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President’s Blog #8 – Message of the Revelation Churches

by

Dr. Richard A. Barnett

 

While Christ directed John to write Christ’s words to seven specific, literal churches regarding their respective circumstances, his words are instructive to churches today that desire to be obedient to the wishes of that same Christ –much as the head speaks to the body before a mirror.  

Further, each letter contains the same command by Christ that we of the church are to listen also to what the Holy Spirit says to us:

Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

It is reasonable to conclude that Christ’s messages to the Revelation churches and His instruction that we listen as well to what the Holy Spirit says to the churches both have timeless meaning and application.  In an effort to discern in part the timeless meaning of Christ’s letters, a table has been assembled separately, which contains the Scripture of the seven letters to the seven churches of Revelation, with their verses then distributed beneath categories of condemnation, commendation, counsel, and challenge.  

Using the Revelation Scripture as a reference, there follows below a discernment of the timeless message to the churches of today that can be found in Jesus’ words to the seven churches of Revelation.  

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

Discernment from Christ’s Words to the Revelation Churches

 

1. Churches are Condemned When they:

  • Abandon love – for God, for neighbor, for each other
  • Hold to false teaching and sexual immorality
  • Are alive to the world but dead to Christ
  • Are incomplete in works and disobedient to God’s desires
  • Are lukewarm in faith, in works, in love.
  • Forget they are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked without Christ.

2. Churches are Commended when they:

  • Do works, toil with patient endurance
  • Hate what is evil
  • Discern what is false
  • Bear up under persecution
  • Do not grow weary in the way of Christ
  • Appreciate richness in Christ regardless of circumstance
  • Hold to the teaching of Christ in the face of slander 
    and ridicule.
  • Keep the faith unto death.
  • Do works of love.
  • Seek holiness and purity.
  • In weakness be strong in word and witness. 

3.  Churches are to Hear Christ’s Counsel:

  • When you have fallen, repent and repent again
  • Do not forsake good works
  • Do not be afraid – be brave in Christ
  • Salvation awaits the faithful
  • Do not sin with the world
  • Recognize God’s hand in the world and know that he is God
  • Persevere until I come
  • Wake up, strengthen the remnant, repent 
  • Be rich in the things of heaven, be clothed in the promised glory
  • Purchase with faith wisdom that you might see the things of Christ
  • See my love in reproof and discipline that you might repent
  • Hear my voice, open the door, that we might have fellowship together

4.  Churches are to Hear Christ’s Challenge:

  • Hear what the Holy Spirit says to the churches
  • Conquer sin through Christ
  • Be faithful unto death
  • In your faith, you will receive a special gift just for you – hidden manna
  • In obedience comes authority over the world
  • Faith perseveres unto holiness and glory – forever in the book of life
    Christ will profess your name before his Father and his angels

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