The letter to Philadelphia – Part Two (3:7-13)

Last Friday we began reading the letter to Philadelphia in Revelation chapter 3. We saw that they’d been faithful, despite persecution from the local Jewish community which had rejected Jesus as Messiah. Although they were shut out of the synagogue, the door to God’s kingdom was open to them, courtesy of the new palace keyholder,… Continue reading The letter to Philadelphia – Part Two (3:7-13)

The letter to Philadelphia – Part One (3:7-13)

We’re up to letter six today, written to the church at Philadelphia (Rev 3:7-13). It’s most similar to the letter to Smyrna: the church is small, yet faithful, despite Jewish opposition. They’ve already suffered for their faith. Let’s take a look at the letter now. 3:7 To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are… Continue reading The letter to Philadelphia – Part One (3:7-13)

The Letter to Pergamum – Part Two (Rev 2:12-17)

Yesterday, we looked at the letter to Pergamum in Revelation chapter two. We saw how the church had been faithful in the past under intense persecution, but more recently had been lured into idolatry, the “teaching of Balaam” and the Nicolaitans. And we asked the question: why would a church of Jesus Christ need this warning… Continue reading The Letter to Pergamum – Part Two (Rev 2:12-17)

The Letter to Pergamum – Part One (Rev 2:12-17)

The third letter in Revelation chapter 2 is addressed to the church at Pergamum. We’re going to look at it over two days. Today, we’ll read the text and explain some of the imagery that’s going on – particularly the Old Testament background. And tomorrow, we’ll try to enter into the mindset of the believers… Continue reading The Letter to Pergamum – Part One (Rev 2:12-17)

The Letter to Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11)

The second church addressed by Jesus in Revelation chapter 2 is the one in Smyrna. It’s one of the two churches about whom Jesus doesn’t have a negative word to say. (The other one is Philadelphia). Interestingly, these two churches who were the most faithful were also the ones who were undergoing the most serious persecution. Coincidence?… Continue reading The Letter to Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11)

The Letter to Ephesus – Part Two (Rev 2:1-7)

Yesterday, we looked at the first part of Jesus’ letter to the Ephesian church, in Revelation chapter 2. We saw what they were doing well: holding firmly to correct teaching. And we saw what they’d forgotten to do: show love to one another. That’s the first part of the “performance review.” But what’s next? How… Continue reading The Letter to Ephesus – Part Two (Rev 2:1-7)

The Letter to Ephesus – Part One (Rev 2:1-7)

Yesterday we began a series through the letters to the seven churches, found in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. So far, we’ve just looked at some background, and the fact that these “performance reviews” follow the same basic pattern: Who’s speaking: a way of describing Jesus What’s good: an affirmation of what the church is… Continue reading The Letter to Ephesus – Part One (Rev 2:1-7)