what are the seven churches in revelation
New religions and end of days cults have sprung up around some of these theories. Significance Today: Like the church in Laodicea, it’s easy to become complacent in our faith during times of abundance. The Lord reminds us in this revelation that He will repay each of us according to our deeds (Revelation 2:23). 7. 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). For a more indepth study of all the seven churches, CLICK HERE. The Jerusalem Church was scattered, and his writings to Rome would have been scrutinized. Significance Today: The lesson in the letter to Ephesus teaches that truth and love must go hand-in-hand. God has given this woman, and the church, time to turn from this sin; “I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality” (Revelation 2:21). Some theologians ascribe to a combination of these three theories, while others have their own, but these three are prominent. Nor does it seem to include Orthodox church movements. 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. Some believe the seven churches are only relevant to people living in the 1st century A.D. Others believe the seven churches are relevant today. Jesus wanted this body of believers to continue as they were, and they would spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Through the centuries, these churches have increased and decreased, and experienced persecution. They most likely put their faith in their works, prideful and assuming they were saved, or in good standing with the Lord. These trumpets follow seven seals of judgements. Chicago: Moody Press, 1968. There are also seven angels blowing seven trumpets which herald seven judgments. The Compromising Church ≈ 314 - 590 A.D. 4. 58: The Prophecy (Revelation 1-5). A critique of this perspective is that it is too vague, and general for such specific descriptions and prophecies. What action items should the church take in light of these seven messages? The seven churches are named for their locations. It was also God’s divine will to communicate with these seven churches. 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. 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. 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. 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). According to this view, each church mentioned in these chapters represents a period in church history. You can find her on Twitter @LolaWordSmyth. The seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 were congregations of the Church of God in the first century. Summary and Explanation: Ephesus was the prominent commercial and cultural center of Asia. We can avoid becoming “the living dead” by engaging in our faith through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Salem Media Group. Some of these cities do not exist today like they did during John’s day, such as Pergamum. Despite poverty and hardship, they stayed true to God. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament. John was not far from 100 years old, and the only remaining Apostle. 6. Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; The number ''seven'', The Bible numeric, this is the number of perfection. 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. Summary and Explanation: The city of Pergamum was renowned for its pagan practices. To The Church in Ephesus The Tribulation period lasts seven years. 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. For example, Revelation 2:1 says, "The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands." The seven golden lampstands represent the seven churches Jesus walked among. While they were doing well in an earthly fashion, they were spiritually lacking. Despite their lack of spirituality, Christ waits expectantly for them to open their hearts to Him. The other point of view is that each church would represent different kinds of churches through history. The advice in these letters is prophetic, forewarning present-day Christian communities of the snares that can lure us away from our faith. The ruins of Smyrna’s marketplace are nestled in a city block of the thriving seaport … They were mocked and persecuted for their faith, and it was going to get worse before it got better. One of the criticisms of this theory is that it dismisses the prophetic nature of the messages, and reduces the significance of the prophecies coming from the glorified Christ. 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. Summaries and Explanations. 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. Like Sardis, Laodicea had an abundance of resources but held an indifferent spirit - described as lukewarm - toward the Lord. The Book of Revelation addresses seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) (Revelation 2-3). There was a woman in the church who claimed to be a prophetess, who committed sins of sexual immorality, and whose behavior was reminiscent of Jezebel, Ahab’s wicked wife, whose story is told in 1 Kings. The Church that Has Abandoned Its Love for Christ and His Teachings (Revelation 2:1-7). Additions to part 2. 1. Proud member In the letters He applauds and chastises each church and He offers them advice on how to get back on track. 3. Christ’s letter to the Ephesian church praises the congregation for its “deeds...hard work...and perseverance,” and for its rejection of false apostles (Revelation 2:2-3). The letter to the church there lauds the congregation for upholding its faith despite the city’s pervasive pagan influences (Revelation 2:13). Ephesus : the church that had forsaken their first love . This Revelation Timeline Decoded Bible study will show you how the 7 churches of Revelation represent seven Church eras that have spanned throughout history, and end when the Lord returns.. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. The messages to the church played their part in God’s perfect plan historically, and may still be a part of it currently, depending on which view of the Book of Revelation and the churches an individual takes. Summary and Explanation: Philadelphia was home to a synagogue community hostile to Christians. A church that upholds doctrinal purity at the expense of showing love is just as flawed as a church that upholds congregational harmony at the expense of truthful teachings. Through time, theologians, historians, and even lay-people in the church have tried to come up with a certain, definitive answer about what the messages to these churches, and the churches themselves, mean beyond their historical existence. They differ on how these churches may or may not apply to church history, including the modern body of believers. The instruction given to Revelation’s congregations, therefore, is valuable to Christian congregations today. Are there seven church ages? Though they would suffer in this life, God had a reward for them. What Are the Different End Times Opinions Amongst Denominations? Our Lord faults the church in Sardis for maintaining an outward appearance of being “alive,” while actually being spiritually dead (Revelation 3:1). John was exiled to the Island of Patmos by the Roman Empire. The Bible notes that slanderous accusations by Jews against Christians had led to Christian persecution by Roman authorities (Acts 14:2, 19: Acts 17:13). They epitomized a church that seemed good, but many had cold hearts toward the Lord. Philadelphia. Modern Christians should study the example of these four churches, and even ponder their contemporary significance, but ultimately, they should strive to live in obedience with the Great Commission, and follow God’s leading. 5. ; Smyrna: The church that would face severe persecution (Revelation 2:10). However, the seven churches in Revelation also have spiritual significance for churches and believers today. John’s “crime” was practicing Christianity. Does the Candy Cane Have a Spiritual Meaning? 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). Pergamum: The church that needed to repent of sin (Revelation 2:16). Still others spend their entire lives attempting to interpret this final prophetic word from the Lord. Third, since both the challenge and promise with which each letter ends are pers… Ephesus: "The Era of Transition" (September 70 to 82 = 12 years) Revelation 2:1-7: (1) To the angel … a.) “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Thyatira: The church whose false prophetess was leading … Seven is the number of perfection or completion in the Bible. Although the false prophet remained unrepentant, Jesus affirms that the congregation can still repent by turning away from the prophet’s ways (Revelation 2:21-22). They can be read with four levels of application. The Church of Smyrna received words of comfort. The Church that is Spiritually Dead (Revelation 3:1-6). 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). Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) This letter addresses Sardis, a “dead” church3 Jesus’ oracle to Ephesus challenges a loveless… Ephesus Smyrna Pergamos Thyatira Sardis Philadelphia 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. The seven churches are always mentioned in the same order: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. of Their location was so full of wickedness the Bible calls it, “where Satan’s throne is...the place where Satan dwells” (Revelation 2:13). The Church with a Lukewarm Faith (Revelation 3:14-22). 2. The Lord Jesus commands John to write a message to each of these churches. 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. The view is known as the historical-prophetical view: These seven historical churches also serve as archetypes of churches all over the world throughout history. He wants them to grow hot or cold toward Him, but not to remain lacking in any passion toward the faith. The Church of Pergamum was surrounded by wickedness in their city, but they held fast to their beliefs. What Is the Mark of the Beast in the Bible? The seven early churches … Revelation’s seven churches were among a number of early Christian communities in Asia Minor. The seven churches are representative of the church as a whole; the number seven symbolizing completion or perfection. 3:8). Did God Send the Coronavirus as a Biblical Plague from Revelation? The answer lies in the realization that the letters of chapters 2 and 3 have a representative as well as a specific purpose. Ultimately, Christians should meditate on these things, but not allow the unanswered questions to dictate their lives. These seven cities in the Roman province of Asia, in modern-day western Turkey, were the most important of western Anatolia. The first level is historical. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). The Book of Revelation contains the prophecies of the last days, before the New Heaven and the New Earth go on into eternity, with believers living for their God with no sin, no sorrow, and no pain. Laodicea. 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. In addition, the following articles may offer more encouragement for all to remember as we face the trials of COVID-19 together: Christianity.com is a member of the Salem Web Network of sites including: Copyright © 2020, Christianity.com. Despite its hard work and doctrinal integrity, Christ faults the community for having “forsaken the love [they] had at first” (Revelation 2:4). 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. The Book of Revelation addresses seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) (Revelation 2-3). It also only includes a western perspective; it does not take into account movements in Africa, Asia, or South America. Revelation 1:20 defines the "seven stars" as the angels or messengers of the seven churches that are held in the hand of Jesus. To share in Christ’s victory, we are to avoid these “so-called deep secrets” of Satan (Revelation 2:24) and hold firm to Christ’s teachings. The Church that Follows False Prophets (Revelation 2:18-29). 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. Summary and Explanation: Smyrna was home to a large Jewish community hostile to Christians. Christ praises the Philadelphians for remaining faithful in the face of trials despite their limited strength (Rev. A number of expositors down through history have held that the seven churches represent seven sequential stages of church history. Summary and Explanation: Laodicea was a prosperous industrial and commercial center. 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. Should We Always Be Watchful for Jesus’ Return? It’s another port city about forty or fifty miles north of Ephesus… In Thyatira, the church was also having problems with false teachers. He alone can infallibly interpret the symbols of the book of Revelation. The "7 Churches" of the Revelation, and the Churches of today and questions of the oecumene -. 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). The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 is a topic of much speculation. Pergamum, The Worldly Church: This church was the tolerant church. The Lord said, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Jesus does not reproach this congregation but condemns its persecutors. A. What Do the 7 Churches in Revelation Represent? Biblestudytools.com, “Book of Revelation Summary.”, Biblestudytools.com, “Why These Seven Churches.”, Biblestudy.org, “The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 7.”. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1991. Pergamum. Those in Sardis who heed Christ’s warning will be “dressed in white,” a symbol of purity and victory, and will be acknowledged in Heaven’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5). Sardis. Most pastors teach that Jesus was just addressing the churches that existed at the time it was written in 95 A.D. Much of this prophecy is shrouded in description that can be confusing, and many theologians debate the extent of what is symbolic and what is literal in the visions described by John the Apostle. Instead, Jesus reveals that a church fashioned in His image must teach God’s Truth in love. Some believe that the seven churches represent seven periods of church history or seven types of individuals that exist today. Ways of Christ. Others indulged in false doctrine. The next church, in Philadelphia, receives encouragement and affirmation in their message. Chart 17-1 lists fourteen occurrences of the number seven in Revelation. All rights reserved. The messages could have been easily passed onto other believers. 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 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). They were … Christ’s revelation to Smyrna commends the community for its material poverty but spiritual wealth and acknowledges its wrongful persecution (Revelation 2:9). Answer: The seven churches described in Revelation 2-3 are seven literal churches at the time that John the apostle was writing Revelation. To this church, Jesus commended them for their endurance, their longsuffering, and their dislike of false doctrine and evil behavior. He chided them however, “...you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4b). Here, Jesus asks for them to let Him in. Smyrna. One church may have the hard work and patience of Ephesus, while another the lukewarm attitude of Laodicea. The Temple and city of Jerusalem had been destroyed, and the Jews dispersed 26 years before, and John's attention was called to the condition of the "Seven" representative churches … In fact, those who persevere despite weaknesses will stand strong as pillars in Heaven. with excerpts from the Revelation 1 - 3. Smyrna in ancient times was a very wealthy and powerful city, indeed it vied with Ephesus and Pergamon for influence in… 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. It was not a wealthy church either, with opportunities to flee and take refuge somewhere else. These churches are located in Asia, modern Turkey, some believe they represent seven church ages, while others argue they represent seven … The Church that Remains Faithful Amidst Persecution (Revelation 2:8-11). 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. Significance Today: The message to Philadelphia shows us the blessings that come when we maintain our faith despite life’s tribulations. Thyatira-Akhisar. Smyrna is the second church mentioned in Revelation. The seven churches listed in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are seven actual letters from Jesus — one to each church. The three approaches to understanding these churches all agree they were existing churches that received copies of the Revelation at that time. Christian scholars from the second century to date have attributed the physical writing of Revelation to John the Apostle, son of Zebedee (Mark 3:17), and author of the Gospel and Epistles of John. Although they refused to deny … What Do We Know about the Shepherds at Jesus’ Birth? 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. The Book of Revelation provides descriptions of each Church. Chapters two and three. The seven churches are the primary focus of the first three chapters of Revelation. The Revelator says plainly that the seven golden lampstands (obvious symbols) ARE the seven churches, and He identifies those seven churches as “seven churches which are in Asia” (1:11). This number shows the completeness of God’s wrath, as well as the perfection of His love throughout the Bible, and becomes a motif in the Last Days. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. The advice in these letters is prophetic, forewarning present-day Christian communities of the … Sardis was a seemingly active church, full of good works. Wilmington, H.L. There is also the chronological perspective.
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