In writing devotionals this week, I was taking a look at the seven churches addressed in book of Revelation.

John was very systematic in addressing the churches. He followed this pattern:

Address or Greeting
Descriptive title of the Lord from the vision of chapter 1
Criticism, complaint, or condemnation
Instruction or Warning

Since the pattern is so clear, it is easy to see anomalies.

For example, there is only one church who did not receive commendation–Laodicea (Revelation 3:15-17). Their self-sufficiency led to indifference which blinded them to their own needs and the needs of others.

The reminder to us–we are totally dependent on the Lord and should therefore live not only by faith but surrender. Which should excite us, because we are dependent on the One who can supply all that is needed and more importantly, what is best. (See more in Friday’s post of

But there was another anomaly. There where two church that did not receive criticism or condemnation.

First, Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) a church that was suffering under persecution.

The key lesson–the church with the most to complain about or the strongest pressure to compromise did not.

In our society we face very little true persecution.  So how do we handle opposition?

We should expect suffering and remain steadfast.

Writing those words is difficult.  I don’t like suffering.  I really don’t want to suffer.

Second, Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) a church who had withstood pressure from outside.

The key lesson–no matter the outside pressure, the changes in society, we must remain faithful.
True Success takes time.  Faithfulness is not a sprint.

We must not become weary; we must keep being faithful–faithful in purity and faithful in truth.

Author: Steve

Steve Kilgore joined the staff of Calvary Church in Lancaster, PA in the fall of 2002 as the Pastor of Discipleship to facilitate the equipping ministries, which include Adult Bible Fellowship and other adult discipleship ministries, and work with the rest of the education ministries. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor of Ministries with a focus on providing ministries that facility individuals taking intentional Next Steps for growing and participating in the leadership and administrative aspect at Calvary. He has also taught part-time at Lancaster Bible College in the area of Spiritual Formation and New Testament. Prior to coming to Calvary he served in two churches as well as taught part-time at Philadelphia Biblical University. He was born in Dallas, Texas, but spent the first 13 years of his life in Guatemala where his parents were missionaries. It was there at the age of four and a half that Steve placed his faith in Christ as his Savior. Steve received a Bachelor’s degree in Bible from Philadelphia College of Bible and a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife, Mary Anne, have their two boys, Andrew and Nathan (both in college), and live in East Lampeter Township. Steve lives and ministers by the personal motto, Know what you believe and why, live it, be able to defend it. His hobbies, other than playing with his family, include tinkering with computers, reading, drinking coffee with his wife, playing and watching basketball. Steve and Mary Anne are looking forward to exploring new hobbies as they transition to life as empty-nesters.

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