1. Seven churches. If we are living in the last days and identify most closely with the Laodicean church, do we even need to study God’s message to the other six churches? Or is it possible that each church has a message for us? Or that in our Christian experience we may struggle with the problems each of the seven churches faced? Think about it.
2. John presents the churches to us. Why do you think God chose John of all the disciples to tell the story of the end of the conflict with sin? In Revelation 2, does John give a snapshot of the seven churches or begin directly with the first church and move on, church by church from there? Why?
3. Ephesus. In what way(s) was the new church at Ephesus a blessing? Then what happened? Do you know of church members who have “left their first love” and wandered off to other worship forms or abandoned them all? What form did the evil one seize to draw the church at Ephesus away from its original spirit of dedication? Could there be Christians who follow the wrong example of Ephesus in your church? Can you do anything about it? What about your own heart? Are you ever tempted to walk away from it all?
4. Smyrna and Pergamum. “All that matters is that we love God.” Have you ever heard a person make that statement with great confidence? Is it a true statement? Does love to God have more than one dimension? Can we love God and not obey His commands? Did the believers in Pergamum become tolerant of wrong beliefs? Smyrna was warned of bad things to come. Is there an end to badness?
5. Thyatira and Sardis. What role does Jesus play in John’s depiction of the churches of Thyatira and Sardis? Several good things are mentioned regarding these two churches, but what is the bad news for each of them? Is it possible for a twenty-first century Seventh-day Adventist church to have a few (or even many) stalwart believers even as others promote false doctrine or other forms of heresy? In other words, are we, or can we, be like Thyatira and Sardis in that respect?
6. Philadelphia. Is it surprising to read John’s description of a church that doesn’t seem to have anything wrong with it? Or is there a fault even in this church of “brotherly love?” If so, what is it? How does it happen that former oppressors of the church become united with it? Could this be a reasonable goal for our churches today–to win believers from those who have derided or caused harm to us? How should we go about accomplishing such a task?
7. Laodicea. What is the saddest aspect of the last of the seven churches? “A little old-fashioned parental discipline” is the description our lesson author uses to describe the changes that need to be made in Laodicea. Why does God reveal to John the great promise of salvation to this lukewarm and even lazy church? Will God restore all the members of Laodicea to righteousness? If not, what are some of the changes needed by all of us Laodiceans to receive the promise of participating in a meal with God and sitting with Him on the throne? Are those changes available to us? How?