The Sermons to the Seven Churches of Revelation: A Commentary and Guide

Date Published

November 19, 2022

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Published by Calvin Seminary

A New Testament scholar, a seasoned preacher and an experienced tour guide who has led over 40 trips to ancient biblical sites in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Israel and Jordan explains in this book the meaning of the seven sermons of Revelation 2-3 and shows how these ancient messages are relevant for the church today.

A common reading of the book of Revelation sees these seven churches as healthy communities of Christ-followers who are suffering much for their faith at the hands of oppressive Roman authorities, and the book of Revelation is assumed to have been written to encourage these persecuted believers with the good news that Christ will ultimately be victorious and that their faith in him will be vindicated. This widespread but mistaken view of the readers’ situation makes it too easy for contemporary Christians to ignore the book of Revelation because our current North American situation does not similarly involve this kind of persecution, and consequently Christ’s message to the seven churches does not seem relevant to our day and situation.

A careful study of the sermons to the seven churches of Rev. 2-3, however, reveals that the majority of these congregations are spiritually unhealthy – more in danger of compromising with the world than of dying to it. Christ warns five churches against a variety of problems such as their failure to love fellow believers, idolatry, sexual immorality, false teaching, and complacency – all problems with which the affluent Western church struggles today. Although the central problem for the remaining two healthy churches is persecution, which is not a primary concern for the Western church, opposition to the Christian faith is increasingly an issue for many contemporary churches around the globe. All of this makes the sermons to the seven churches extremely relevant to our times and important texts on which to preach and teach.

Faculty Book Highlight

Jeff Weima, Professor of New Testament


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