Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“Seven Words for Seven Churches”
August 12, 2018
Revelation 2:1-7; 3:1-6
Pastor’s Notes (Some additional thoughts for your Sunday school lesson):
The Book of Revelation is John’s record of the vision received while on the Isle of Patmos (probably written around AD 95).
While most of the New Testament is historical, Revelation is a futuristic glimpse of what will be.
The Book of Revelation (The Revelation of Jesus Christ) is filled with imagery of God wrath and judgment upon the unbelieving world; however, for the believer, it contains the promise of our future deliverance and final victory over sin and death, from the tragedy of terror to triumph, the conflict of civilization to the coronation of Christ, and from the horrors of hell to the hallelujahs of heaven.
The Book of Revelation is God’s timetable, the history of the future, the record of the events that will surely come to pass.
God calls His people to repent of sin (Revelation 2:1-7).
“angel” – probably the leader/pastor of the church
What is the “church.” – The word church comes from the Greek, ecclesia, which means called out, an assembly.
The church is made up of those who have exchanged a life under the penalty and power of sin for a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. The local church is a body of believers who have aligned themselves together for the cause of Christ.
“church in Ephesus” founded by the Apostle Paul. Tradition holds that the disciple John was at one time the pastor of the local congregation.
Jesus is described as walking among the seven golden lampstands (churches). How does this compare to the church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) where Jesus is said to be on the outside?
Jesus not only knows what we do, but why.
He knows our works (what we do), our labor (how hard we work at what we do), our endurance (the sacrifice and suffering we endure without giving up), and our attitude toward those who promote evil.
Jesus commends the church for exposing those who do not preach the truth.
These false prophets were “tested” by the standard of the Word of God. If what someone says does not agree with the Scripture then it is a lie.
How can you defend the faith if you do not understand what you believe, what the Bible teaches?
What religious organizations present themselves as Christian, however, preach what Paul calls “another gospel,” and how should we respond to them?
Jesus calls the church in Ephesus to repent of their diminished love for Him and resume a life characterized by their devotion to Him.
The danger of continued disobedience would be the removal of the Lord’s presence (the Holy Spirit). Absent the Holy Spirit is the power of God. Absent the power of God is a church operating in the power of the flesh.
“Nicolaitans” – little known of who they are or what was their practice. The word comes from the combination of two Greek words – Nikao, which means to conquer, and Laos, which means the laity; to conquer or rule over the laity.
Verse seven is not a condition, but rather a declaration.
God calls His people to refocus their attention (Revelation 3:1-6).
Once again note the omniscience of Jesus, He knows their works. Nothing escape the vision of the Lord.
Jesus has NO commendations for the church in Sardis.
The Sardis congregation was on life support
Thom Rainer, in his book, “The Autopsy of a Deceased Church,” refers to this church as a “very sick church” with little possibility of recovery
Life comes from the Lord … if His presence is removed, His Spirit, what follows is death.
Sardis, from an external view seemed a healthy church, but an examination of the internal revealed a dying church. DISCUSS this scenario in a modern day setting (a church by appearance alive, but in reality, near death).
Jesus held out hope to the church calling them to repent and return.
The time frame for their repentance was to be immediate.
Again, verse 5 is not a condition, but rather a declaration.
Don’t depend on human rationale, but what the Spirit sees and reveals. Church-members have a tendency to hide the truth.
God calls His people to reengage in His mission (Revelation 3:2).
Wake up and see what God sees. Acknowledge the problem and seek the solution. Begin where you quit, and finish what you started.
This verse shows the amazing grace and mercy of God, His forgiveness and restoration. God is patient toward His church providing the opportunity and ability to make right what is wrong.
QUESTION: Are you guilty of quitting on God? It’s not too late to repent and resume what you started.
Theological Theme: God, Who knows all things, both commends His church for their successes and rebukes His church for their failures.
Christological/Christ Connection: Christ died for the church and therefore cares for her spiritual condition. A healthy church is sound in their doctrine of Christ, and obedience to their mission from Christ.
Missional Application: God calls us (the church) to repent of our failure, refocus our attention on Christ, and reengage in His mission.