The Seven Churches of Revelation
The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as the Seven Churches of Asia, are seven major churches of Early Christianity.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ instructed John to “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” Revelation 1:11
Each of these churches existed in Roman province of Asia at the time that John wrote the letters. However, these letters were not only written for each individual church, but they were written as letter to God’s people across the span of time. The messages found in these seven letters apply to Christians today as do all the other letters or books of the Bible. Furthermore, these seven letters have additional application to God’s church in seven different eras, beginning with apostolic days and ending with the return of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 3:16, 17 tells us: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
I have a handy chart that you can print detailing the different aspects of The Seven Churches of Revelation.
The Church of Philadelphia
The Church of Philadelphia in Revelation covers the era between the second half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. This is the era of Revival in the church. It’s during this time period that formal missionary work began.
Both the American and British Bible Societies were organized during this time. Foreign missions expanded and the church began to send teachers around the world to tell distant lands the Good News of Jesus.
Great men of God like Wesley and Whitefield stirred the people with their preaching and a revival began around the world. People began to study the Scriptures in earnest and eagerly sought to learn about the Prophecies of Daniel and the book of Revelation.
Jesus had no reproof for His church during this time. Instead, he commended them for their patient endurance.
“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” Revelation 3:10
Unfortunately, there were people who were pretending to be righteous in their midst. Jesus called them members of the synagogue of Satan. God knows the difference between men and women who truly love Him, and those who are merely pretending. We can’t hide our true motives from God!
Revelation 3:9 says, “I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars – I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”
Jesus calls these types of people “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15
We have to be careful! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it is so important. Satan isn’t nearly as concerned about people “out there” in the world – he already has them where he wants them. No, he’s much more interested in people like you and me who go to church and pray. He is like a roaring lion – ready to devour you. He wants to deceive God’s people.
How can he deceive us? By getting us to believe in something that has just enough truth to be credible. He is, after all, the father of lies.
We need to check all teachings – everything we believe to be true – against God’s Holy Word.