The Letters 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.
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: 2:18
- HE COMMENDS: v.19
- HE CONDEMNS: vv.20-23
- HE WARNS: vv.24,25
- HE CHALLENGES: vv.26-28
5. SARDIS – “Unto the pastor of the Church at Sardis, write…” (3:1) This Church period is the Church of the Reformation: (the Reformed Church)
- HE IDENTIFIES HIMSELF: 3:1
- HE COMMENDS: v.4
- HE CONDEMNS: v.1
- HE WARNS: vv.2,3
- HE CHALLENGES: vv.5,6
6. PHILADELPHIA – “Unto the pastor of the Church in Philadelphia, write…” (v.7) This Church means “open door.” It represents the great missionary movement. (the Faithful Little Flock)
- HE IDENTIFIES HIMSELF: v.7
- HE COMMENDS: vv.8,9
- HE CONDEMNS: v.10
- HE WARNS: v.11
- HE CHALLENGES: vv.12,13
7. LAODICEA – “Unto the pastor of the Church of the Laodiceans, write…” (v.14) This Church represents the Church of the last days before the coming of Christ. (the Apostate Church)
- HE IDENTIFIES HIMSELF: v.14
- HE COMMENDS: Nothing good!
- HE CONDEMNS: vv.15-17
- HE WARNS: v.18
- HE CHALLENGES: vv.19-22; Hebrews 12:5-8