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Tag Archives: Gospel

The Church of Laodicea

Laodicea -1

Photo: © Mark R. Fairchild, Huntington University

Laodicea was built by Antiochus II, King of Syria, in honor of his wife, Laodice. The city is approximately 11 miles west of Colossae and 99 miles east of Ephesus. According to Strabo, it was situated on a main trade route, from which it drew its great wealth and commercial importance in Asia Minor. Late in the third century BC or early in the second, Antiochus the Great transported 2000 Jewish families into Asia Minor from Babylonia,[1] thus testifying of a large Jewish population there in the first century AD. No doubt the displacement of the Jews included Laodicea. The city suffered from earthquakes, and a major quake destroyed much of it cir. 60 AD. However, when Nero offered to rebuild Laodicea, its rich inhabitants declined, intending to rebuild on its own. Paul mentions the church of Laodicea in his letter to Colossae, saying he had not visited them in person (Colossians 2:1), but Epaphras, a teacher and friend of Paul, labored in the Gospel among both Colossians and the Laodiceans (Colossians 1:7; 4:12-13). Evidently, Paul wrote to the church of Laodicea, and his concern for them in particular may indicate his epistle was written at the time of the earthquake mentioned above (Colossians 2:1; 4:15-16). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 16, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Victory Over the Nations!

spring sunset

from Google Images

Jesus told the messenger[1] of the church at Philadelphia that the church had kept the word of Jesus (the Gospel) and have not denied his name (Revelation 3:8). That is, the church at Philadelphia had not compromised the word of God, but guarded its purity, preaching it and enduring the consequences for the sake of Jesus’ name. Therefore, Jesus said he had set before them an open door, and I believe he meant he had opened a door of understanding of the Gospel among the people in that city and perhaps the surrounding area. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Church of Sardis

Sardis

from Google Images

The city of Sardis, as we have come to understand in this study of the churches mentioned in Revelation, chapters 2 & 3, is a city in Asia Minor, now western Turkey. It was situated along an ancient Roman mail route beginning in Ephesus and going north to Pergamum and then south through Sardis to Laodicea, and then back to Ephesus. Sardis was a very old city, perhaps dating back to 2000 BC, boasting of being the ancient capital of the Lydian Empire (1200 BC). The city was a walled city that sat atop of a hill, about 1000 feet high, and for centuries it was considered impregnable. However, in its latter years its walls became cracked through lack of vigilance and effort to repair the damage. Therefore, Cyrus the Great was able to capitalize upon Sardis’ failure to be vigilant and tend to its weaknesses. Cyrus conquered the city, reportedly taking $600,000,000 worth of gold and precious stones. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Ruling with Christ Through the Gospel

Boss and leadership

from Google Images

In this study of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3, I have been demonstrating that the church of Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) had been doing well in the business of preaching the Gospel. However, Jesus did find fault with them in the fact that they had been permitting Jewish teachers (Jezebel in the text) to seduce Jesus’ disciples into believing the doctrines of the Jerusalem authorities, whose doctrines, if practiced, made the word of God of no effect upon his people. In so doing, the leaders in Thyatira were permitting those under their care to be removed from the authority and protection of Christ and placing them under the authority of Christ’s enemies at Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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What Does Jesus Say about Pergamos?

Pergamum

from Google Images

In Revelation 2:13 Jesus told the church in Pergamos that he knew their works, which means he knew the Gospel they preached. Their works, or their business for Christ, was no different from the works of Ephesus or Smyrna or any of the other churches to whom Jesus sent letters via the Apocalypse. Their work is the Gospel they preached. Moreover, the Lord implied they had preached the Gospel during times of duress. Notice, he tells them that he knows they dwell in the place where Satan’s throne is. That is, the church preached the Gospel in the shadow of the power of the enemy. Things like this cannot be done without conflict of some kind. Secondly, Jesus told believers at Pergamos that he knew they continue to preach the Gospel, knowing that doing so could cost their lives, even as Antipas lost his life, while witnessing for Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Church in Pergamos

Pen Mightier than the Sword

from Google Images

Pergamos was an ancient city in Mysia, some sixty miles northeast of Smyrna and the northern most city on the ancient Roman mail route in the Province of Asia. Pergamos is the Latin pronunciation of the Greek Pergamum. The original city was situated atop of a prominent mountain along the Caicus river, which emptied into the Aegean Sea about twenty miles west of the city. Later the city was built at the foot of the mountain, and the city’s temples to various gods stood atop the mount. Its name, Pergamos (G4010) is taken from pergos (G4444), meaning: tower or a fortified structure, so the mountain (viz. tower) formed a citadel, giving the impression that the city’s gods were able to withstand any attack of an enemy. Unlike Smyrna and Ephesus, which were renowned for their trade on the Aegean Sea, Pergamos was known for its culture and refinement, boasting of its large library whose only rival was that of Alexandria in Egypt, and its many temples to the honor of its numerous gods, including Asclepius, the serpent god of medicine and health. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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What Does Jesus Know about Smyrna?

Smyrna - 1

from Google Images

In Revelation 2:9 Jesus says that he knows Smyrna’s works (G2041), tribulation (G2347), and poverty (G4432). In his letter to the church of Ephesus, Jesus said he knew the their works (G2041), their labor or toil (G2873) and their patience (G5281). The works (G2041) are the same, in both Smyrna and Ephesus, i.e. the spreading of the Gospel, but how is tribulation (G2347) in Smyrna different from toil (G2873) in Ephesus? Both churches were occupied with the same business (G2041), the Gospel. However, for Ephesus Jesus emphasized the trouble or pressure (G2873) believers had gone through in order to preach the Gospel, while for Smyrna Jesus showed he knew of the actual affliction or tribulation (G2347) they were under. In his letter to Ephesus, Jesus emphasized the inner pressure or distress believers endured, but his letter to Smyrna emphasized the cause of that inner oppression. In other words Jesus knew what others were doing to his people. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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