acceptable! My dad wasn't so concerned about my grades, but he looked to see what my mark for effort was. 
God judges our effort!  The best that you have in your place and situation in life is what He wants. 
Subjects found on this report card are: 
a.         Love of God, 
b.         Enduring persecution, 
c.         True doctrine, 
d.         Godly morals, 
e.         The middle miles, 
f.          Going deeper, and 
g.         A firm stand  
1)         God knew they had left their first love, because He was there when they made their first choices. And God wasn't getting those feelings anymore. He was no longer in first place. 
It is terrible when love goes sour, and falls apart. Do you remember how fresh love was? 
A person wants to fix it, but what to do? If you don't make some changes now there will be disaster.
The key to fixing love is to put God first!  
Songs of Solomon 1:6. So much we can get involved in and
neglect our own "vineyard". 
Our first responsibility must be to our own vineyard, our relationship with God.  
Business is not godliness nor a relationship with God. Business is business. When there is no time with God, then priorities are wrong. The enemy looks for our weakness. Daniel was a praying man not just in a crisis, but he was a praying man on an ordinary day. In the test he went right to his strength, his prayer life - to what his first love was. Earnest Nelson made a passing comment in conversation, "One day, when I was reading for enjoyment............"
How many times do we read our Bible just for that reason? We read it in preparing for meetings, yes! Daniel refused to partake of the King's meat even if it was the best this world had to offer. He cared for his first love.   
2)         Standing against persecution is never easy, but it does a great work in us. And it is necessary. We cannot be swayed from our convictions of truth. Our Bibles can be taken away from us, but God's word can't be taken out of our hearts. Are you ready to die for your Jesus? This was the question asked of friends in Cuba when authorities came and took their Bibles. Some left God's way at this time, because they were not willing for the persecution. Others were true and were a persuasive testimony to the authorities. Hebrews 11:34-37, faith is the thing that matters, concentrate on that and not on the persecution. The world will test our "NO" and God will test our "YES."  
3)         The true doctrine of Christ, we will be judged by it. It is our personal responsibility to understand it and follow it! The churches in Revelation had two false doctrines. Did a servant of God introduce the false doctrine? Or did a saint bring it amongst them? God hates it no matter who teaches us. If it goes against Jesus doctrine it is a wrong doctrine There is not a verse of the teachings of Jesus that we need to run from Jesus' doctrine is both safe and necessary. Compare what you are hearing and what you read, does it match up?  It doesn't matter who it is that shares it with you, if it is different than the scripture it is false. I Corinthians 7:6, 10-12, 25,40 this is God's doctrine. We follow the doctrinal teachings of Jesus only. His people are responsible, to follow right doctrine. This is doctrine: "You must," "except this happens," "I say unto you," "except a man bare the cross," "if you don't forgive," "except you become as a little child," etc.  
It is false doctrine not to have humility, or to be teachable. It is important we wholly follow all the teaching of Jesus. What to do if false doctrine comes your way? Watch your own spirit! 
A wrong spirit may be a worse problem if it makes for self-righteousness
Pray to God as to what to do and how to do it, how to stand true where we are at
False doctrine will never touch well-established saints who have the right relationship with God. The root of false doctrine wants to cloak their sin in a religious coat. We can't use standards of man's righteousness to justify sin.