I have begun preaching a series of messages to our church from The Revelation. I am headed especially for chapters 2 and 3, in which Jesus Himself addresses and counsels these specific seven churches in Asia Minor – and by extension, all of His churches that would come and go during the successive generations from His resurrection and ascension until He comes back.
That is actually the whole purpose and message of The Revelation. I am going to copy for you here a paragraph I have read while studying and preparing for these messages. It is the opening paragraph of the Introduction to Revelation: A Shorter Commentary by G. K. Beale.
Here it is: “One of the great tragedies in the churches in our day is how Revelation has been so narrowly and incorrectly interpreted with an obsessive focus on the future end-time, with the result that we have missed the fact that it contains many profound truths and encouragements concerning Christian life and discipleship.
The prophetic visions of Revelation can easily disguise the point that it was written as a letter to the churches, and a letter which is pastoral in nature.
The goal of Revelation is to bring encouragement to believers of all ages that God is working out His purposes even in the midst of tragedy, suffering, and apparent Satanic domination.
It is the Bible’s battle cry of victory, for in it, more than anywhere else in the NT, is revealed the final victory of God over all the forces of evil.
As such, it is an encouragement to God’s people to persevere in the assurance that their final reward is certain and to worship and glorify God despite trials and despite temptations to march to the world’s drumbeat.”
We began our study by noting how often we are reminded that what is written in The Revelation of Jesus Christ is written ‘to the churches.’ These ‘church addresses’ begin in chapter 1.11, “to the seven churches which are in Asia” – then continue on through each of the seven letters in chapters 2-3 – and is repeated again in chapter 22.16, lest we have lost attention or been distracted or forgotten that we must be listening and learning along the way: “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I AM the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
And then, we, Christ’s bride, must pick up the message and continue the proclamation: “COME!”
One of our most absorbing questions must be: “What does Jesus Christ think about us? What does Jesus Christ say about us?” We really do want to know. Let’s ask Him!