Passover to Pentecost – The Churches of Revelation Week 4 Day 7
The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Revelations 1:20 (NIV)
There have been volumes written on and about these seven churches. In keeping with the idea that Jesus trained the disciples to pass on information to the next generation, they will allow us to see this in action. I will view the “angels or messengers” as the pastor of that local body of believers.
Ephesus – This leader was a hard worker who had been through a lot; he had protected the sheep, and was still doing the work of the church. This pastor had received high praise of his performance, but he was about to lose his church. It seems that in all of his “doings” he was losing his love of Jesus.
Smyrna – This pastor has had a tough time on earth, but has stored up treasures in Heaven. The forecast for the church is one of persecution and possibly death.
Pergamun – This pastor has personally had trying times and has kept his faith. Yet his church has some serious problems. There are two very serious attacks on the teachings of Jesus in this church, the teaching of Balaam and Nicolaitanism. (Balaam is explained, the other seems to be an area of uncertainty.) The pastor is given a choice, tend to these problems and the people behind them or Jesus would personally fight against them.
Thyatria – This pastor has been a real shepherd to his flock. He (they) are doing the work of the kingdom. He has served faithfully, but has allowed Jezebel into the church. For some reason it feels like a case of “sloppy agape.” There are things that should be “divided out” of the church. Jezebel may have come in sounding “right” but prophet’s words need to be judged according to the Word of God.
Sardis – This pastor is in trouble. He has known the truth, but has put things other than the gospel of Jesus first in the church. There are church members who have not lost sight of Jesus and are okay. The rest are in for trouble.
Philadelphia – This pastor and church are doing right and progressing well. I think Revelations 3: 11 speaks to them: I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown (NIV).
Laodicea – This pastor and church are opposites of Smyrna, they have a lot of possessions and are well-off. Jesus still loves them and tells them to reconsider the fact that they think they are doing well, they need to repent!
The reason to study a subject is to learn/change your mind on the topic. For me changing the focus from just the church to the pastor/leader of the church changed that material for me. The leader is important and needs to guard the “gate.” Some have said that the churches represent “church ages”, others the types of churches you will find in the body. For sure they were seven physical churches that Jesus loved and wanted the best for them and the pastor.