Today begins a new study series on the Video Blog area of Returningking.com. This series, currently being preached at First Baptist Church in Needville, TX, is an examination of the Seven Churches which the book of Revelation is written to in Asia Minor.
The title of the series, however, is not “The Seven Churches of Asia Minor,” but rather “The Seven Churches,” because once one begins interpretational work on the book of Revelation it becomes clear that the seven churches do not only represent the seven historical churches whose names are written on the letter. Rather, these seven churches are seen throughout history, which is the context of the book of Revelation:
Revelation 1:19 (ESV)
19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.
While understanding the nature of the church age (as observed in last week’s session) is important to the interpretation of the letters to the seven churches, another very important interpretive principle is that of “context.” This week’s video will examine the context of the book of Revelation, that the proper interpretation of the letters to the churches may be achieved, and the message of the letters may reach its intended mark: the church age at large.
The first church John was asked to address of the seven was the church in Ephesus; a church which received both praise and rebuke from the Lord’s letter.
This week’s study focuses on the commendation to the church. The rebuke will be dealt with in next week’s study.
Overwhelmingly, it is clear from the letter to the church at Ephesus that the faith entrusted to the saints is indeed something to be contended for: as the Lord himself gives his commendation to his church for not tolerating evil men and heresy.
The Seven Churches video series has been updated on the Video Study page. Parts 4-7 have been added, covering the second half of the church at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum. Our apologies for the month of missed updates!