The Letters To The Seven Churches
In 1983, 35 years ago, Marc Seriff, Steve Case, Jim Kimsey, and William von Meister founded a company called Control Video Corporation to launch a new internet brand.
- Control Video Corporation (1983–85)
- Quantum Computer Services (1985–91)
- America Online (AOL) (1991–2009)
AOL was identified by three things:
- The sudden popup found to get the user’s attention
- A little man running across the screen
- The voice that said, “You’ve Got Mail”
Dec 18, 1998 Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan, starred in the blockbuster movie called, “You’ve Got Mail.”
Today, even though AOL stopped its celebrated internet service in 2009 and the iconic notification, “You’ve Got Mail,” Christians can still boast the good news claim to all Christian Churches, “You’ve God Mail.” However, the question that comes to all Christians is, “Have you read your mail, lately?” The Book of Revelation is mail to be read in each Church congregation by the Pastors, Shepherds, Bishops or Overseers.
The name of the book of “revelation” is the word “apokalupsis” in the Greek. “Apo” means “away from.” “Kalupto” means “to hide, to cover.” Apokalupsis means to unveil or uncover or reveal. The book then reveals, unveils, the coming triumph of Jesus Christ.
These two chapters cover letters addressed to the seven Churches. The seven Churches represent all of God’s Churches in the world. THEY REPRESENT ALL CHURCHES OF ALL AGES. Any Church that exists can fit the descriptions within these seven Churches. John lived in the same dispensation (arrangement of time) or same age that we live today–the day of the Church Age.
Christ spoke to the seven Churches in a definite order. He follows a definite pattern as you will see as we study each of the seven Churches. The pattern in each is:
- First Christ identifies Himself
- Then He commends the Church (all but Laodicea)
- Next, He condemns the things that are wrong. (He had no condemnation for Smyrna and Philadelphia.)
- Then He warns the Church
- And finally He challenges the Church
1. EPHESUS – “Unto the pastor of the Church at Ephesus, write…” This was the Church of the Apostles. (the Post-apostolic Church)
Note now the pattern of our Lord to Ephesus:
- HE IDENTIFIED HIMSELF: 2:1
- HE COMMENDS THE CHURCH: vv.2,3
- HE CONDEMNS: v.4
- HE WARNS: vv.5,6
- THE CHALLENGES: v.7
2. SMYRNA – “Unto the pastor of the Church in Smyrna, write…” This was the Church of persecution (the Suffering Church)
- HE IDENTIFIES HIMSELF: 2:8
- HE COMMENDS: vv.9,10
This was the Church of the martyrs and persecution. There were ten distinct attempts by imperial rulers to crush the infant Church. These are historical events from the days of Nero to the days of Diocletian.
- HE CONDEMNS: none.
- HE WARNS: v.10a
- HE CHALLENGES: vv. 10b,11
3. PERGAMOS – “Unto the pastor of the Church at Pergamos, write…” This Church was married to the state–a Church of the world. (the Corrupted Church)
- HE IDENTIFIES HIMSELF: v.12
- HE COMMENDS: v.13
- HE CONDEMNS: vv.14,15
- HE WARNS: v.16
- HE CHALLENGES: v.17
4. THYATIRA – “Unto the pastor of the Church of Thyatira, write…” This Church is the Church under the government–a state Church. (the Roman Catholic Church)
- HE IDENTIFIES HIMSELF: v.18
- HE COMMENDS: v.19
- HE CONDEMNS: vv.20-23
- HE WARNS: vv.24,25
- HE CHALLENGES: vv.26-28