Now you can open you Bible to Revelation, chapter 2, if you will. We are looking at Revelation, chapter 1, 2, and 3, under the heading “The Lord Speaks to His Church in a Hostile World.”
We live in a hostile world. The church always lives in a hostile world because, as we saw this morning, the world is always hostile toward the church. And that is the context for the letters that we read in chapters 2 and 3. There are seven letters here contained in the book of Revelation in these two chapters that our Lord Himself wrote to seven actual churches in Asia Minor – which would be today, Turkey, the area of Turkey.
To each of those churches, the Lord wrote a specific letter based upon that church’s condition and need. These churches are actual churches, historic churches, but they also demonstrate to us the various kinds of churches that exist in all ages, so that the Lord’s message to these churches transcends them and must be given to churches in all ages of church history. Each of these letters marks out a uniqueness of the church. Five out of the seven identify serious problems that the Lord addresses, and serious warnings, and even threats that come from Him.