The letters to the seven ecclesias in Revelation are quite diverse but could be representative of the spirituality within different communities of believers through the ages. We sense that the last (Laodicea) is representative of too many communities of believers in these last days when worldly attitudes threatens to overwhelm us.
Jesus said to Laodicea, “… because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (3:16). But then he adds, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (verse 19). If we are in this situation, may we become “zealous and repent”.
There is a statement at the end of each letter that should inspire us; “to the one who conquers I will …”. What wonders await all who conquer! Paul expressed this in his final letter to Timothy, “if we have died with him, we will also live with him, if we endure, we will also reign with him” (2:11,12). To endure, is an essential part of conquering. Let us be inspired by what is to come after we have conquered! Jesus said, “The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God … and I will write on him the name of my God … and my own new name” (3:12).
Chapter 4 climaxes with a vision of the kingdom and the praises raised to him who is seated on the throne and those who worship him who lives for ever and ever. “‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created’” (verse 11).
Zechariah’s prophecy also gives an inspiring look into the future when those who endure will “reign with him”. People will say, “Let us go at once to entreat the favour of the LORD. Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the LORD … saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (8:21-23).
This will be the time when those who have conquered will witness how “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption (the curse put on it in Eden – Genesis 3:17,18) and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). May we be worthy, by his grace, to be among those children and witness how the one who created all things completes his work and the age of “everlasting life” (Daniel 12:2) becomes a reality.
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