Sunday, October 27, 2019

Introduction To The Church Age

Temple Baptist Church - 10-27-2019
Revelation 1:17-20


A.  There are many in our day who believe that the Book of the Revelation is hard to understand and, therefore, do not read—study—or preach from it.

B.  God tells us the exact opposite of that in chapter 1, verse 3:

Revelation 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 

1.  Either God made a big mistake or man continues to make one.  God makes no mistake!

2.  If God blesses us for reading, hearing, and keeping the Book of the Revelation, then God must want us to read, hear, and keep it!

C.  The Book of the Revelation is orderly, systematically laid out, and in chronological order.

D.  The three-fold division of the Book of the Revelation.  Verse 19.

1.  Chapter 1 – The things which thou hast seen.

2.  Chapters 2-3 – The things which are.

3.  Chapters 4-22 – The things which shall be hereafter.

E.  Chapters 2-3 are the “things which are.”  It began with the Age of the Apostles and continues through the end of the Church Age.  To rightly divide the Word of Truth and the Book of the Revelation, one must be aware of its three-fold division.

1.  John, who walked with Christ for 3 ½ years, turns, sees, and falls at His feet.

2.  When he sees Christ’s glory, majesty, splendor—he falls at His feet.

3.  The same thing happened to Moses, Isaiah, and Ezekiel when they saw His glory in the Old Testament.

4.  Those powerful hands, those nail pierced hands, those authoritative hands were extended and laid upon John in compassion and confidence.

5.  He that was dead is alive forever more as Sovereign and Judge.

6.  Through His death, burial, and resurrection—the grave is defeated, the bonds of death are broken.

7.  He who owns the keys has access, authority, and control.

F.  These seven churches were contemporary with each other in the Age of the Apostles. 

1.  Each of the seven churches of Asia received the same letter, the entire Book of the Revelation. 

2.  Each of the seven churches of Asia saw both the commendations, conditions, condemnations, and warnings of the other churches.

3.  The seven stars are the pastors of the churches.  This shows how Christ holds His Pastors in a position of honor and strength as well as a place of Divine protection.

4.  Thus He introduces the Church Age in chapters 2-3.

G.  We will look at four different interpretations of the Church Age.

1.  The Practical Interpretation of The Church Age.  As the scripture applies to each church.

a.  Ephesus - (2:4) The Drifting Church
b.  Smyrna - (2:9b-10) The Persecuted Church
c.  Pergamos - (2:13a) The Wedded Church
d.  Thyatira - (2:20) The Apostate Church
e.  Sardis - (3:1) The Dead Church
f.  Philadelphia - (3:8) The Mission-hearted Church
g.  Laodicea - (3:16) The Lukewarm Church

2.  The Perennial Interpretation of The Church Age.  A reoccurring problem in churches.

a.  Ephesus - (2:2b) The Fundamental Church
b.  Smyrna - (2:9b) The Ritualistic church
c.  Pergamos - (2:15) The Clerical Church
d.  Thyatira - (2:20) The Idolatrous Church
e.  Sardis - (3:20) The Liberal Church
f.  Philadelphia - (3:10) The Revival Church
g.  Laodicea - (3:17) The Materialistic Church

3.  The Parabolic Interpretation of The Church Age.  The 7 parables of Matthew, chapter 13.

a.  Ephesus - (2:2) "The Sower" (Matt 13:3-23)
b.  Smyrna - (2:9c) "The Wheat and The Tares" Matt 13:24-30; 36:43)
c.  Pergamos - (2:13) "The Mustard Seed" (Matt 13:31-32)
d.  Thyatira - (2:21-22) "The Leaven" (Matt 13:33)
e.  Sardis - (3:2c) "The Hidden Treasure" (Matt 13:44)
f.  Philadelphia - (3:9c) "The Pearl of Great Price" (Matt 13:45-46)
g.  Laodicea - (3:20) "The Drag-net" (Matt 13:47- 50)

4.  The Prophetical Interpretation of The Church Age.  A prophetic breakdown of the Church Age.

a.  Ephesus - (2:2b) Post-apostolic Age (30-100 A.D.)
b.  Smyrna - (2:9a) Persecution Age (100-312 A.D.)
c.  Pergamos - (2:13) Patronizing Age (312-606 A.D.)
d.  Thyatira - (2:20) Papal Age (606-1520 A.D.)
e.  Sardis - (3:1,4) Protestant Age (1520-1750 A.D.)
f.  Philadelphia - (3:8c) Puritan Age (1750-1945 A.D.)
g.  Laodicea - (3:20) Present Day Age (1945- A.D.)

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