The Book of Revelation: Lesson 13 – Chapters 2 and 3

The word Christ is Greek for the Hebrew word māshîah. So “Christ” and “Messiah” are essentially the same word, just different languages. Here is John 1:41…

 “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ).”

“Messiah” means “the anointed of God.” The coming of the Messiah was, and still is, the great hope of Israel. Again, “Jesus Christ” is the same as saying “Jesus the Messiah.” “Christ” is basically a title. It’s not Jesus’ last name!

From the outset of this final book in the Bible, we are told that this is “the revelation of Jesus Christ,” and before chapter one is finished, Jesus the Messiah was elevated to Jesus the reigning Lord of the Universe in all His power and glory (Rev. 1:12-18).

Various aspects of this overwhelming picture of Jesus are underscored in Chapters 2 and 3 before each of the seven churches are told what this transcendent Jesus has to say to them. In every case, His overall message is quite clear. There may be questions we might have about details:

  • Who were the Nicolaitans?
  • What’s “hidden manna” mean?
  • Explain the term “pillar in the temple of my God.”
  • Etc.

But none of these terms are essential to our overall understanding of what Jesus had to say.

It’s also true that historians can give us a lot of background on these seven cites. But none of that information has all that much of a bearing on the clear bottom-line message of Jesus in each case.

We are three chapters into Revelation, and nothing so far has been all that difficult to understand. In a way, Revelation can be as confusing as you want to make it. If you insist on understanding everything, you probably never will. But if you can be content with a grasp of the big-picture items, you should do fine.


Please click here to visit David Mains’ website.

You will also find a variety of resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries website. Please click here.

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Appendix – Part 5

To illustrate the way in which you can fully integrate all the elements of a worship service, I offer the following example, which I began in the previous blog post.

Following the sermon, the truth of Christ’s return was underscored by a technique which we have come to term as “multiple Scripture reading.” The New Testament has abundant material which deals with the theme of Christ’s return. So abundant, that it would have been impossible for one person to have read enough to give the idea of its scope. Yet, we wanted to stress emphatically that very idea of the overwhelming amount of Scripture dealing with the theme of Christ’s return. Pragmatically, we borrowed a concept of Marshall McLuhan, which states the high possibility of a person’s being able to understand many voices at one time.

Following the sermon one person began to read:

From the writings of Peter:

“First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation.’ They deliberately ignore this fact … ”

(2 Peter 3:3-5a)

When the congregation began to get the flavor of this, another person from another part of the auditorium began reading as the first person continued:

From the writings of Paul:

“But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, ‘There is peace and security.’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape. But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief.”

(1 Thess. 5:1-4)

Another forty-five seconds and a third voice began reading from another position, again while the others continued:

From the writings of John.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”

(1 John 3:2-3)

“‘Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me …’”

(John 14:1)

Confusing? Perhaps at first, but then the ear begins to sort out each word, each phrase, and the impression is of Scripture’s amplitude in the theme, “Though Christ’s Second Coming seems long overdue, the wise man prepares for His sure return.”

As each New Testament writer was introduced and the medley of voices continued, the choir began to sing, and one by one the voices ceased:

O Lord Jesus, how long?
How long ere we shout the glad song?
Christ returneth! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Amen.

All this time one light was burning, and the other lamp was without light. I remember well one man, a visitor, was so moved he responded in the only way he knew how, by raising his hand and holding it high for some time.

We moved into “The Response of Obedience” by asking the congregation to meditate silently on the question, “If Christ was soon to return, how would you respond?”

‘I need time to right matters.’

‘I’m so glad.’

‘That’s something I hadn’t counted on.’

‘I’m in big trouble.’

‘I’m not perfect, but I’ve been learning to live His way.’

“If Christ was soon to return, how would you respond?”

After the silent meditation, on behalf of the entire congregation, a female soloist stood and sang:

My lamps are lit, I’ll watch and pray.
It may be today; it may be today.

Following the suggestions for life response, as one great musical voice, the congregation’s words were:

Oh! He comes with clouds descending,
Once for our salvation slain;
Thousand thousand saints, attending,
Swell the triumph of his train:
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God appears on earth to reign.

It was a moving morning, the impression of which is very clear to me, even today.


Sunday’s coming. Do you have your sermon ready? Is it relevant? Will it effectively motivate your congregation to walk more in step with the Master? What about that Sermon Series you’ve been thinking about?

Or, if you’re someone who plans well ahead, have you asked yourself what you will preach for your Easter Sermon, your Advent Sermon, your Christmas Sermon?

David Mains and Mainstay Ministries can help. We offer a wide variety of Sermon Starters and Full Sermons that will give you Sermon Ideas to help you prepare for regular Saturday or Sunday sermons, Mid-week Bible Sermons, and Sermons for special occasions.

We also offer assistance as you create Topical Sermons, Sermons Series, and sermons for special times of the year. We have resources available to help you with Advent Celebrations, Advent Sermons, Christmas Sermons, Easter Sunday Sermons, Patriotic Sermons, and more.

For more information on how to create better Bible Sermons and how to turn Sermon Ideas into Sermon Outlines, and then into effective, meaningful Sunday Sermons, please click here to visit David Mains’ website.

You will also find a variety of resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries website. Just click here.

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