Revelation 1-3 Series
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” - Revelation 2:7
After Jesus’ resurrection he was with his disciples for 40 days teaching them about the Kingdom of God. On the last day, when Jesus ascended to heaven, he told his disciples to be his witnesses throughout the world (Acts 1:8). John was one of the disciples who heard this command from Jesus. Not only did he hear this command but he followed through with this mission.
John spent the rest of his life traveling throughout Asia Minor proclaiming the gospel. During these trips, John saw much persecution as well as false witnesses of how Jesus lived and what Jesus taught. Toward the end of John’s life, he dedicated his time ensuring there was no confusion of who the risen Savior was. In doing so, he wrote the Gospel of John and 1, 2, 3 John. The goal of the Gospel of John was to give a clear account of what Jesus did in the past. The goal of 1-3 John was to teach the churches, where John traveled, about what it means to live for Jesus and the evidence that should follow.Sometime between these writings, John receives visions from the Lord; not just to reveal what Jesus did but to reveal what Jesus was going to do. Thus the book of Revelation was written.
Revelation was John’s record of visions of what Jesus was going to do when he comes back for his bride (the Church). In John’s introduction to Revelation, he spends the first three chapters speaking directly to the 7 churches in Asia Minor where he previously traveled. These 7 personal letters to the 7 churches were to act as a warning to be ready when Jesus inevitably arrives. Not only does John see this as a personal letter to each of the addressed churches, but he also sees this as a letter to any believer in Asia Minor who might read this account (2:7,11,17.29; 3:6,13, 22). For this reason, the same warning intended for these 7 letters to the 7 churches are just as applicable for us as it was for them.
What should these letters mean to us?
By the grace of God, we are a growing church who has weathered several years of faithful gospel ministry. As we have seen many seasons of changes in our church it is easy for us to set our minds and affections in the here and now rather than remembering that Christ will one day return and take his Church to live with him for eternity. Rarely do we live as if Jesus were arriving at any moment. For the 7 churches in Asia Minor, they likely had the same struggle and temptation to become complacent of Christ’s return. John wrote these letters to give them urgency to prepare for Christ to come. As the Holy Spirit inspired these words from John, the same message applies to us: Integrity Church, be prepared for the return of Christ!
January 21st: Revelation 1:1-20 The Vision of Christ
January 28th: Revelation 2:1-7 Ephesus
February 4th: Revelation 2:8-17 Smyrna and Pergamum
February 11th: Revelation 2:18-29 Thyatira
February 18th: Revelation 3:1-6 Sardis
February 25th: Revelation 3:7-13 Philadelphia
March 4th: Revelation 3:14-22 Laodicea