What would Jesus say to your church? Would there be praise, condemnation, maybe some of both? In chapters two and three of Revelation, Jesus dictates seven letters to seven churches that existed in the ancient world. These churches are representative of the churches that have existed down through history, and still exist today in spirit. By studying them, we learn what God values in His body, and also what He hates. Enlightening, inspiring, and convicting . . . the study of these letters reveals many things that every Christian needs to know and a blessing to the one who listens and obeys: “ Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. ” ( Revelation 1:3 )
This presentation moves verse-by-verse through the first chapter of Revelation to uncover why the book was written and sets the stage for the seven letters that Christ dicates to His seven churches of the ancient world.
Ephesus was one of the best known churches of the ancient world, having been influenced by the Apostles Paul and John. And yet Jesus has a number of rebukes for this church that today's modern church needs to hear as well. This presentation examines what might be called the 'loveless' church.
Smyrna is one of only two churches for which Christ had no rebuke. This little church, which still exists today, is known in Revelation as the persecuted church. It demonstrates how persecuation can separate the wheat from the chaff, as well as what the mark of perseverance really means.
Pergamum is a picture of any church (and person) that courts the world and mixes itself in the wrong teaching that leads to immorality. This letters shows us that God takes compromise seriously.
The letter to Thyatira serves as a warning about the seriousness of practicing and tolerating sin in the Church. In the case of this church, there weren't terrible wolves on the outside so much as perverse people on the inside.
This letter is a warning to those who are playing church and who have no fruit in their lives to back up their reputation – their ‘name’ as being a Christian. The formula for revival in this church is to: Wake up, remember, repent, strengthen, and keep Christ’s Word.
What does a faithful church look like? We get a good picture of one, and the characteristics that define it, in Jesus' letter to the church at Philadelphia.
Many scholars believe that the church at Laodicea typifies the modern day Church of today. Wealthy (at least in the West), and seemingly at ease. But Jesus tells them their nominal religion will doom them if they don't repent. This letter serves as a wake-up call to all and a reminder to examine our lives to ensure we are both in the faith and maturing as believers.