In chapter three, the instructions are given to John to write to the churches of Sardis, Philadelphia, and Leodicea. The church, the Lord say, at Sardis “has the reputation of being alive,” but he says they are dead. There is no other way to take this than that they have lost their zeal for the lord, and are not doing the work that the church is supposed to do.The church at Philadelphia gets little in the way of rebuke, but praise or their endurance, and a promise of protection “from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world.”
To the church at Laodicea, this famous passage is written: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” This seems to say that they also are lacking in zeal.
Chapter four begins the visions with the 24 elders and the strange “living creatures.” It is here that we begin to caution the reader to be open to the possibility that some of the imagery may not be deep prophecy that unveils the secrets of the universe. Some of it may just be poetic imagery, such as was written in that time. The point of this chapter may well be that all creatures – both heavenly beings and creatures of all types, recognize that the Lord is the Holy one, and is worthy of our praise.
No matter what interpretation you give each of these eleven verses, keep in mind the original audience. These were persecuted Christians, many of whom may have known people – even had loved ones – that had been killed because of their faith in the Lord. But they were holding on to that faith while looking toward heaven. Here, as instructed by the Lord in Revelation 1:10-11, John gives them a grand glimpse of that splendor in the sort of literary imagery that was common to their day. In the middle of the Lord’s battle with Satan, John gets that look at the throne of our Creator in heaven, and the worship that He worthily receives there.
Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.