Summary and Explanation: The city of Pergamum was renowned for its pagan practices. The messages could have been easily passed onto other believers. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers Inc., 1981. The seven churches are the primary focus of the first three chapters of Revelation. 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 city of Sardis was also a city of wealth, known for the carpet industry and for minting coins. The seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 were congregations of the Church of God in the first century. Each letter, as proclaimed by Jesus and recorded by John the Apostle, declares the triumphs and failings of the recipient churches and warns each congregation to repent. Christ scolds this church for allowing its economic prosperity to cause it spiritual bankruptcy and reveals that, despite its economic wealth, only He can provide spiritual wealth (Revelation 3:17-18). Second, since all the churches were to read all the letters, the letters were also admonitory to all. 2. Chapters two and three. The short letters in Revelation chapters two and three are addressed to these specific seven churches: Ephesus: The church that had abandoned its first love for Christ (Revelation 2:4). Here, Jesus asks for them to let Him in. Summaries and Explanations. The instruction given to Revelation’s congregations, therefore, is valuable to Christian congregations today. ; Smyrna: The church that would face severe persecution (Revelation 2:10). The Lord calls on the community to repent or risk the judgment that will emanate from the “sword of [His] mouth” (Revelation 2:16). The ruins of Smyrna’s marketplace are nestled in a city block of the thriving seaport … Though they were literal churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and believers today. Pergamum, The Worldly Church: This church was the tolerant church. The Church that Compromises Its Beliefs (Revelation 2:12-17). New religions and end of days cults have sprung up around some of these theories. But the Bible urges us to “not conform to the pattern of this world” but be transformed by the renewal of our mind in accordance with God’s Word (Romans 12:2). Alluding to the city’s history of prior surprise attacks, Jesus warns the congregation to “wake up” and repent, lest he “come like a thief” to bestow His judgment (Revelation 3:2-3). The advice in these letters is prophetic, forewarning present-day Christian communities of the snares that can lure us away from our faith. Despite the church’s love, patience, and endurance, they tolerate this wicked woman taking an inappropriate role of leadership, giving false prophecies, and being flagrantly sinful. Pergamum. Are there seven church ages? California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. 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). 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). These trumpets follow seven seals of judgements. Some criticism of this view include that it is difficult to line up certain movements in the church with the descriptions in Revelation. Significance Today: Like the Christians in Pergamum, it’s easy to normalize the non-Christian behavior of those around us and allow that behavior to dilute our values (1 Corinthians 15:33). 4. These churches are located in Asia, modern Turkey, some believe they represent seven church ages, while others argue they represent seven … Third, since both the challenge and promise with which each letter ends are pers… Each letter, as proclaimed by Jesus and recorded by John the Apostle, declares the triumphs and failings of the recipient churches and warns each congregation to repent. They epitomized a church that seemed good, but many had cold hearts toward the Lord. It also only includes a western perspective; it does not take into account movements in Africa, Asia, or South America. Proud member
One example of the use of the number seven in the Revelation given to John is the seven churches the text is addressed to. The seven churches in Revelation are literal churches from the first century AD. Christ warns us in this revelation that he will “spit out” lukewarm disciples. Thyatira — The Adulterous Church (Revelation 2:18-29) Some Christians and churches feel a need to … According to this view, each church mentioned in these chapters represents a period in church history. Theologians believe many of the laborers of this church were expelled from their labor guilds - and unable to legally work in their craft - because of their conversion. Chicago: Moody Press, 1968. Nor does it seem to include Orthodox church movements. 1. He encourages them to find that fire again and continue where they were doing well. They did receive consolation as well because many from this church had been martyred. Summary and Explanation: Thyatira was a wealthy commercial city. Significance Today: Like the church in Smyrna, Christians are persecuted worldwide in obvious and insidious ways. “ Behold, I stand at the door and knock. The Church that Patiently Endured Despite Weaknesses (Revelation 3:7-13). The seven churches of Revelation described in Revelation chapters 2 through chapter 3 are seven literal churches at the time that John the apostle was writing Revelation. Indeed, the primary purpose for John writing his letters to the seven churches was to deliver Christ’s "report card" for the churches of that time. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8). Others indulged in false doctrine. Despite poverty and hardship, they stayed true to God. Significance Today: Like the church in Laodicea, it’s easy to become complacent in our faith during times of abundance. The message is, “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God” (Revelation 3:2). Located in Asia Minor (now modern Turkey), these churches represented actual communities of early Christians—not buildings or meeting halls.In addressing each of these congregations, God said that He knew their works. She maintains a faith and lifestyle blog graceandgrowing.com, where she muses about the Lord, life, culture, and ministry. Some believe that the seven churches represent seven periods of church history or seven types of individuals that exist today. Jesus wanted this body of believers to continue as they were, and they would spend eternity in Heaven with Him. To this church, Jesus commended them for their endurance, their longsuffering, and their dislike of false doctrine and evil behavior. In Thyatira, the church was also having problems with false teachers. They differ on how these churches may or may not apply to church history, including the modern body of believers. These churches were seven real churches at the time, and some believe they represent seven church ages, while others argue they represent seven church types that have existed since the church began, and will exist until Christ returns. All rights reserved. The Compromising Church ≈ 314 - 590 A.D. 4. What Are the Different End Times Opinions Amongst Denominations? Revelation 1:20 defines the "seven stars" as the angels or messengers of the seven churches that are held in the hand of Jesus. Their location was so full of wickedness the Bible calls it, “where Satan’s throne is...the place where Satan dwells” (Revelation 2:13). Despite its hard work and doctrinal integrity, Christ faults the community for having “forsaken the love [they] had at first” (Revelation 2:4). These seven historical churches also serve as archetypes of churches all over the world throughout history. The three approaches to understanding these churches all agree they were existing churches that received copies of the Revelation at that time. Those who persevere in faith, however, will receive a share of Christ’s messianic authority over all nations and triumph over death (Revelation 2:26-28). The seven churches are the primary focus of the first three chapters of Revelation. While in Patmos, John was seized by the Holy Spirit and received prophetic visions from Christ instructing him to: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea” (Revelations 1:1-2; 9-11). Wilmington, H.L. The seven churches in Revelation are literal churches from the first century AD. It was also God’s divine will to communicate with these seven churches. The Church that Has Abandoned Its Love for Christ and His Teachings (Revelation 2:1-7). He wants them to grow hot or cold toward Him, but not to remain lacking in any passion toward the faith. Question: "What do the seven churches in Revelation stand for?" Smyrna — Izmir. In his second letter to the church at Thessalonica, Paul answered some questions they had about the days. The Book of Revelation provides descriptions of each Church.