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letters_picOvercoming compromise is a continual struggle for the church in every age, but it is a calling that comes directly from the resurrected Christ:

“To him who overcomes…”

This sacred calling and strong promise is issued in each of the seven letters to the churches in Asia Minor (c.f., Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21), but it is not limited to them.

Join us for our weekly Discipleship Hour as Pastor McShaffrey explains the historical background and present implications of the seven letters of John’s Revelation. The schedule and outlines are below:

08/14/16  –  Introduction

Generally, this book is the revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1,12-19) and is intended to teach us ABOUT HIM.

Specifically, our duty to “overcome” worldly opposition  and remain faithful TO HIM is emphasized throughout.

Interpretive Options

– Historical Epistles
– Representative Types
– Universal Relevance
– Prophetic Epochs

Exegetical Insights

Lampstands = Witness (Is. 42:6-7, Matt. 5:14-16)

Angels = Guardians (Daniel 10:13, 12:1)

Stars = Authority (Gen. 1:16, 37:9-11, Rev. 12:1)

08/21/16  –  Ephesus (2:1-7)

The Revelation of Christ (vs. 1)

He who holds  (sovereign ownership)

He who walks  (patrolling presence)

Evaluation of the Church (vv. 2-4)

+ Toil  (i.e., point of exhaustion)

+ Endurance  (bearing up under pressure)

+ Orthodoxy  (hatred of false doctrine)

–  Loveless  (love lost for God or man?)

Exhortation to Overcome (vv. 5-7)

Positive: Remember  (c.f., Eph. 1:15-16, 6:24)

Negative: Repent  (i.e., stopping and starting)

Promise: Tree of Life  (Gen. 2:9, Rev. 22:2,14,19)

08/28/16  –  Smyrna (2:8-11)

The Revelation of Christ (vs. 8)

First and last (eternality)

Dead and alive (victorious)

Evaluation of the Church (vs. 9)

+ Endurance of Persecution (e.g., slander, poverty, arrest, execution)

Exhortation to Overcome (vv. 10-11)

Do not fear (lit., stop being afraid)

Be faithful  (even unto death!)

Crown of Life  (i.e., laurel wreath)

Safety in death (c.f., Rev. 20:6,14; 21:8)

09/11/16  –  Pergamos (2:12-17)

The Revelation of Christ (vv. 12-13a)

Two-edged Sword (Hebrews 4:11-13)

Knows the Enemy (Satan’s Throne)

Evaluation of the Church (vv. 13b-15)

+ Endured External Opposition  (e.g., Antipas the Martyr)

–  Tolerated Internal Error  (i.e., Balaam & Nicolaitans)

Exhortation to Overcome (vv. 16-17)

Repentance (sword cuts both ways)

Hidden Manna  (c.f., Revelation 12:14)

White Stone (symbol of acquittal?)

New Name (transformed identity)

09/18/16  – Thyatira (2:18-29)

The Revelation of Christ (vs. 18)

Son of God (identity/inheritance)

Eyes Like Fire (holy insight, c.f., vs. 23)

Feet of Brass (dominion/judgment)

Evaluation of the Church (vv. 19-23)

+ Love Faith, Service, Perseverance

+ Increase of Godliness

–  Toleration of Jezebel

Exhortation to Overcome (vv. 24-29)

No Burden  (Matthew 10:11)

Hold Fast (1 Thess. 5:21)

Reign w/Christ (Psalm 2, 110:3)

Morning Star (Num. 24:17, Rev. 22:16)

09/25/16  –  Sardis (3:1-6)

The Revelation of Christ (vs. 1a)

Seven spirits (power, Zech. 4:1-6)

Seven stars (provision, Rev. 1:16)

Evaluation of the Church (vv. 1b,4)

–  Death by Respectability

+ A Holy Remnant Remained

Exhortation to Overcome (vv. 2-4)

Watch (thief in the night threat)

Strengthen (fan the embers into flame)

Remember (a key to spiritual revival)

Repent (yes, even the holy remnant)

Reward (justification, perseverance, etc.)

10/09/16  –  Philadelphia (3:7-13)

The Revelation of Christ (vs. 7)

Holy (purity in being/works)

True (veracity, reality, etc.)

Keys (administrative authority, Is. 22:22)

Evaluation of the Church (vv. 8,10)

+ Open Door

+ Little Strength

+ Perseverance

Exhortation to Overcome (vv. 8-13)

Vindication (Isaiah 45;14, 49:23, 60:14)

Protection (note reciprocal keeping, vs. 10)

Reward (hold fast the crown, resist thieves)

Security (pillar, names written, heaven)

10/16/16   –  Laodicea (3:14-22)

The Revelation of Christ (vs. 14)


Faithful Witness

Beginning of Creation

Evaluation of the Church (vv. 15-18)

– Self-sufficiency

– Spiritual Tepidity

Exhortation to Overcome (vv. 19-22)

Loving Rebuke  (Prov. 3:11-12)

Zealous Repentance  (zealos = boil)

Restored Fellowship  (sorry evangelists!)