God Speaks through His Word
"You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me."
-John 5:39, emphasis added
The Bible is like many textbooks in school: all the answers are found at the end of the book. The end of the Bible is, of course, the Revelation of Jesus Christ that John recorded for us.
Jesus wrote messages to the seven churches that we all need to hear. So why did Jesus select just these seven: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea? The reason is that they represent all of us today. His message was not only to them there and then but also to us here and now. Jesus actually gives us at least a four-level message in each of these letters.
Jesus gives a specific message: "to. . . the church in . . . " (Revelation 2:1 NASB). He spoke to the local churches that were in those geographic places then. Jesus is likewise interested in today's churches. God's Word speaks to individuals in the twenty-first century because God knows what they are doing at church, at work, and at home. He knows what is going on in private and public lives. He says, "I know what your church is doing; I know where you are headed." When we offer worship to God, if it is cold, it is because we came in cold; if it is fervent, it is because we came in fervent.
Jesus gives a universal message: "Hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (2:7). This is plural and speaks of an admonition to all churches throughout all the history of the church. Here Jesus addresses His divine expectation that He wants our devotion to Him.
Jesus gives a prophetic message:This is perhaps the most fascinating part of Revelation, as Jesus describes, with divine precision, the seven successive eras the church would pass through from Pentecost to the last days of apostasy. Jesus was also describing the seven types of Christians who would make up the visible church throughout the church age.
Jesus gives a spiritual message: "He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches"(2:7). To Him, the one with the "ear" is the individual "who overcomes." This is the most valuable part of these letters. Jesus goes from speaking to the local church to all the local churches throughout the ages, and then He zeros in on the individual. At the tail end of all seven of these letters is the greatest set of promises in the Bible. Because it is a spiritual message, the most valuable part of this book is probably to singular-eared individuals who listen to these practical, personal messages and respond in faith and obedience to the Lord-and actually live the lives Jesus calls them to live.
I pray that you are among the singular-eared individuals who will listen to Christ's practical, personal messages and respond in faith and obedience to the Lord by actually living the life Jesus calls you to live!
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