“I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.”
~ Revelation 2:19
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you like to receive personal letters? Your grandpaa’s ma sends a handwritten letter every other week to your grandmaa and grandpaa. Your grandpaa tries to send to send a personal letter to his dad and ma about every other week, too. Your grandpaa used to handwrite all the personal letters that he sent to his dad and ma. Because your grandpaa’s handwriting gets worse and worse as he writes a letter, your grandpaa is really glad that he now has a computer as he can now print out the letters that he sends to his dad and ma. Just as soon as your grandpaa is able to, your grandpaa will respond with a personal letter to whoever sends him and your grandmaa a personal letter or an e-mail. Your grandpaa thinks that sending personally written letters to family members and friends is a really good thing to do. Apostle John over 1900 years ago scribed an illuminating, prophetic circular missive that he sent first to the Christ-follower community of guys and gals who were living in Ephesus. While Apostle John one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, Apostle John was mentored by Jesus. Apostle John at one time thought that he was the disciple who Jesus loved the most. Even though Apostle John escaped being martyred – which is what happened to at least nine of the original twelve guys who Jesus selected to follow Him wherever He went, Apostle John did not escape being exiled. After being boiled for a time in hot olive oil, Apostle John was exiled by the Romans to a volcanic rock outcropping – called the Isle of Patmos, that is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The Isle of Patmos is where criminals and political insurrectionists were banished. This missive that Apostle John scribed – that is known today as the Revelation Letter, became the final book or letter of sixty-six combined Old and New Testament books and letters that make up the Bible.
Revelation 2 begins with Apostle John’s commending, complaining or correcting – which he did in detail, that he knew was taking place in seven Asia Minor Christ-follower communities of guys and gals. The seven Asia Minor Christ-follower communities would each get the chance to read the critique that Apostle John’s scribed about their sister Asia Minor churches. The Christ-follower community in Ephesus was the first Christ-follower community to read Apostle John’s assessment of how well he knew that they were doing. Apostle John – per his assessment of the Christ-follower community in Ephesus, communicated that the Christ-follower guys and gals in Ephesus had really let up following their first love of being faithful Christ-followers. Ephesus’ Christ-follower community of guys and gals were not slacking in what they were doing as they were persevering, enduring hardships, not tolerating guys who had evil motives, testing guys who claimed to be apostles and detesting the things that the Nicolaitans were doing. Even though the guys and gals in the Christ-follower community in Ephesus seemed like they were doing everything right, Apostle John tells the Christ-follower guys and gals in Ephesus to repent or else. The guys and gals in the Christ-follower community in Smyrna were next on Apostle John’s list to read his missive. It seemed that the guys and gals in the Christ-follower community in Smyrna were going through testing and persecution because of their committed stand to be Christ-followers. Apostle John encouraged the Christ-follower guys and gals in Smyrna to remain faithful in spite of their afflictions, poverty and how they were slandered – even if meant being killed. Apostle John promised the crown of life to any Christ-follower guy or guy in the Christ-follower community in Smyrna who would get killed. The guys and gals in the Christ-follower community in Pergamum were next on Apostle John’s list to read his missive. By the time that Apostle John’s Revelation Letter made it to Pergamum, Pergamum had become a leading Roman center. Pergamum was where Satan ‘ruled’. Even though Antipas – who had been a very faithful Christ-follower in the Pergamum Christ-follower community, had been martyred, the Christ-follower guys and gals in Pergamum had not renounced their faith in Christ but . . . because they were not rejecting the teachings of Balaam and Nicolaitans, Paul warned them they had better repent or else. The guys and gals in the Christ-follower community in Thyatira was next on Apostle John’s list to read his missive. Apostle John was not happy with the guys and gals in the Christ-follower community in Thyatira even though Apostle John says in verse 19, “I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” Apostle John called the Christ-follower guys and gals in Thyatira on how they were tolerating Jezebel – who was a known false prophetess and a very immoral gal, who Apostle John had told to repent or . . . because Jezebel refused to listen to Apostle John to repent, Jezebel ended up having to endure awful, intense suffering and seeing her kids struck dead by God – Who searches every heart and mind, sees everything and rewards or repays in blessings or punishments according to the deeds that a guy, gal or kid does.
Four of the seven Asia Minor Christ-follower communities of guys and gals had Apostle John assess them in this Revelation Letter chapter. When your grandpaa was the Field Director in Bolivia and Guatemala, he had to do an annual evaluation with each field team missionary. Because your grandpaa wanted to affirm the field team missionary who he was evaluating on what he or she was doing well, your grandpaa would line through the section of an annual evaluation form that would not affirm the field team missionary. Your grandpaa would like to be as bold as Apostle John was as he assessed some Asia Minor churches but . . . missionaries today expect affirmation.
Revelations 2 (606)