Right Church Activity

In the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation are messages to seven churches in Asia. Each of the seven churches represents a different aspect of ecclesiastical organization and shows what happens when a group of people band together to form a church. John's messages to these churches appear as admonitions; but since he himself tells us that he is not an author but a transcriber of what is appearing to him as revelation, the messages to the churches can be considered a chart or guide for us all.

Four of the churches John described had worked hard, prospered, and been faithful, but one of these had lost the sense of active love which it once had; some of the members of a second one were becoming idolatrous; a third was permitting personal domination to enter into its activities; and a fourth was satisfied with its present attainments and growth and was resting on its laurels. Of the three remaining churches, John found that one was mesmerized by a belief of distress, poverty, and slander; another had the appearance of prosperity, which was superficial, for the church was really asleep; and still another, the one at Philadelphia, was promised protection for its faithfulness; but John cautioned it as follows (3:11): "Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."

The most significant thing about each message is that it closes with a promise of reward to the one "that overcometh." The victory is the individual's, and, of course, the work is the individual's also. Then only is the church assured of victory.

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Imparting Love
September 25, 1965

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