Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Seven Churches of Revelation

On August 3 I will be begin a series of messages on the letters to the seven churches found in chapters two and three of the book of Revelation. As we begin this study of the seven churches of Revelation, I think a word of introduction and instruction is warranted. There are differences of opinion and interpretation concerning this section of Revelation. Admittedly, Revelation does present some difficulty because of the figurative language and symbolic nature. As a result many pastors have avoided preaching from this book altogether. Some believe the book to be too controversial or too mysterious to ever bother preaching from. I personally believe this robs people of the whole counsel of God. The first chapter of Revelation itself promises a blessing for those who will read and obey it's message.

Rev. 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."

Many people view the seven churches in Revelation as representative of seven church "ages" or "dispensations" before the rapture. According to this interpretation, Ephesus would represent the first century church, then moving through the ages, the church at Laodicea, the seventh and last church, would represent the church at end times. While this view does carry support from well respected theologians and scholars, I, however, fall in line with those theologians and scholars who believe that these are literal churches in literal geographic settings (Asia Minor or modern day Turkey), with literal issues that the Lord Jesus Christ addresed. The messages to the seven churches are eternal. The issues that these churches faced ....we face today.

These letters are well worth our time to read, study, and apply to our lives as individual believers and a families of God we call local churches.

Just a Thought!