Read Revelation 1
Prayerfully consider the faults as well as the good of all seven churches as a guide for our conduct. A counterpart of each has existed in every generation to this day (Rev. 1:4,20).
The seven churches of Asia Minor each received a letter dictated by Christ and recorded by John while he was on the island of Patmos. Since the character and conduct of churches and Christians are similar in every generation, the messages are just as vital and applicable for us today.
Words of praise were given to the church at Ephesus for its sound doctrine. However, Christ said: Thou hast left thy first love (Rev. 2:4). Losing devotion to Christ can happen gradually. Some Christians become so involved in business, leisure activities, or even church responsibilities, that the worship of Christ becomes a mere formality. This charge is most serious: Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent . . . or else I will come . . . and will remove thy candlestick (the church, see 1:20) . . . except thou repent (2:5). Twice in one verse Jesus warned them (the church) to repent.
The letter sent to the church at Smyrna acknowledged that they were suffering: I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) (2:9). This church appeared destitute of the comforts of life. Some would be cast into prison, others would suffer persecution. But, because of their loyal devotion, the Lord promised: Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. . . . He that overcometh shall not be hurt of (by) the second death (2:10-11).
The letter sent to the church at Pergamos reminded them that they lived where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast (remain true to) My Name (2:13). However, some hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel . . . to commit fornication (2:14).
Jesus warned: Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the Sword of My mouth (2:16).
And unto . . . the church in Thyatira. . . . hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepth My works unto the end . . . I will give him the Morning Star (2:18-28).
The Truth of the Gospel must not be compromised by explaining away hell or eternal punishment to evildoers. In Paul's letter to the Galatians, we are warned of such dangers: If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (condemned) (Gal. 1:9).
Thought for Today:
The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel (Is. 29:19).
For Rev. 1:5: See Ps. 89:27. Rev. 1:6: See Ex. 19:6. Rev. 1:7: See Dan. 7:13; Zech. 12:10. Rev. 2:7: See Gen. 2:9. Rev. 2:23: See Jer. 17:10. Rev. 2:27: See Ps. 2:9.
1:8 I am Alpha and Omega I am the First of all things and the End of all things and know all things A to Z; 1:13 girt trapped around; paps. The clothing of Christ designates Him as Judge as well as a Priest; 2:9 art rich are abounding in faith; 2:19 charity love; 2:23 reins minds, innermost thoughts.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Audrey Hash • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Michael Burgess (TX) and Rep. David Loebsack (IA) • Country: Morocco (28.2 million) on the northwestern coast of Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Government very hostile to Christians and missions • 99.75% Muslim (mostly Sunni); .25% Christian (including foreigners); small numbers of Jews and Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for godly discernment to know His will (Ezek. 44:23).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33