Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Introduction to the Seven Churches of Revelation
I recently wrote a post featuring one of the churches in Revelation which I entitled “Falling Away into Laodicea.” I thought it would be fun to do an excerpt on each of the churches mentioned in Revelation, but would like to do a brief overview first.
First, all these churches were actual historic churches based in Asia, or Turkey. This has been confirmed through archaeological discoveries.
Next, why are these particular churches mentioned when there were many other churches in existence at the time? The popular consensus is that these letters describe all church history between Daniel’s 69th and 70th weeks (Daniel 9). These seven churches, in the order they are listed, prophetically unfold all subsequent church history with incredible precision. They cover 1900 years of church history since the Book of Acts.
Not only do these churches seem to address a specific period of time in history, they also seem to address specific types or traits of any individual Christian. They are all addressed to “he who has an ear.” I suppose that includes most of us.
When studying the churches, it is interesting to note:
1) The meaning of the name of each church.
2) A description of Jesus Christ (which is relevant to the message of each church).
3) A commendation or approval to the church.
4) A criticism or ailment of the church.
5) A challenge and exhortation to the church.
6) An assurance to the “overcomer.”
7) The repeated phrase, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.”
Of further interest we find that: references to the Lord’s second coming are apparent in only the last four letters; Smyrna and Philadelphia have no criticism; and Sardis and Laodicea have no commendation.
With all that in mind, let’s get ready to look into the church of Ephesus, the loveless church.
The Seven Churches of Revelation:
Ephesus: Where Did I Leave My Love?
Sweet Smelling Smyrna
Falling Away Into Laodicea
Pergamus: Compromised and Indulged
Sardis: The Living Dead
The Church of Thyatira
Philadelphia, the Faithful Church
Until next time,