“What you see, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.” Written in red. Jesus speaking to the seven Churches in Asia (modern day Turkey).
Why seven? It is the number of completion or fullness. Many scholars say the seven Churches represent seven Church ages. I have a strong belief that the seven Churches represent the whole Body of Christ at any given time in history.
Go through the letters and see if you can’t think of Churches today that fit the descriptions of the seven Churches.
Can you think of a Church where the people have fallen from their first love, Jesus, and found more important things to deal with – Ephesus.
Can you think of a Church that has stood strong for Jesus and suffered great persecution – Smyrna. A Church that is caught up with religion and ceremony instead of moving with God – Pergamos.
A Church that is living under the Old Covenant instead of the New Covenant – Thyatira.
A Church that is always changing and growing and walking in revelation from God – Sardis.
A Church that really lives the Gospel and lives different than the Church – Philadelphia.
A Church that is backslidden and worldly – Laodicea.
Jesus is the Head of the Church and we are His Body. Each Church has its own personality. Together the Church expresses the personality of Jesus. Each Church expresses part of His personality. The seven churches in Revelation are individually addressed.
The church in Smyrna and the Church of Philadelphia were not rebuked. Smyrna and Philadelphia still meet today. We do know that the other churches no longer exist, so at some point their candlestick was removed. Whether or not the five did repent at least to some degree, we are not told.
John was told by Jesus to send the letters to the angels of the Churches.
John put these letters into the hands of the Pastors. The overall message of the letters is to repent, or Jesus will remove the lampstand. Without the Spirit of God, the Church is dead, just a social club. The stars Jesus holds in His hand are the Pastors of the Churches.
The words “grace and peace” are found in all of Paul’s greetings in his New Testament letters to the churches. And in his letters to Timothy and Titus, he also includes mercy: “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” Us Pastors need a little extra help.