Jesus Christ writes to his Churches in the 1st and 21st Centuries
An EasyEnglish Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on Revelation Chapters 1-3
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A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
About Revelation chapters 1-3
Imagine what it would have been like, to live at the end of the first century. Your city is a part of the *Roman *Empire. You are a Christian. You are a member of a local church. There is only one church in your city. Your nearest church neighbour is over 40 miles away. There are good *Roman roads. You could travel on your horse. You might reach your nearest neighbour in less than a day. Your leader is John the *apostle. But the rulers have sent him away to another country. The reason was that he was a Christian. There are no large meetings where Christians *worship together. There are no Christian books to encourage you. There is no *New Testament to give you hope.
There have been many *earthquakes in your country. There have been many local wars. You are afraid about many things. You wonder what will happen next.
Your neighbours do not like you. You are different from them. You have a different religion. Every day you are in danger. You turn to other *religious groups for help. But there is no help from them. They do not agree with your religion. They even report you to the authorities. They say that you do not believe in God.
The rulers of the nations do not feel confident. They think that other people want to become leaders. They fear that another will take their place. They are jealous of any new religion. They see other people as a danger to their authority. They bring in new laws. The nation has become their religion. Their leader has become their god. Moreover he is the only one that you may *worship. You ask yourself whether you may one day bow down to a strange god. It would be easy to do this. Some of your Christian brothers and sisters have already given up. They have turned away from Jesus Christ, their *Lord.
This is how it was with the 7 churches in Asia. The description of their situation is in the book of Revelation chapters 1 to 3. There was then a period of much *persecution of Christians. The period was at the end of the first century.
Hear what the Spirit says to the Churches. This request appears 7 times. It is in the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation. These letters went to 7 churches in Asia. The period is in the first century. Maybe the Spirit speaks to Christians in churches today about other matters. But the church in the 21st century still has the same problems. So these three chapters are still very important today.
There is an extra blessing. Those who read these letters will be happy people (Revelation 1:3). Those who hear them will be even happier. They will be even happier if they obey the words in the letters. There is a warning at the end of the book. It warns about anyone who might change the message. They must not add to it or take anything away from it (22:18-19).