Chapter 14: Visible Churches Warned
‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches’ (Rev. 3:22).
I suppose I may take it for granted that every reader of this message belongs to some visible church of Christ. I do not ask now whether you are an Episcopalian, or a Presbyterian, or an Independent. I only suppose that you would not like to be called an atheist or an infidel. You attend the public worship of some visible, particular or national body of professing Christians.
Now, whatever the name of your church may be, I invite your special attention to the verse of Scripture before your eyes. I charge you to remember that the words of that verse concern yourself. They are written for your learning, and for all who call themselves Christians. ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches’.
This verse is repeated seven times over in the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation. Seven different letters does the Lord Jesus there send by the hand of His servant John to the seven churches of Asia. Seven times over He winds up His letter by the same solemn words: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches’.
Now the Lord God is perfect in all His works. He does nothing by chance. He caused no part of the Scriptures to be written by chance. In all His dealings you may trace design, purpose and plan. There was design in the size and orbit of each planet. There was design in the shape and structure of the least fly’s wing. There was design in every verse of the Bible. There was design in every repetition of a verse, wherever it took place. There was design in the sevenfold repetition of the verse before our eyes. It had a meaning, and we were intended to observe it.
This verse appears to me to call the special attention of all true Christians to the seven ‘epistles to the churches’. I believe it was meant to make believers take particular notice of the things which these seven epistles contain.
Let me try to point out certain leading truths which these seven epistles seem to me to teach. They are truths for the times we live in, truths for the latter days, truths which we cannot know too well, truths which it would be good for us all to know and feel far better than we do.
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