Second, since all the churches were to read all the letters, the letters were also admonitory to all. The Book of Revelation addresses seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor. The Seven Churches (Revelation 2-3) (Past and Present Church Prophecy) Introduction Although the ‘seven churches’ are not used for proving ‘pre-tribulation’, they are extremely important nonetheless. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament. Significance Today: The message to Philadelphia shows us the blessings that come when we maintain our faith despite life’s tribulations. Obviously the Seven Churches. Significance Today: Just as some in Thyatira’s church were led astray by a false prophet, Christians today fall prey to cult leaders, occult practices, and other false teachings. They epitomized a church that seemed good, but many had cold hearts toward the Lord. This “forsaken love” can mean that the Ephesians had become less devoted to Christ or that the work they did was no longer motivated by love for one another. The Church that Patiently Endured Despite Weaknesses (Revelation 3:7-13). Jesus wanted this body of believers to continue as they were, and they would spend eternity in Heaven with Him. The letter then addresses the church’s sin by denouncing some of its members for following false teachings that brought about religious and moral compromise (Revelation 2:14-15). Jesus does not reproach this congregation but condemns its persecutors. All rights reserved. Jesus calls on this church to stop these sins. The seven churches are always mentioned in the same order: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. The Church that is Spiritually Dead (Revelation 3:1-6). Seven is the number of perfection or completion in the Bible. The "7 Churches" of the Revelation, and the Churches of today and questions of the oecumene -. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Sardis was a seemingly active church, full of good works. 3:8). They are represented by seven golden lampstands, and the seven angels – or messengers – of the churches, represented by seven stars in the right hand of Jesus. The Roman Catholic Church ≈ 590 - 1517 A.D. Third, since both the challenge and promise with which each letter ends are pers… They can be read with four levels of application. Despite their lack of spirituality, Christ waits expectantly for them to open their hearts to Him. Christ’s revelation to Smyrna commends the community for its material poverty but spiritual wealth and acknowledges its wrongful persecution (Revelation 2:9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1991. The Tribulation period lasts seven years. a.) Biblestudytools.com, “Book of Revelation Summary.”, Biblestudytools.com, “Why These Seven Churches.”, Biblestudy.org, “The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 7.”. This letter warns all Christians that although we may suffer greatly, the length of tribulation will be short compared to the promise of eternal life. 2. In the first century A.D., the Apostle John was exiled to the island of Patmos, a Roman penal colony near Asia Minor. Although the seven letters in Revelation are tailored to the named churches, these churches and their stated deficiencies can symbolize all churches in one respect or another. What Are the Different End Times Opinions Amongst Denominations? Christ praises the Philadelphians for remaining faithful in the face of trials despite their limited strength (Rev. It’s been almost 2,000 years since the apostle John was instructed by Jesus to write letters to the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation. 3. However, the seven churches in Revelation also have spiritual significance for churches and believers today. Those who repent will be given the “hidden manna” that is the grain of Heaven (Psalm 78:24), and a “white stone” or clean slate with a new identity in Christ (Revelation 2:17). There were seven stars and seven lampstands. “I know your works. The letter to the Ephesian church does offer the community hope if they repent and rekindle their love for Christian living (Revelation 2:5-7). In the letters He applauds and chastises each church and He offers them advice on how to get back on track. While there are still some believers in these cities, they all exist in modern day Turkey, an Islamic nation. Pergamum. A number of expositors down through history have held that the seven churches represent seven sequential stages of church history. Others indulged in false doctrine. John was exiled to the Island of Patmos by the Roman Empire. Summary and Explanation: Sardis was a city that had endured two surprise attacks despite its fortifications. with excerpts from the Revelation 1 - 3. Summary and Explanation: Ephesus was the prominent commercial and cultural center of Asia. They were also in one of the central hubs of trade, commerce, and communication. Are there seven church ages? Finally, John addresses the Church of Laodicea. These particular seven churches may have been chosen to receive Christ’s apocalyptic message because, geographically, the churches were located along an established, circular trade route that brought together the most populous and influential parts of the province. Through the centuries, these churches have increased and decreased, and experienced persecution. It’s another port city about forty or fifty miles north of Ephesus… He chided them however, “...you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4b). These seven churches were some of the most prominent churches at that time to which John the Apostle would have been close enough to communicate effectively. Significance Today: Like the church in Smyrna, Christians are persecuted worldwide in obvious and insidious ways. The other point of view is that each church would represent different kinds of churches through history. Chart 17-1 lists fourteen occurrences of the number seven in Revelation. A. Revelation. Though they were literal churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and believers today. THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF REVELATION — Introduction — Untold numbers of professing Christians have been taught, as I was, that the seven churches of Revelation are somehow related to the body of Christ. To The Church in Ephesus One such section is at the very beginning, where John addresses the seven churches in Asia - an area in modern Turkey. Despite poverty and hardship, they stayed true to God. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. The seven churches are the primary focus of the first three chapters of Revelation. Ephesus, the Loveless Church. Summary and Explanation: Philadelphia was home to a synagogue community hostile to Christians. There is one perspective that these messages only applied to those seven specific churches and the messages have no lasting significance. Those in Laodicea’s church who open the door to Christ will share in His Heavenly banquet and have the right to sit with Him on His throne (Revelation 3:20-21). Jesus’ letter to Thyatira praises the church for having grown in faith and service (Revelation 2:19). Thru the Bible Vol. You can find her on Twitter @LolaWordSmyth.
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