Happy Birthday to my lovely wife, Cheryl!!!!!
So today we begin the second section, what is now, and that is the church age. The time of the Christian church in this world, from the first century to today.
Well, wonder no more. He tells us right here in Revelation 2 and 3, as Jesus writes 7 letters to seven churches. And this is really something amazing. In seven letters, Jesus speaks to seven churches – and many believe – to seven eras in church history, ahead of time. Past for us but future for Him. We will look at these more in depth tomorrow night.
See, each of the seven churches was a real church in 95 AD when this was written, but each church also shows us a picture of the Christian church in a particular period of history, right up to today. Jesus speaks to His church in advance, and gives each one direction, encouragement, and correction.
And more than that, in every letter we find application for us, my church and yours. We all have issues, and Jesus speaks to each one right here. From persecuted to popes to protestants, Jesus loves His church. And those He loves, He disciplines. So get ready for some personal correction from the One who loves you enough to say what hurts and heals.
Now remember, this whole book is about revealing Jesus. And here each church letter begins with a revelation of who Jesus is. In the church age, Jesus reveals himself to and through the church.
Do you remember when Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” And when they got it right, he said, “On this rock I will build my church.” What rock? “Who he is.” The foundation of the church is who Jesus is. And that is why to every one of the churches, Jesus reveals an element of who he is, and each one is a reference to chapter 1. For me – this is the most interesting part of Revelation.
Church 1: “He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands” – (Rev. 1:12-13)
Church 2: “the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life” – (Rev. 1:8,11,17)
Church 3: “He who has the sharp two-edged sword” – (Rev. 1:16)
Church 4: “The Son of God, eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass” – (Rev. 1:13-15)
Church 5: “He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars” – (Rev. 1:16)
Church 6: “He who is holy, He who is true, ‘He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens’” – (Rev. 1:18)
Church 7: “the Beginning of the creation of God” – Rev. 1:8,11)