sermonette: Revelation 2 and 3: Eras?
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 25-Jun-16; Sermon #1329s; 33 minutes
The notion of church eras in Revelation 2-3 is based on some fundamental errors. Because Revelation 1:1 uses the adverb 'shortly', describing the quickness of prophetic events, we cannot find a shred of evidence for lengthy, drawn-out eras. Many have speculated that seven eras of the church spanned the time since 95 AD to the present, in which a dominant attitude would prevail sequentially, corresponding to the commendations and charges of the letters delivered on the postal route between Ephesus and Laodicea in western Turkey. Even though the mail route was spatially sequential, the churches were contemporaneous. Like the many splinters in the greater Church of God, these churches had different strengths and different weaknesses. Jesus Christ, standing in the midst of these contemporaneous churches, comments on each one, indicating that He considers them all to be part of the His Body. The command to "hold fast," issued five times, indicates that all seven of these attitudes (that is, strengths and weaknesses) will be extant at His Second Coming. We should be careful about browbeating lukewarm Laodicea or dead Sardis because these are all attitudes every called-out one exhibits to one degree or another. Jesus Christ expects that all of us learn from all seven letters, applying the correction which applies to each of us individually.