Do you sense the shadows deepening across our world? Are you under pressure for following Christ?
The book of Revelation was written for churches experiencing intense persecution. Chapters 1-3 reveal John’s awe-inspiring vision of Jesus and His letters to seven suffering congregations. As we read them, we see the indescribable glory of Jesus revealed; the sober reality of sin uncovered; the unending grace of God unfolded; unsearchable mysteries unveiled; and precious divine promises proclaimed. These remarkable messages from Christ reflect real situations, call for genuine repentance, offer true hope, and inspire authentic worship.
The first three chapters of Revelation portray Jesus walking among seven lampstands representing seven churches in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). With Jesus’ repeated refrain, “I know…”, the words of these letters assure us; Jesus is always close to His Church. He knows each believer intimately, even the things we may hide from ourselves and others. No one sees you more clearly or loves you more deeply than your Savior. Jesus knows what it is like to live with every pressure we face.
No suffering, lack of strength or sin escapes His notice. He is always close, showing us how to live in full fellowship with Him.
How does the assurance of Jesus’ proximity and presence comfort you in your pain?
John’s vision of Jesus reveals that the eyes of God the Son blaze with perfect perception. He alone holds the power to transform us through His Word and Spirit. He comes to His people with a double-edged sword, both to rebuke and to renew. Jesus spoke a specific message to each church, offering challenge and commendation. Some lacked love; some tolerated false teaching and immorality; others were lukewarm and lifeless in their commitment to Him. Jesus and His Word cut through all deception and pretense.
He praised all who were faithful to Him and to God’s Word, persevering through persecution. Through His powerful exhortations to these ancient congregations, Jesus calls His people in every time and place to hear what the Spirit is saying to them and to their churches.
How do Jesus’ all-knowing challenges call you to respond and turn from complacency or compromise?
The Lord Jesus gives great and precious promises to all who overcome through Him and His power: Eternal, abundant life! Access to the tree of life in God’s paradise! A crown of life! A new name and total transformation! Supernatural strength and sustenance! A bountiful, overflowing satisfaction found only in Him - the Bread of Life. In His future kingdom, the Lord, the Morning Star, promises authority with Him over the nations. Jesus will acknowledge those who are faithful before His Father.
One day, believers will walk with Him wearing white – He will have removed the last spot of sin. Like pillars in His temple, His loyal people will be strong in God’s presence. And to Laodicea - and all who repent of sin and live in Jesus’ power today - they will sit with Him on His throne. Just as He was victorious, Jesus establishes the believer’s victory.*
How does reading Jesus’ precious promises ignite your resolve to live for Him?
Jesus is the center of His Church. His message to each congregation begins where all knowledge of God begins – with a revelation of Himself. The Lord Jesus is the Head of every body of believers. He focuses His attention intensely on us. He is not bound by time. He is the First and the Last, He rules all creation and holds the keys of life and death. He died on our behalf and now lives for us. We live because He lives. He is sovereign over all things; nothing and no one can stop His power. He will accomplish all His purposes for His people. Even if we die for Him, He will crown us with life.
He opens the kingdom to His people forever. He is the “Amen” who always knows and speaks the truth. He is the source of all we need. Jesus Christ is the great hope of God’s people; His radiant life fills our future and beckons us forward!
How does seeing Jesus’ person and power revealed give you the strength to persevere?
Are you or your Bible study group looking to start a new season with powerful and practical principles for living through challenging times? Jesus' loving letters will light your way with His presence, perspective, promises and power!
Explore the overview of our Letters to Patmos course, available to study in the WordGo app from September 27th.