Jesus’ Letters

“I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent” (Rev. 2:5, ESV, emphasis added).

That can’t be a good thing.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Christ to remove the light within me because I did not hear and heed His warnings to repent.

The book of Revelation holds many mysteries and sometimes seems scary to read, but the book begins with the apostle John, who has been exiled to the Island of Patmos, recording letters from Christ to the seven churches.

Each letter has an “I know” statement from Christ, diagnosing the church’s condition, continues with a warning to hear and heed what the Spirit is saying, and then supplies a solution that graciously comes with a promise and blessings for those who persevere.

Christ invites everyone to examine themselves, considering these messages. We should make sure the light we think we have isn’t darkness (Luke 11:35). An excellent way to do that is to ask God to reveal anything in our hearts that is not of Him so we can declutter and make more room for the Spirit.

The repetitive message to each church is to listen to what the Spirit says – in other words, heed the warnings. Ephesus is warned to return to their first love; Smyrna and Philadelphia are only given praises and encouragement to be faithful to death while promised that faith in Jesus assures access to the eternal kingdom, even in the face of persecution; Pergamum and Thyatira are warned about false teachings and immoral deeds; Sardis is told to wake up and complete her works of obedience; and finally, Laodicea is told to turn from self-deception and repent of their lukewarmness.

Each end with a different promise, a blessing for those who conquer. I won’t list them all here, but I encourage you to reread these passages as if they are written to you personally. These letters may have been recorded to address issues in the churches of their time, but they are a single unified message to the church in all times and places. The state of the churches in John’s time is similar to today (Brand, 2015).  

God still calls Christians to faithfulness and integrity. Those who heed the message will reap God’s promised rewards, and those who fail will be judged. I pray that our lampstand is not removed – I thank God for His mercy and patience. I am grateful for the Holy Spirit’s correction and guidance. In God alone, we can persevere and reap the promised rewards.


Brand, C., ed., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (Nashville: B & H Publishing, 2015).

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