Wrapping Up the Letters from Christ {Revelation Study}

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

~ Revelation 3:13

Over the past 7 weeks, we have looked at the different letters that Jesus addressed to the churches in Revelation. Each letter was a performance appraisal of sorts. Jesus started out by saying who He was and why He was qualified to write to them. Then He complimented them on something they did well, before moving onto things they needed to work on.

The church in Ephesus persevered under hardship. They stood firm in their faith and sought the truth. But, they had lost their first love, and Christ was calling them back to Him.

In Smyrna the Christians were highly persecuted, but they were spiritually rich. Christ called these Christians to be faithful, even though it was going to get worse for them.

The Christians in Pergamum were holding onto their faith in Christ no matter what the cost, but they were also letting false teachings slip in. Teachings contrary to the word of Christ, and yet the were believing them, and He called them to repent.

Those in Thyatira were growing in their faith. They were commended for their service, love, faith and deeds, but Christ said they still needed work. They were tolerating false teachings–not necessarily believing them, but allowing them to be taught, and Christ wanted them to stop. He basically said that their complacency was sending people to Hell.

Jesus warned the Christians in Sardis that their reputation wasn’t as important as their hearts. He admonished them to wake up before it was too late, and to remember the gospel that saved them.

In Philadelphia Jesus encouraged the believers that even if life in this world was rough, that they were headed for someplace better. He knew they were holding fast to Him, and He let them know that their faith would be rewarded.

And finally, the church in Laodicea was lukewarm. Jesus said it would be better to be cold than to be a half-hearted Christian. He called them to be earnest and repent. Letting them know that He was standing at the door ready to welcome them with open arms, all they had to do was knock.

Do you see any repeating themes in those letters?

Here’s what I see…

What matters to Christ

What matters to Christ is that we love Him with our whole hearts. That we are faithful with our whole spirit, soul, and body. That we have works prompted by love. That we hold fast to the teachings of Christ, and don’t let anyone lead us astray. That we love others enough to share the truth of the Gospel. That we dedicate ourselves to Christ and love Him as passionately as He loves us. That we remember the Gospel that saves us, and walk with our hearts firmly set on Him. That’s what matters to Christ.

Of course we’ll fail, but Christ will love us anyway. Afterall, He died for that very reason, and that gives us all the cause to love Him more.

 

Therefore, receiving a Kingdom that can’t be shaken, let us have grace, through which we serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:28-29

Reflection Questions:

  • Summarize these letters from Christ in your own words. What would you say God wanted us to understand from reading them as a whole?
  • What would Christ say you are doing well?
  • What would Christ say you need to work on?

Take it Further:

 

Other Blog Posts in this Series:

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