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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Letters to Churches

A look at the state of the Church then - and always.

The Heart of God: The End in Sight (2)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Read and meditate on Revelation 2 and 3.
King Jesus has a message for seven churches. The number seven suggests completeness (the number for God, three, plus the number for earth, four), so these messages, while to real historical congregations, speak to the whole Body of Christ for all times. Let’s see what we can learn from them.

For reflection
1.  Summarize the Lord’s message to the churches in Revelation 2. Do we see any of these same tendencies or situations in churches today? What does it mean to have ears to hear?

2.  Summarize the Lord’s message to the churches in Revelation 3. Again, how do we see similar situations or conditions in churches today? What threats does Jesus hold out to His churches in these two chapters?

3.  List the words Jesus uses in chapters 2 and 3 to instruct the churches in what they should do. Put these all together into a single sentence, summarizing Jesus’ counsel to His churches. In what ways does this command apply to your church?

4.  How do you see the themes of “patient endurance” and “tribulation” in these letters to the churches?

5.  These letters seem to have a bearing on the Church (and churches) in every age. How might your church use these letters in ministry planning and assessment?  

From the beginning, the Lord takes the Church as the central figure in the unfolding drama of the last days. He is building His Church, as He promised (Matt. 16.18); but He is building it His way, for His purposes, and not ours. How can we know when our churches are operating according to the Lord’s plan and purpose?

Closing Prayer
Restore us, O God of hosts;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!
You have brought a vine out of Egypt;
You have cast out the nations, and planted it.
You prepared room for it,
And caused it to take deep root,
And it filled the land.
The hills were covered with its shadow,
And the mighty cedars with its boughs.
She sent out her boughs to the Sea,
And her branches to the River.
Why have You broken down her hedges,
So that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit?
The boar out of the woods uproots it,
And the wild beast of the field devours it.
Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts;
Look down from heaven and see,
And visit this vine
And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted,
And the branch that You made strong for Yourself.
It is burned with fire, it is cut down;
They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance.
Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand,
Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.
Then we will not turn back from You;
Revive us, and we will call upon Your name.
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;
Cause Your face to shine,
And we shall be saved!

Psalm 80.7-19

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documentsprovides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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