The Letters to the Seven Churches–Are They for Us Today?

>I’m sorry but Revelation (singular) is to 7 churches that existed 2000
>thousand years ago. Not us. It’s not about the end of time.
>It’s about the Lord’s vengeance on the Roman empire.
>God help you all to see that……James 1:5….Matthew 24:36

You are correct that chapters 2 and 3 are seven letters written to seven
churches that existed 2000 years ago. There are some interesting things
about those letters, however.

1) Not only are they addressed to the seven churches, but they are also
addressed to “He that hath an ear” (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22), and
most people I know have at least one ear. I conclude, since all people have
ears, that John was writing to everybody.

2) These letters were addressed to Christians living in John’s day. I know
that because Jesus addresses some people who had “left thy first love” (Rev
2:4) and of others Jesus said, “Thou holdest fast my name, and hast not
denied my faith” (Rev 2:13). Since these letters were to Christians, we
need to look at the conditional nature of the promsies. Seven times in Rev
2-3 Jesus said His promises were only to those who overcame. Overcoming is
determined at death (Rev 2:10b). The seven promises were to Christians who
overcame sin by being faithful unto death.

3) The promises to these seven churches were to be fulfilled AFTER the death
of those who heard them!

4) Since Rev was written about AD 96 and was to be fulfilled after the death
of First Century Christians, we therefore conclude that the promises to
these Christians were to be fulfilled at some future time subsequent to the
First Century.

5) If the promises in Rev 2-3 are to “he who has an ear” and “he that
overcometh” and are fulfilled subsequent to the death of the hearers, the
fact alone that Jesus wrote to seven specific churches 2000 years ago is not
particularly relevant in determining to whom the promises were written and
when these promises were to be fulfilled.

6) It is obvious that:

a) Christians are not eating from the tree of life (Rev 2:7)
b) Christians are in danger of the second death (Rev 2:11)
c) Christians do not eat of the hidden manna or have a God-given white stone engraved with
their secret name (Rev 2:17)
d) Christians do not have power over the nations (Rev 2:26)
e) Christians are not clothed in white raiment, are in danger of having their names blotted out of
the book of life, and have not had our names confessed before the Father and the angels
(Rev 3:5)
f) Christians are not permanent pillars in God’s temple for they can leave the church, we do not
have God’s name written upon us, and we do not have New Jerusalem’s and Christ’s new name
written on us (Rev 3:12)
g) Christians are not sat down with Christ on His throne as He is sat down with His Father on His
throne (Rev 3:21)

From the above analysis, it should be clear that the promises in Rev 2-3
were to be fulfilled subsequent to the death of First Century Christians and
therefore were still future at the time that John wrote. Rev 2-3 are NOT
promises to living Christians, but to dead Christians who overcome sin in
this life. From the nature of the seven promises to the seven churches it
is clear that they are to be fulfilled at the resurrection. For example,
the promise of our future access to the tree of life is mentioned in Rev
22:2 where John describes New Jerusalem having come down to earth. He
describes our future access to the city and the tree when he says, “Blessed
are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of
life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev 22:14). Inside
of the city are the trees of life (Rev 22:2). This is obviously something
for the future. At the present time we do not have access to the tree of
life and we likewise do not have power over the nations, but rather “suffer
persecution” (II Tim 3:12), and are “of all men most to be pitied” (I Cor
15:19). The letters to the seven churches are to Christians of all ages and
places. The promises of Rev 2-3 will be fulfilled to all faithful
Christians after the resurrection of the dead.

About James Johnson

Bible student for 60 years. Preacher of the gospel for over 40 years. Author of commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb. Married with children. Worked in aerospace and computer engineering for over 40 years.
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