Epilogue: Revelation 2:1- 3:22

I said when I began this series that I believe the seven Churches in Revelation represent the universal Church today. We find all of these conditions within the greater Body of Christ. But along with those in the Body of Christ who don’t quite have it all together, Jesus is also revealing Himself to those outside the Church. Peter assures us that God is not willing that any should perish. Because that is true, Jesus stands outside the door of all our hearts, encouraging us to let Him come in. If it is the first time we have opened our hearts to Him, He will begin His work of loving restoration in us that will totally change our lives. If we have already opened the door of our hearts to Him, give Him the fullness of your heart and let Him polish His image in you to the point all who see you will see Him in you.

In summarizing the messages, it is necessary to understand the way in which Jesus introduced Himself to each of the Churches. He introduced Himself differently to every Church, and every introduction was a declaration of His ability to meet the needs of that Church. To Ephesus, who had left their first love, He was the light that can expose their fallen state and lack of love and the light that shines in darkness to lead them back into the fullness of the Light of the World. To the persecuted Church at Smyrna, He was the resurrected Lord Who was able to give them the new life He promised them and the Beginning and the End, the one who called them to Himself and the one who would be there to strengthen and keep them until the trials they endured were forever past.

To the compromising Church at Pergamos He was the Living Word, the two-edged sword that would cut to the heart and expose the false doctrine that was leading them astray and reveal God’s truth to them. To Thyatira, where Jezebel was allowed to corrupt believers, He was the all-seeing eyes of fire that could purge the evil of the Jezebel spirit and the One who will trample evil beneath His feet of judgment.

To Sardis, the spiritually dead church, He held the Holy Spirit and the seven stars. He was the One who would send the Holy Spirit to bring back spiritual life and the one who would give them signs in the heavens to keep them on track. To Philadelphia, the faithful church, He was the holder of the key of David, the One who could give them the authority to persevere and the one who would open doors for them and close other doors and no man could keep them from walking in the way God wanted them to walk. To Laodicea, the apathetic church, He was the true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. Only His truth and His working in the heart could enable the Laodiceans to become the new creation He wanted them to be.

The message He brought to the churches and wants the Church to hear today is still just as valid now as it was when He first gave it. He tells us to stay close to Me; don’t allow anything to come between you and your love for Me. If you have lost your ardor for Me, come back. He encourages us to endure unto the end, to not lose hope and give up just because we haven’t yet seen the final victory. He exhorts us to repent of our sinfulness and hold on to the truth. He calls us to be spiritually alert and to overcome the sinfulness that tempts us. He reminds us that even though we may think we are small and ineffective, He has given us great authority, and as we wield His authority in obedience to Him we will overcome the enemies of God. He reminds us that we are not to be entangled with the things of this world, but rather, we are to lay up riches in heaven. To Ephesus He said “Return to your first love.” To Sardis the message was “Don’t fear the time and ages, just remain faithful and endure to the end. To Pergamos, He said, “Watch out for, and reject, false doctrine.” To Thyatira he said “Don’t compromise the Word of God. Either repent of that false doctrine, or die.” To Philadelphia, He said “Hold fast to what you have and let no man take your crown.” And finally, to the church at Laodicea, He said, “Let me show you the sinfulness among you and purge it from you. Be zealous to repent!” These admonishments are as critical to the Body of Christ today as they have ever been, and we overlook, or ignore, them at our own peril. He who has an ear, let him hear.

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