To this church, Jesus commended them for their endurance, their longsuffering, and their dislike of false doctrine and evil behavior. Question: "What do the seven churches in Revelation stand for?" 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. It also only includes a western perspective; it does not take into account movements in Africa, Asia, or South America. 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. They differ on how these churches may or may not apply to church history, including the modern body of believers. These church ages are explained below. Sardis was a seemingly active church, full of good works. Additions to part 2. What Do We Know about the Shepherds at Jesus’ Birth? EDITOR'S NOTE:  This previously-written article has become a resource for many seeking to understand if the Coronavirus pandemic is an End Times plague. In fact, those who persevere despite weaknesses will stand strong as pillars in Heaven. Our Lord faults the church in Sardis for maintaining an outward appearance of being “alive,” while actually being spiritually dead (Revelation 3:1). 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. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 is a topic of much speculation. 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. USA: Victor Books, 1984. Thyatira-Akhisar. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. The first church mentioned is the Church of Ephesus. Instead, Jesus urges us to keep seeking the Lord’s face even after His hand has bestowed riches in our lives. The seven churches are representative of the church as a whole; the number seven symbolizing completion or perfection. 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). Finally, John addresses the Church of Laodicea. To The Church in Ephesus Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers Inc., 1981. (Revelation 3:9). The Jerusalem Church was scattered, and his writings to Rome would have been scrutinized. The three approaches to understanding these churches all agree they were existing churches that received copies of the Revelation at that time. The Compromising Church ≈ 314 - 590 A.D. 4. 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). 7. 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). Christ warns us in this revelation that he will “spit out” lukewarm disciples. Bethany Verrett is a freelance writer and editor. Chicago: Moody Press, 1968. of 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. Thyatira: The church whose false prophetess was leading … While they were doing well in an earthly fashion, they were spiritually lacking. The seven churches are the primary focus of the first three chapters of Revelation. Thyatira. 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. 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." Instead, Jesus reveals that a church fashioned in His image must teach God’s Truth in love. They were mocked and persecuted for their faith, and it was going to get worse before it got better. For a more indepth study of all the seven churches, CLICK HERE. Their location was so full of wickedness the Bible calls it, “where Satan’s throne is...the place where Satan dwells” (Revelation 2:13). Dolores Smyth’s work has appeared in numerous faith and parenting publications. 3:8). The instruction given to Revelation’s congregations, therefore, is valuable to Christian congregations today. 6. Sardis. Their Meaning and Significance During Apocalypse, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. 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. One example of the use of the number seven in the Revelation given to John is the seven churches the text is addressed to. Laodicea. The answer lies in the realization that the letters of chapters 2 and 3 have a representative as well as a specific purpose. The Book of Revelation addresses seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) (Revelation 2-3). Barnhouse, Donald. The church was not beyond hope, but it needed to find that passion for Christ again. While the other churches received some encouragement or commendation from the Lord, this church received no positive words. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Smyrna. The Church that Patiently Endured Despite Weaknesses (Revelation 3:7-13). The names of the seven churches of Revelation are symbolic names and represent the church down through the ages from the beginning of the New Testament church, right to the end at the second coming of Christ Jesus, and reveals the condition of the church at different periods in history. We can avoid becoming “the living dead” by engaging in our faith through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship. Despite poverty and hardship, they stayed true to God. 4. The Lord calls on the community to repent or risk the judgment that will emanate from the “sword of [His] mouth” (Revelation 2:16). These churches are located in Asia, modern Turkey, some believe they represent seven church ages, while others argue they represent seven … While there are still some believers in these cities, they all exist in modern day Turkey, an Islamic nation. They were also in one of the central hubs of trade, commerce, and communication. John was not far from 100 years old, and the only remaining Apostle. The advice in these letters is prophetic, forewarning present-day Christian communities of the … 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. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. In Thyatira, the church was also having problems with false teachers. The Lord said, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. The stars = the angels of the seven churches They can be read with four levels of application. Chart 17-1 lists fourteen occurrences of the number seven in Revelation. These seven historical churches also serve as archetypes of churches all over the world throughout history. Summary and Explanation: The city of Pergamum was renowned for its pagan practices. Biblestudytools.com, “Book of Revelation Summary.”, Biblestudytools.com, “Why These Seven Churches.”, Biblestudy.org, “The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 7.”. Here, Jesus asks for them to let Him in. The seven golden lampstands represent the seven churches Jesus walked among. Summary and Explanation: Philadelphia was home to a synagogue community hostile to Christians. The Church that Has Abandoned Its Love for Christ and His Teachings (Revelation 2:1-7). The city of Sardis was also a city of wealth, known for the carpet industry and for minting coins. The Church that Follows False Prophets (Revelation 2:18-29). The first level is historical. Are there seven church ages? Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971. These seven churches really existed, and each was experiencing the particular problem to which the Lord referred as He dictated the letters to John. Much of the dialog is directed towards the leaders in the churches regarding the way the truth is being taught, or not. There is one perspective that these messages only applied to those seven specific churches and the messages have no lasting significance. Significance Today: The message to Philadelphia shows us the blessings that come when we maintain our faith despite life’s tribulations. 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. 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. 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). Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. 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. 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). 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. Ephesus Smyrna Pergamos Thyatira Sardis Philadelphia Laodicea. Christ’s revelation to Smyrna commends the community for its material poverty but spiritual wealth and acknowledges its wrongful persecution (Revelation 2:9). 58: The Prophecy (Revelation 1-5). “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. Others indulged in false doctrine. Significance Today: Like the church in Laodicea, it’s easy to become complacent in our faith during times of abundance. Ephesus : the church that had forsaken their first love . Some say they are merely representative churches of the … They were … A number of expositors down through history have held that the seven churches represent seven sequential stages of church history. He chided them however, “...you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4b). 1. In the book of Acts, Lydia was a wealthy benefactress and convert to Christianity. The seven churches also represent the seven spiritual church ages from the New Testament church, right through to the last church before Jesus returns at the second coming. ; Smyrna: The church that would face severe persecution (Revelation 2:10). Revelation, An Expository Commentary. The messages could have been easily passed onto other believers. Ultimately, Christians should meditate on these things, but not allow the unanswered questions to dictate their lives. 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). 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. Does the Candy Cane Have a Spiritual Meaning? Biblestudytools.com, New International Version. Summary and Explanation: Thyatira was a wealthy commercial city. He encourages them to find that fire again and continue where they were doing well. She maintains a faith and lifestyle blog graceandgrowing.com, where she muses about the Lord, life, culture, and ministry. “I know your works. with excerpts from the Revelation 1 - 3. The Lord reminds us in this revelation that He will repay each of us according to our deeds (Revelation 2:23). You can find her on Twitter @LolaWordSmyth. Ryrie, Charles. There were seven stars and seven lampstands. The Book of Revelation addresses seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) (Revelation 2-3). 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. There is also the chronological perspective. In the letters He applauds and chastises each church and He offers them advice on how to get back on track. 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what are the seven churches in revelation

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