Journey with Daniel
“7 Letters to 7 Churches”Categories: A Month of Victory
7 Letters to 7 Churches
Do you get a lot of mail? Do you get letters from family, friends? Typically what fills my mailbox is bills and ads. Imagine with me – today Rickie goes outside to the mailbox outside of the church building, and in our mailbox is a letter addressed to the church at Campbell Road – a letter written from Jesus. In the letter He shares with us what He sees in this church – the things done well, the areas of weakness, the encouragement for the future. What would His letter say?
In Revelation 2-3, Jesus has a message for each of the 7 churches of Asia (1:4, 11). Each of the 7 letters follows a certain pattern:
§ Identification – Jesus gives a description of Himself (2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14). Many of the descriptions are echoes of what we read in chapter 1.
§ Approval – Each church except Laodicea is commended for some good (2:2-3, 6, 9, 13, 19; 3:4, 8, 10).
§ Disapproval – Each church except Smyrna and Philadelphia have things Jesus rebukes them for (2:4, 14-15, 20; 3:1, 15-17)
§ Direction – Christ calls the churches to either future faithfulness, or to repentance from their sins (2:5, 10, 16, 25; 3:3, 11, 18-19).
§ Promise – For those who listen to the Lord, who overcome, Jesus gives the promise for a reward to come (2:7, 11, 17, 26-28; 3:5, 12, 20-21).
While these words were intended for the specific churches at that specific time, we can’t help but see similarities in our times, in our lives. The areas where they struggled are areas we often struggle. The things they were commended for are things that we commend each other for. As with most churches, and most Christians, there are areas of strength and areas of weakness.
These chapters remind us of some very important truths:
Christ knows. To each church Jesus said, “I know your deeds.” Nothing remains hidden from God. Who we are, the character of our heart, the sincerity of our walk before Him – He knows it all.
Satan Works. One name found throughout these letters is Satan (2:10, 13, 24; 3:9). He is crafty. He is evil. He is powerful and effective. His influence can corrupt the church, sometimes from the inside (2:20). Remember this – we have an enemy. He is ruthless and dangerous. He wants your soul. He wants your home – your mate, your children. He wants to corrupt the church. He wants to undo the good that is done.
We Can Overcome. The one word found in each letter is the word “overcome.” Troublesome times will come. Temptations will arise. Satan will stop at nothing to win the battle for our souls. But we can overcome. We can endure. We can stand strong. We can remain faithful in difficult times. We can win the battle and be victorious through Christ who gives us the victory (12:11).
If Christ wrote a letter today – whether to the church I’m a member of, or to me, what would it say? May we seek in all things to be pleasing to Christ, transforming each day more and more to the image of Christ.
“Wonderful and glorious Christ – You are our Lord and our Savior, our majestic King who stands in the midst of Your churches. You know us better than we know ourselves. You see us for who we are. Thank You for Your patience. For my areas of weakness I ask for your forgiveness and further patience. Help me and mold me into Your image. Thank You for Your words of instruction, rebuke, encouragement and comfort. Help me this day to be more like You. Help me remember the battle being waged daily for my soul. Help me remember I can overcome. In You there is strength. In you there is hope. In you there is victory. All glory to You, the alpha and omega, the head of Your church, the Lord of my life.