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Dear Church, I Love You, But…



Louie Giglio focuses on Revelation chapters two and three, which contain the letters of Jesus to the seven churches. Found within these messages from the risen and reigning Christ are lessons for everyone who calls themselves Christian today.

Early in the book of Revelation we come across two chapters in which all of the text is in red if your copy of the scripture formats it as such. These letters are set apart in a different color because they are made up entirely of the recorded words of Jesus.

It's important to remember here who is speaking. This is the Risen and Reigning Christ, the one who, simply by his appearance, caused John to fall down as if dead. His hair is white like snow, and his eyes are like blazing fires. This is who is speaking when you read these messages to the seven churches in chapters two and three of Revelation.

The other thing that it is important you keep in mind as you read Jesus' messages to these churches is that these were very real churches, made up of very real people. Men and women just like you were living their lives working to provide for their families, to advance their communities, and to follow this new "way" that had been taught by Jesus and carried out by the Apostles. These messages in Revelation were transcribed by John, from Jesus, for the listed Churches, and they are also for the Church today.

The Church is central to God's plan. We are the Bride of Christ, and while she is far from perfect now, she will be perfected and completed. Look at how scholar, theologian, Pastor, and theologian Eugene Peterson said it:

“The life of faith revealed and nurtured in the biblical narratives is highly personal but never merely individual: always there is a family, a tribe, a nation-church. God's love and salvation are revealed and experienced in the congregation of the people "who know the festal shout" (Ps. 89:15), not in "the garden, alone."

So it comes as no surprise to find that St. John's vision is not a private ecstasy given to compensate him for his rockbound exile; it is ‘for the seven churches that are in Asia’ (Rev. 1:4). All revelation is. The gospel pulls us into community. One of the immediate changes that the gospel makes is grammatical: we instead of I; our instead of my; us instead of me.”

-Eugene Peterson, Reversed Thunder

In the seven letters, we see:

  1. That there are seven churches He chooses. (The Church is being perfected).
  2. That Jesus is described in multifaceted glory.
  3. Each church is doing something well.
  4. Most churches have some repenting to do.
  5. That each church is promised an eternal reward. (Eternal life).

Let's look at a couple of letters specifically. The first is the letter to the church in Ephesus. This is a church that Paul started on his second missionary journey 15-20 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Only a few decades later, look at how Jesus moves right into the culture and issues of their day. To a church with a rich history of saints and legends of the faith, where people like Priscilla and Aquila, Timothy, John, and even Mary, the mother of Jesus, had worshipped, Jesus commends their perseverance and adherence to the truth. Then, with just a few words, Jesus turns the page...

"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first."

A Church full of believers who had either witnessed or walked with someone who had witnessed the death, burial, and resurrection had gotten so wrapped up in the doing that they had left behind the power of being in love with Jesus. If that kind of unintentional drift could happen to them, who are we to think it can't, or hasn't, happened to us?

Do you see how these letters, although written to these specific seven churches, have far-reaching and timeless instructions for The Church at large, including for us thousands of years later?

Look at the letter to the church in Laodicea. What similarities can you find in the structure of the letter to Ephesus? What instruction can you find?

Thanks be to God for the power of His Word, that we can hold in our hands the breath of God on pages. God has not and will never left His Church, and if you are a part of the Body He has never left or abandoned you to your sins. God almighty is standing at the door, knocking. Will you answer it today?


"The Church is central in the plan of God."

Louie Giglio

Discussion Questions

Louie Giglio

Global Pastor

Louie Giglio Louie Giglio is the Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement, comprised of Passion Conferences, Passion City Church, Passion Publishing and sixstepsrecords, and the founder of Passion Institute.