The Book of Revelation opens with John’s description of a vision. In the vision, Jesus gave John messages for seven local churches. Jesus told John to write these messages on a scroll and send them to the churches.
In most cases, Jesus commended the church for their good work, warned them about the areas in which they needed correction, and urged them to return to Him. Among other things, He warned the churches not to forget their love of the Lord. He encouraged them not to be afraid of being tested. He urged those who were surrounded by evil to not deny their faith. Each time, Jesus promised to reward those who remain faithful to Him.
The church is made up of people who have trusted in Jesus, who are committed to one another, and who meet together to worship Jesus and share the gospel. Jesus loves the church as His bride. (See Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 19:7-9.) Jesus’ message called the churches to turn away from their sin and remain faithful to Him. The Lord is slow to anger (Ex. 34-6-7) and patient, wanting everyone to repent (2 Pet. 3:9).
Jesus warned specific churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), but the problems they faced can still be found in churches today. Help kids understand some of the problems the early churches faced: They did not love like they should, they believed false teaching and did wrong things, and they were lukewarm—useless to the cause of Christ.
Jesus loves the church. His message to seven local churches called them to turn away from their sin and remain faithful to Him. We can learn from those churches. Through the church, Jesus helps believers work together to do God’s plan.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
Help your children understand that we can pray for our churches to be faithful, effective instruments in spreading the gospel. We should love the church because Jesus loves the church. Through the church, Jesus helps believers work together to do God’s plan. Finally, Jesus warned believers to stay alert because He will come like a thief when no one is expecting Him. Believers—then and now—must always be ready!