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what are the seven churches in revelation

The seven churches are representative of the church as a whole; the number seven symbolizing completion or perfection. The Church that is Spiritually Dead (Revelation 3:1-6). Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971. The message ends with encouragement for those who did not follow this prophetess. Although they refused to deny … However, the seven churches in Revelation also have spiritual significance for churches and believers today. The seven churches are always mentioned in the same order: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. 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. 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. Each of these periods can be traced and assigned to a specific phase of the growth and change of the body of Christ over time, from its inception, to its decline before Christ’s return. The periods overlap in a way that is messy, pro-Reformation, and can only be applied with difficulty in retrospect. Christ warns us in this revelation that he will “spit out” lukewarm disciples. The Compromising Church ≈ 314 - 590 A.D. 4. Ways of Christ. 1. To this church, Jesus commended them for their endurance, their longsuffering, and their dislike of false doctrine and evil behavior. Despite their lack of spirituality, Christ waits expectantly for them to open their hearts to Him. 58: The Prophecy (Revelation 1-5). Pergamum: The church that needed to repent of sin (Revelation 2:16). They were also in one of the central hubs of trade, commerce, and communication. Second, since all the churches were to read all the letters, the letters were also admonitory to all. 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. They no longer had the burning, consuming passion for their God they had when they were first saved and settled into the routine of the faith. Pergamum. Smyrna in ancient times was a very wealthy and powerful city, indeed it vied with Ephesus and Pergamon for influence in… Are there seven church ages? There is one perspective that these messages only applied to those seven specific churches and the messages have no lasting significance. Summary and Explanation: Ephesus was the prominent commercial and cultural center of Asia. These seven cities in the Roman province of Asia, in modern-day western Turkey, were the most important of western Anatolia. The seven churches in Revelation are literal churches from the first century AD. Summary and Explanation: Thyatira was a wealthy commercial city. Although John literally wrote Revelation, the Book makes it clear that the source of the revelations is Jesus (Revelation 1:1-2). Smyrna. … All rights reserved. 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. Jesus’ letter to Thyatira praises the church for having grown in faith and service (Revelation 2:19). 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). Revelation, An Expository Commentary. 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. Thyatira: The church whose false prophetess was leading … The seven churches listed in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are seven actual letters from Jesus — one to each church. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8). USA: Victor Books, 1984. Though they were literal churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and believers today. Some say they are merely representative churches of the … Significance Today: Like the church in Smyrna, Christians are persecuted worldwide in obvious and insidious ways. 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). 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. Despite its hard work and doctrinal integrity, Christ faults the community for having “forsaken the love [they] had at first” (Revelation 2:4). The Church that Follows False Prophets (Revelation 2:18-29). 7. 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. 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). 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. Third, since both the challenge and promise with which each letter ends are pers… California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. 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 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. 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. Jesus Christ is the infallible Revelator. Some of these cities do not exist today like they did during John’s day, such as Pergamum. Instead, Jesus urges us to keep seeking the Lord’s face even after His hand has bestowed riches in our lives. 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). Some of these questions may not have good answers until the Lord returns. The Church that Remains Faithful Amidst Persecution (Revelation 2:8-11). Revelation 1:20 defines the "seven stars" as the angels or messengers of the seven churches that are held in the hand of Jesus. Thyatira. According to this view, each church mentioned in these chapters represents a period in church history. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. This letter warns all Christians that although we may suffer greatly, the length of tribulation will be short compared to the promise of eternal life. The Lord calls on the community to repent or risk the judgment that will emanate from the “sword of [His] mouth” (Revelation 2:16). However, there were members of the church who still held onto their former traditions, not willing to let go of their idols. The instruction given to Revelation’s congregations, therefore, is valuable to Christian congregations today. In the first century A.D., the Apostle John was exiled to the island of Patmos, a Roman penal colony near Asia Minor. 3. Significance Today: Today, Christians can fall into the trap that ensnared the church in Sardis if we merely go through the motions of practicing our faith without really feeding our spirit. In fact, those who persevere despite weaknesses will stand strong as pillars in Heaven. Only one of the churches is in another part of the Bible. ; Smyrna: The church that would face severe persecution (Revelation 2:10). What Do the 7 Churches in Revelation Represent? However, the seven churches in Revelation also have spiritual significance for churches and believers today. The first level is historical. Ephesus Smyrna Pergamos Thyatira Sardis Philadelphia Laodicea. Obviously the Seven Churches. What Does the Bible Say About Coronavirus: Is it a Sign of the End Times? The seven golden lampstands represent the seven churches Jesus walked among. The answer lies in the realization that the letters of chapters 2 and 3 have a representative as well as a specific purpose. John was not far from 100 years old, and the only remaining Apostle. They most likely put their faith in their works, prideful and assuming they were saved, or in good standing with the Lord. Pergamum, The Worldly Church: This church was the tolerant church. In the letters He applauds and chastises each church and He offers them advice on how to get back on track. 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). It was also God’s divine will to communicate with these seven churches. 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). However, I doubt that the order of the churches has any particular theological importance.That’s not to say that the order is random either. In Thyatira, the church was also having problems with false teachers. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. with excerpts from the Revelation 1 - 3. Like Sardis, Laodicea had an abundance of resources but held an indifferent spirit - described as lukewarm - toward the Lord. 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. 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. She maintains a faith and lifestyle blog graceandgrowing.com, where she muses about the Lord, life, culture, and ministry. 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. Once the apocalyptic message was given to the churches in these prominent cities, the message would spread to the Christian communities in the rest of the province. Biblestudytools.com, “Book of Revelation Summary.”, Biblestudytools.com, “Why These Seven Churches.”, Biblestudy.org, “The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 7.”. The other point of view is that each church would represent different kinds of churches through history. Jesus calls on this church to stop these sins. Others indulged in false doctrine. The seven churches are named for their locations. The three approaches to understanding these churches all agree they were existing churches that received copies of the Revelation at that time. Ephesus, the Loveless Church. These trumpets follow seven seals of judgements. Through the centuries, these churches have increased and decreased, and experienced persecution. In his second letter to the church at Thessalonica, Paul answered some questions they had about the days. The seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 were congregations of the Church of God in the first century. Significance Today: The message to Philadelphia shows us the blessings that come when we maintain our faith despite life’s tribulations. Question: "What do the seven churches in Revelation stand for?" Jesus does not reproach this congregation but condemns its persecutors. Wilmington’s Guide To the Bible. The church’s downfall was its devotion to a false prophet that led some members to commit idolatry and immorality (Revelation 2:20). The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 is a topic of much speculation. Christ’s revelation to Smyrna commends the community for its material poverty but spiritual wealth and acknowledges its wrongful persecution (Revelation 2:9). The advice in these letters is prophetic, forewarning present-day Christian communities of the … Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7): known for having labored hard and not fainted, and separating themselves from the wicked; admonished for having forsaken its first love (2:4); Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11): admired for its tribulation and poverty; forecast to suffer persecution (2:10) Still others spend their entire lives attempting to interpret this final prophetic word from the Lord. 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. Jesus’ letter to this church wastes no time denouncing the congregation for its lukewarm faith, threatening to “spit” the congregation out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). Ryrie, Charles. 6. The advice in these letters is prophetic, forewarning present-day Christian communities of the snares that can lure us away from our faith. Walvoord John F. and Roy B. Zuck. 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). 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