Welcome to the Guide for the Seven Cities and the Seven Churches of Revelation!
With the help of our wonderful Storms Research Center (SRC) Staff and particularly Julia Patton, we have prepared here some additional resources to supplement my UVF Chapel series for the 2010-2011 college year. We all know the Book of Revelation can be challenging to understand. In How to Read the Bible for All It is Worth the authors write, “When turning to the Book of Revelation from the rest of the NT, one feels as if he or she were entering a foreign country” (Fee and Stuart 205).
Early in my own spiritual journey some very sincere people almost ruined my entire life by emphasizing the “Soonness” of Jesus’ second coming. They cautioned everyone not to plant trees or take out life insurance or even get an education because Jesus’ second coming was so soon all of those efforts were of little value. I don’t know what would have happened to me had a close relative not said to me, “The time you take to sharpen your tools in never wasted.” My whole life changed because of that balanced wisdom.
Our eight-part series will not try to address every issue in Revelation, but after our introductory message, we will focus on the Seven Cities and the Seven Churches of Revelation in Chapters 2-3. The dates and topics for those messages are as follows:
|August 24||Revelation 1:1-20||When I Saw Him|
|September 16||Revelation 2:1-7||Ephesus|
|October 18||Revelation 2:8-11||Smyrna|
|November 16||Revelation 2:12-17||Pergamum|
|January 11||Revelation 2:18-29||Thyatira|
|February 1||Revelation 3:1-6||Sardis|
|March 29||Revelation 3:7-13||Philadelphia|
|April 29||Revelation 3:14-22||Laodicea|
We will try to locate each of the seven churches in their historical, geographical, literary, cultural and theological context with a goal of listening to what God said to them. And, by doing that, we also want to hear what God would say to us. As we often say in Biblical interpretation (hermeneutics), we want to know what the Bible meant “Then and there” so we will be able to apply it “Here and now.”
A day or so before I share each Chapel message, we will post additional material on this Guide to help you with your own ongoing study of these texts.
May God inspire and challenge all of us as we meditate our way through these life-changing truths.
God bless you!
Don Meyer, Ph.D.
University of Valley Forge