As I was reading Revelation today, I thought about the seven churches and the message for each church. Some of these churches, like the church at Ephesus, I was more familiar with since it was founded by Paul and we have the letter to the Ephesians for study as well as some information in Acts. As I read these letters, I wondered, “What the Lord would say to me if He wrote me a letter?” What would He say to you?

Of the seven churches, the Lord had words of correction for five of them; Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea.

The church at Ephesus had “forsaken the love [they] had at first (Revelation 2:4 NIV). The Lord told them to “Consider how far [they had] fallen!” and to repent else their lampstand be removed (Revelation 2:5 NIV). There’s a song I’ve heard, “Take Me Back” that bemoans one’s falling away from one’s first love of the Lord.

I feel that I’m so far from you Lord
But still I hear you calling me
Those simple things that I once knew,
Their memories are drawing me.


I must confess, Lord I’ve been blessed
But yet my soul’s not satisfied.
Renew my faith, restore my joy
And dry my weeping eyes.

Copyright

How many of us long to believe the way we did when we first believed? I think this is a common state for the Believer. The Lord says this about the church at Sardis.

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Revelation 3:2-3 (NIV)

When we become bored or stop believing the things we do matter, they can remain unfinished. I believe, this too, is a sign that faith might have lapsed. What about the church at Laodicea?

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)

They had neither turned away from the Lord nor followed Him wholeheartedly. The worship of the Lord had become commonplace and irreverent. They found the riches of the world to hold their attention more than the prosperity that comes from God.

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Revelation 3:17-18 (NIV)

Perhaps the Lord’s letter to us might warn us about our indulgences into the flesh? Giving in to sexual immorality and debauchery like those at Pergamum?

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality.

Revelation 2:14 (NIV)

Even the church at Thyatira had given into sexual immorality and followed the teachings of Jezebel.

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

Revelation 2:20 (NIV)

I don’t read of these problems in these early churches and think they were isolated events. If they existed then, they exist now to one degree or another. I think the praiseworthy things the Lord mentions to these churches also exist today.

The church of Ephesus was praised for their hard work and perseverance in the faith and for their choices to not follow the designs of evil people. They tested false teachers and were diligent in following the Lord. They didn’t grow weary in doing good.

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Revelation 2:2-3 (NIV)

Yet, they still turned from their first love. This tells me we have to be careful to remember why we do the things we do. Why do follow Christ? Why do we read the Bible? We can do the good things set before us and do so without the love of Christ. What does Paul say?

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)

Perhaps the Lord’s letter to you might contain words of encouragement like those to the church at Smyrna?

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

Revelation 2:10 (NIV)

Maybe you might find an amazing promise like the one to the church in Philadelphia?

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

Revelation 3:10 (NIV)

I know that whatever the Lord’s letter to me might say, it would be said in love. I hope to have the ears to hear what He’s saying, so I can grab hold of the crown of victory right now and live a successful and victorious life in Him.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.