Readings

  • Revelation 2
  • Revelation 3
  • Matthew 16:18

Prayer

Pray… that you would learn from the characteristics of the churches we read about today, and live to honour Christ.

Day 355 – Revelation & the Seven Churches

Jesus’ promise to the church will be fulfilled by Him

10 days to go!

 

  • These two chapters, like much in Revelation, could have books written about them just on their own! There is a lot of content to consider. What do we read across Revelation 2-3?
  • Today we saw seven letters (that number again!). These letters were addressed to seven churches in Asia – real churches that were in real cities. They would have actually been sent. Barring occasional differences, they all have the same pattern, don’t they? Can you spot it?
  • Here’s the pattern I hope you spotted. 1) Jesus, the author, describes something about Himself; 2) the positive and/or negative issues facing the church; 3) words of comfort and command to the church; 4) a call to hear and listen to the words of the letter and 5) a blessing for churches that “conquer” their battles.
  • Go through each letter and see if you can pick out each of the five sections of the letter. This will take a little while. Your study Bible may have a table to help you.
  • Which two churches have the most encouraging reports? Which two have little or no positive comments?
  • The first purpose of these letters was to communicate with the literal churches and meet their needs at that time. The second purpose is to reveal seven different types of churches (and you can think about the same types of individuals too) throughout history and give them wisdom and encouragement to deal with the problems they may face. Which church do you think your Christian life is most like, and can you get encouragements or warnings from Jesus’ message to them?
  • Jesus taught lots of things when He came to the earth for the first time, but the Christian church as we know it didn’t begin until after His ascension. Do you find it rather cool that in these words we have Jesus himself giving loving guidance and teaching to the actual churches of the day?
  • Jesus promised many things to churches in these words, and Scripture says that they will all be fulfilled by Him. Which of the promises made in these verses are you most looking forward to when Christ comes back to reign?

 

Think of the church(es) that you have been involved with in your life (which will probably only be one, unless you’re one of the adults reading along!). Do any of the ones listed in Revelation 2 and 3 sound similar to yours?

 

Think about individual Christians you know. Can you see traits of any of the seven churches in their lives? Are they like Ephesus, who forgot their first love of the gospel and drifted? Or Pergamum, a church that needed to repent? What about Thyatira, the church with false teaching, or Sardis, which had fallen asleep, or Laodicea, with its wishy-washy lukewarm faith? Perhaps encouragement can also be found if they reflect Smyrna, which endured persecution well, or Philadelphia, which patiently kept true to God’s word.

 

It’s important that as you finish your reading today that you understand the general differences between the churches (as I described in the last paragraph). Jesus has messages of application for each church in light of His death and resurrection. Jesus is speaking to you today too, as I’m sure that you might have felt like one of the churches today. Listen to Jesus’ words of warning, and remember His words of joy and comfort!

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